School Volunteer Opportunities

Classroom Yoga Breaks

We are in the thick of classroom yoga. This program is a section in the School Volunteer Handbook, which includes the free CD.   KSL filmed us on Monday, stay tuned for which day at 5 am you can catch it (or maybe I will post the link..) Many thanks to Julie Iorg, our wonderful volunteer yoga teacher who said, “We started today! YEAH! They too are a great school and I feel so lucky to be working with them! All of the teachers and students were so thankful to have the yoga breaks. They were excited and welcoming and each class truly enjoyed the break that we shared ..Thanks Yael for everything. As your yoga breaks are a gift to these children- it is a gift for me to share them!” free breaks on our website! 

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. lilapress.com/NewReleases/New.htm

… 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.

School Volunteers and Business

Here’s a good article on a business school partnership in Detroit, “Adopt-a-School Volunteers Get Training”  If you want some ideas on how to partner with local businesses, you may find them in this article.  A variety of ways include mentoring, tutoring, service projects, and interships.  Businesses bring different strengths to the process of community building.  It’s heartening to see folks working together to address these critical issues:  how to use resources well to educate our kids.

What matters to kids as you volunteer

Kids love to see you at their schools — it let’s them know you care about what they are doing during the day and that there learning environment is supported by you.  This article was published in the Wall Street Journal in 2009, but the ideas still ring true.  Don’t get overwhelmed by school volunteer requests — just decide what you can offer and then let the teacher know your availability. Schools need volunteers more than ever to help meet the demands of budget cuts.  Take a look at the article and get some good ideas! 

The School Volunteer Jobs That Most Help Your Kids

 

Some Ideas from Arizona Volunteer

What’s Working in Arizona for Parent Volunteers is a good article giving some quick ideas about how to get involved, even with two parents working.

It reminds us that when parents donate some time to school, the kid do better.  You can download a parental involvement pledge to help get started.

Quick way to add your voice to education policy

Are you a busy parent who would like to find a quick way to make a meaningful contribution to school policy?  Try this: CONTACT THE OFFICES OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN WASHINGTON, DC, about education issues that are of interest to you. A quick note can add your voice to the like minded folk who want to improve education. To reach your senators and congressional representatives, visit usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.

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).

More Ideas for volunteering

Some more ideas from School Volunteer Handbook (click here)

D.  Be Considerate: Common courtesy creates a positive experience for all.                                     

Volunteers:

Be on time. In fact, always arrive ten minutes early.  It is better for you to wait a few minutes than for the class to wait for you.  By arriving early, you are sending a message to the students that what you are about to do is important to you.  And observing the class for a few minutes can give you some insights.  Be sensitive that teachers have daily plans that revolve around specific times.  If you are going to be late, call the school well in advance to let the teacher know.  Being reliable is an important part of volunteering. 

Teachers: 

Make the volunteers feel welcome. Have the class ready at the time the volunteer is scheduled to begin.  Students can be reading quietly or doing some work that can be quickly put away.   It can make      volunteers feel unwelcome if they arrive at the agreed upon time and the class is in the middle of a project that will take 10 minutes to clean up.

Call the volunteer if the times change. Some parents arrange babysitters for younger children.  Be polite and let folks know in advance if class plans change.

Say “Thank you”. Remember to thank your volunteers.  Everyone likes to be thanked for participating – teachers, students, and volunteers.  Showing thanks can be done verbally or with cards or a note.  Where appropriate, it is a good practice to give the volunteers certificates of thanks at the end of the year at an assembly or a PTA meeting

 

Schools volunteers “Set Up For Success”

This book offers teachers and parents an easy and effective way to make a  difference in children’s lives.  Teachers can use the ideas to effectively communicate their needs to parents, and parents can offer teachers specific ideas for classroom    involvement.  Teachers need ways to strengthen programs, and parents are searching for ways to spend meaningful time with their children.  This book offers a guide to make volunteering a success for both teachers and parents.  Included are short activities with simple instructions that appeal to a diverse group of teacher needs and parent interests.  All of the     section handouts are on the CD, so you can adapt them for your school.  The book format invites you to scan the instructions to see if the time, materials, preparation, and activity meet your needs.  Most activities can be done in 30-45 minutes.  Some can be done at home and some do not involve working directly with students.  And some activities offer the opportunity for more ambitious projects – organizing science fairs or a science speaker series, coordinating invention or writing contests, or starting a Roots & Shoots (Jane Goodall) group.  For more info and to peek inside, click here.

 

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 ~