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10 Tips for Getting Involved in Your Child’s School
Parent involvement in education plays a key role in student success. Regardless of your child's age, your involvement in the school community demonstrates that you value education and that you are interested in what your child is learning. When parents are involved, not only do children benefit from higher levels of academic success and improved behavior, but parents reap the rewards of being more deeply connected to the community and enhancing their own skills. Some volunteer roles may require more time than others, but there are opportunities for everyone. Consider becoming involved in the following ways:
- Do you enjoy writing or taking photos? Find out if your child's school or class has a newsletter and if not, start one! Help others become more connected by sharing what is happening in the school.
- Children need daily opportunities to read and be read to. Talk with your school administrator to see what classrooms or grade levels might benefit from an extra adult to listen to children read. Enlist other volunteers to assist and serve more children.
- Coordinate with the school librarian or teachers to set up a regular story time for children. This might be especially helpful at transition times when children are waiting to enter classrooms in the morning or for buses and daycare vans at dismissal time.
- Do you have a special talent or hobby? Perhaps you play a musical instrument or knit. Find out how you might share your skill by performing for students or teaching students your talent.
- Expand on sharing your talent or skill by starting an after school club for children to learn and explore more. Music, crafts, games, and exercise are just some activities that would engage children.
- Many schools have a Parent Resource Center. This is a wonderful place for parents to connect with others and find needed information. Volunteer to work in the center greeting parents and arranging resources. If your school doesn't have a Parent Resource Center, talk to the principal about how you can assist in starting one.
- Many adults today are members of book clubs which provide wonderful opportunities for members to share their thoughts about what they read in small groups. Talk to your child's teacher about starting a lunch time book club with a small group of readers with comparable skills and similar interests.
- Get involved in the school's parent organization – attend monthly meetings or volunteer to take on an elected role. Parent organizations provide wonderful opportunities to develop leadership skills and be involved in school as well as district wide initiatives.
- Lunchtime is a busy time in any school and extra help is always appreciated in the cafeteria. Volunteer as a lunch monitor and use the opportunity to talk and engage with children as they enjoy their meals.
- It can often be challenging to fit homework in to a family's evening routines. Find out if students at your school might benefit from an after school homework or tutoring session and organize regular volunteer staffed sessions. In addition to other parents, consider how older children can serve as volunteers or mentors to younger students.