organizing school volunteers

Time: The New Currency for Volunteers

It’s a challenge most schools face — how to get more volunteers involved in a meaningful way.  Parents are busy and stressed.

Take some tips from this PTO articleon how to set parents up for success in volunteering — ask the right questions, be specific, and offer support.  Fo exampe “Do you want to be our committe chair?” probably a question that will receive a ‘no’. Instead, ask parents, “We have several places where we could use someone like yourself. For example,… Now, given your time constraints, which of these would be the best way to get you started in our PTO?”

Resources for School Volunteers!

There is a wonderful site called The Volunteer Family — a host of resources for folks seeking to strengthen their communities and families.  Please look at this page about Resources for Children and Youth Volunteers for many ideas on how to become a more active volunteer and to help raise awareness in your area. Included are books and many web resources, for example:


Help kids get involved in own learning. This new Volunteer Handbook for K-12 Parents & Teachers can help you build a strong, involved volunteer base. Free pages.

… a fabulous and thorough resource about volunteering in the classroom.  As a professional and mother, I particularly find the tips for volunteering and the clear presentation of classroom activities extremely useful because I don’t have a lot of time to prepare for these sorts of things.  The innovative science, language arts, visual arts and other activities are terrific and easy to implement.  I highly recommend this book for both parents and teachers.                        ~ Anita Kinney, PhD, Salt Lake City, UT

It’s as easy as …

It’s a useful guiding principle — keep it simple!  So when you need a volunteer to do a specific job, let folks know exactly what the job is, the time commitment, and any other pertinent details.  Keep it simple — give contact information for more details.  Cambridge, MA has a good example of this technique on their webpage.

A Homework Club Volunteer

South Kingstown, RI has a neat idea —  Homework Club Volunteers. CARES homework clubs provide students with a quiet place to do homework with the support and guidance of a volunteer. The volunteers are from the community, the local university, and parents.  Take a look at more ideas if this seems like it might be a good fit for growing your school volunteer program.  Sometimes a little extra support is all a child needs to succeed!

Easy way to connect with school volunteers

The School Volunteer Association of Bridgeport has some simple ideas on how to connect with volunteers.  An easy to read webpage outlines the volunteer spots available and the application to complete.  It outlines four categories:  Reading Enrichment, Book Buddies, Math/Reading Tutor, and Mentor.  Perhaps your school or district can rally some volunteers with the simple approach to communicating volunteer needs.