A Community Volunteer Effort

Here is a good way to build a sense of community among parents, teachers, students, and the community.  Schools Serve, a nonprofit, has ideas on how to sponsor a food drive in your community.  Given that 1 in 4 school kids in our country face hunger or food challenges, it’s a good community effort to raise awareness and food. Schools Serve offers support  to K-12 schools by providing a comprehensive food drive planning and promotional kit, sharing ideas on what works, educational materials and celebrating the tens of thousands of schools that are helping. 

Volunteers and Background Checks

It’s not an issue we really like to think about, but it’s a reality in today’s schools.  Most districts have a policy of doing background checks on volunteers. What do you think about this?  Even if you just want to read a story to a kindergarten class?  Read some ideas on this topic and see what rings true in your school setting: ” Background Checks for Parent Volunteers?”

Champions for Change: Healthy Families

 Nutrition Network

Another way to volunteer is to help bring some good health into your school.  This website gives some easy steps to organizing folks to help families eat more healthy foods and get exercise.  Perhaps you could be a “Champion of Change” in your neighborhood.

Suggest this idea for your school website ~


Springfield School in MA has a good idea for matching volunteer interests to school needs.
They have a Volunteer Opportunity link on their website (Click Here for example).

Maybe you could be the volunteer that keeps the post up to date for you school! Take a look and see where you might be able to lend a hand to a local school, even if you don’t have children in the school.  Because, it’s still your community.

Why You Might Enjoy Helping A Child Learn to Read…

Make this the year that you volunteer to help youngsters in a nearby school boost their reading skills. (Staten Island Advance File Photo)

  Click here to read about a program in Staten Island, NY that helps both volunteers and kids!  You may want to find a program near you — or even start one!

“It’s such a joy to see the children every year,” Mrs. Ferrara said. “They get so excited when they realize they can do it. You build up their self-confidence and make them feel special.” 

Sharing Calm with Kids




Looking to share some calm with kids?

Check out some free downloads of 5 minute yoga breaks for teaching kids to relax, to take control of their own breathing and stress management.

Click here.


“Just wanted to let you know that the books and DVDs arrived and are in use.  The kids love them!  Our PE teachers are really impressed, and are going to introduce it into some of the classrooms.” ~ Gayle Brackett, Princeville Elementary School, Illinois



Encourage Volunteering in the Schools

Success breeds success – work to create positive experiences for students, teachers, and volunteers.


Be persistent.

Some teachers feel very comfortable with volunteers in their      classrooms, while others may not.  If a teacher is not receptive to your ideas, ask him what he would find helpful.  If making copies or correcting papers is not what you had in mind,   present him with a few fun ideas.  Start small.  Hopefully the teacher will grow more  comfortable with the idea of volunteers as he observes your success.

Be flexible.

Also consider that there may be ways to help at the school level or with another class.  If your child’s teacher does not have a spot for a volunteer at this time, let the principal know you are available to work with other classes.  Consider doing a project for several grades or even the entire school.

Be aware of the teacher’s curriculum needs.

Teachers have specific materials they must cover, so chat with them about how you might reinforce what they are teaching this week or in an upcoming unit.


From: School Volunteer Handbook:  A Simple Guide for K-6 Teachers and Parents

by Yael Calhoun, M.A., M.S., RTY
and Elizabeth Q. Finlinson, LCSW


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 ~