Good schools help to harbor a strong sense of community. Children often make their first friends at school, and parents often meet their neighbors through school-sponsored activities.
Students and school districts face a new set of challenges each year. Many of them can be remedied or made less daunting with the help of volunteers. Here are some of the many ways men and women can support the schools in their communities.
- Practice open communication. Parents of children in the school should become familiar with teachers and the staff in the school. Find a balance between being involved and being intrusive. Joining the PTA is one way to be active in the goings-on of the school. When the opportunity arises, exercise your right vote on proposed policy changes and programs. Show an interest in your children’s assignments and ask to meet with teachers if the need arises. Doing so illustrates to the teacher that there is a connection at home and they’re not alone in the journey.
- Participate in school fundraisers. Schools may not have enough money to cover all of their needs, and fundraisers are vital to the success of many schools. Fundraisers may provide money for the entire school or be collected for particular efforts, such as new technology or athletic uniforms. While you don’t have to get behind every fundraiser, participating in just a few can help the school raise needed funds.
- Keep a clean campus. Students and parents can work together to keep the school and surrounding areas clean. Organize trash pickup days when participants gather and dispose of litter. Parents also can pitch in to make school grounds more aesthetically appealing. Donate and plant flowers or trees, and encourage groups that meet at the school, such as Boy and Girl Scout troops, to donate their time and effort as well.
- Donate books to the library. Members of the community can ensure students have plenty of reading materials available to them by donating used books in good condition to the school library. If you can afford it, purchase new books on summer reading lists and donate them to the school library. Schools also may appreciate donated subscriptions to magazines, newspapers and other periodicals.
- Send in complete supplies. Teachers often ask parents to supplement supplies for their classrooms. Remember to send in what is requested when school supply lists are given to students. This helps classrooms run more efficiently and may reduce out-of-pocket expenditures for teachers.
Schools are an integral part of many communities. Explore the many ways to support schools with donations, volunteerism and more.