School Volunteers

10 Ways to Pump Up Your Volunteer Webpag

VolunteerSpot offers so many useful ideas on how to recruit and how to get the most benefit from volunteers. Go to this link for ideas on how to help get the word out — it’s not to early to start planning your webpage for the fall.

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! 

“Like children and show it.”

The Los Angeles Unified School District has some good ideas on Positive Volunteerism.  Click Here.  My favorite one is “Like children and show it.”  It’s simple and yet says it all — let the kids know that you like being there and that you want to share time with them. It’s worth running through your mind again — and being positive with them will make the experience more enjoyable for you too.  “Like children and show it.”

Tips for Welcoming Volunteers into the Classroom

Here’s an article from Education World filled with ideas on how to welcome volunteers into your classroom.  It includes such simple things as being clear on what parents can do, how to invite them to participate, and tips for the parents.

Help kids manage stress in school

Education is all a matter of building bridges. ~ Ralph Ellison.  Free  5 minute audio yoga breaks for the classroom at www.greentreeyoga.org.  Help students and teachers take a break — and return to learning with more energy, less stress, and a more positive attitude! “Five Minute Yoga Breaks  are enjoyable and help our students focus on their work.  Teachers have said yoga breaks are great when transitioning to the next subject and they help reduce anxiety and stress before a test or quiz.  Yoga Breaks have helped us integrate more movement  throughout our day and reach our goals for Gold Medal Schools andWellness! “ Heidi Kunzler, Principal Uintah Elementary School.   ANYONE can volunteer to teach this in the classrooms, no yoga experience necessary!!  Find out how at greentreeyoga.org.

Plan to Get More Parents Involved

Give your school volunteer a jump start for the new year… Karen Banturveris has written a good article on how to do just that: Plan Now to Get More Parents to Volunteer at School Next Year.

The article is full of common sense ideas — be flexible, just ask, tune in, and go wide. For ideas on how to do these things, read more!

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).

Easier Ways to Volunteer

Easier Ways to Volunteer
Get some quick ideas on how to be  connect more with your kids.  These ideas include steering clear of committees, being visible, doing things at home, and dividing a job with another parent!
See what you think – from Parenting magazine.

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

 

Recruiting school volunteers at the district level

The Nashville schools have a good idea about helping students learn to read.  Individual support can be the difference between success and failure for a young reader. We know that if  a student doesn’t learn to read in early elementary school, they have a much higher risk of academic failure later one.  So the district website in Nashville posted a call for folks to help students:  “Make a difference in the life of a child! We’re looking for volunteers to read with elementary and middle school children who need individual support. Volunteers work with their student once weekly for 30 minutes each session. Please commit to a semester.”

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 ~