Parent Volunteer Tasks

Connect with Yourself

Here is a fun idea for helping kids, K-6, explore more about who they are and what qualities they think they possess.  Click on this link to get a free activity from the new book “School Volunteer Handbook:  For K-6 Teachers and Parents” (Lila Press, 2011).

Scholastic Tips on School Volunteering

Scholastic has some great ideas on how to maximize school volunteer experiences. In this article, you will discover good ideas on how to give your time — no matter how much or how little you can spare.

Just to get you inspired, think about the fact that studies  show that students whose parents volunteer  at school have a better attitude and higher academic achievement. Teachers who have classroom support do a better job.  It makes sense, so find a way!

Volunteers to Help Teachers Address Barriers to Learning


For example:

Volunteers Helping with Targeted Students
Every teacher has had the experience of planning a wonderful lesson and having the class disrupted by one or two unengaged students. Properly trained volunteers are a great help in minimizing such disruptions and reengaging an errant student.
When a teacher has trained a volunteer to focus on designated students, the volunteer knows to watch for and move quickly at the first indication that the student needs special guidance and support. The strategy involves the volunteer going to sit next to the student and quietly trying to reengage the youngster. If necessary, the volunteer can take the student to a quiet area in the classroom and initiate another type of activity or even go out for a brief walk and talk if this is feasible. None of this is a matter of rewarding the student for bad behavior. Rather, it is a strategy for avoiding the tragedy of disrupting the whole class while the teacher reprimands the culprit and in the process increases that student’s negative attitudes toward teaching and school. This use of a volunteer allows the
teacher to continue teaching, and as soon as time permits, it makes it possible for the teacher to explore with the student ways to make the classroom a mutually satisfying place to be. Moreover, by handling the matter in this way, the teacher is likely to find the student more receptive to discussing things than if the usual ‘logical consequences” have been administered (e.g., loss of privileges, sending the student to time-out or to the assistant principal).


Please use the link to explore the entire document and let us know what you think!

Celebrate Family Events!

It’s estimated that 9 million family members are part of  Project Appleseed’s school volunteer celebrations at over 18,000 schools in all 50 states each school year.  Check out the following events athat are being planned.  There may be something that you would like to make happen at your school.

National Family Fitness Week, January 22 – 28, 2012

Public School Volunteer Week, April 15 – 21, 2012

National Parental Involvement Day, November 22, 2012

Ways to Volunteer in Your School

If you are more inclined to work on a computer than in a classroom, there are still plenty of ways to volunteer to help your local school.  Take a look at this website for a Nashville school — perhaps keeping a schools volunteer page on the website could be your volunteer role. Contact the principal or ask a teacher if there is a use in the school for your technological abilities!

Gift idea for anyone who works with Kids K-6

It’s FINALLY here!! We are so excited. 

A time-saver for anyone working with elementary students:  

225 pages filled with activities and ideas for the classroom,

including two CDs containing classroom handouts and yoga instruction.   


Start Volunteering to Plan Book Fair

Volunteers are key team players:
It’s not too early to start planning your spring book fair. Get some good ideas on how to use your volunteers to help it succeed.  Scholastic has some easy to follow steps:  volunteers can serve as greeters, help with publicity, and set up the Fair.  And don’t forget the importance of decorating, restocking, racting as a cashier,  and getting community sponsors to offer contributions.

An Elementary School Volunteer Idea for Web folks



You Say You Want To Get Involved…

Daniel Webster School in Pasadena, California has a great webpage that spotlights volunteer opportunities in a clear and simple way.  Click here to see how easy this school makes it to match volunteers to school and teacher needs.  And perhaps you are the volunteer that would like to keep up that webpage for a school — or better yet, to start one!  Let us know how it works out and what helpful hints you have to offer. 

Not happy with your school volunteer experience?

If you are currently volunteering and are not finding satisfaction or reward in what you are doing, there is an article that might be of help.  Click here to read some ideas about how to not get discouraged.  An important idea is good communication between the teacher and the volunteer. With that in mind, set up a short meeting with the teacher to clarify what is needed and what you have to offer.  That’s one of ten good ideas to get your volunteering on a good track — see what you think!  www.ptotoday has many other good articles too.

EducationWorld offers “Be the Boss: A Lesson Plan on Managing Feelings”

Education World is offering a series of lessons for K-6 volunteers to do in the classroom.  Click Here.  Education World is happy to be able to offer these lessons with simple instructions easily adaptable to a diverse group of parent interests.  The lessons are from the new book “School Volunteer Handbook: A Simple Guide for K-6 Teachers and Parents” by Yael Calhoun and Elizabeth Finlinson.  Click here for more information!

What We Like

When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress Disease Connection by Gabor Matte, MD (click cover) Wonderful and accessible insights into how our stress affects us, an important book for those working with children ~