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Why Be a School Volunteer

Every school has volunteer activities and programs you can participate in. Find out what you can do and how to get involved in school volunteer programs. We'll also tell you how to start a volunteer program in your child's school.

With class sizes and budgets growing at increasingly different paces, teachers and faculty of our nation's public schools would drown in their workload if there weren't volunteers. Our school children would miss out on several projects, field trips, and activities every year if it weren't for the many hours donated to classrooms and after school programs. In short, without volunteers offering their time and skills to school/community partnership, our public schools would simply not succeed in creating productive, well-round, responsible adults.

Some amazing examples of numbers of hours being donated to, and of the money that can be "saved" by a school district include:

  • The Little Rock School District in Arkansas.
    In one year this school district logged more than 564,268 volunteer hours; which came in at a dollar value of over $9,500,000.00! 
  • The Humble Texas School District.
    This school district had more than 742,000 volunteer hours in one year which equaled a dollar amount of $11,565,218.32!

In addition, these parents got a chance to spend more time with their children when they volunteered in their child's classroom or at their school. 

What can I do?

  • Tutor students in your favorite subject
  • Listen to children read
  • Supervise after school programs
  • Go on fieldtrips
  • Work in the office or library
  • Make costumes and props for school plays
  • Care for class pet during holiday breaks
  • Invite your child's class to your work for a fieldtrip
  • And so on...and so forth...just use your imagination.

How can I get involved?

The easiest way to get involved is to join your local Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Every fall, schools do a volunteer drive and a fund drive. Sign up then. Don't want to wait? Contact the school's office staff to find out how to get in touch the PTA President.

Other methods include:

  • Going on line to you're the school web-site and look for the volunteer link
  • Visiting the school to ask about volunteering
  • Going to PTA meetings and other school functions to offer your skills for upcoming activities
  • Contact the local police department to volunteer as a crossing guard
  • Volunteer to be a safe house for children to come too if they feel frightened on their way to or from school
  • Start a school walking club with other parents in the neighborhood to ensure your children get to and from school safe and sound.

For those who want to make a difference on a national level, get involved in the national PTA. This organization lobbies local and national politicians for changes in the public school system. They bring problems to the attention of everyday citizens so that our children have the best, safest chance to grow and become a vibrant part of their communities.

How do I start a volunteer program in my child's school?

It is as simple as making up a flyer and asking the school to send it home with the kids. The flyer should state what it is you're trying to do and give a date, time, and place for your first meeting.

At that first meeting you should brainstorm, come up with a list of needs that should be addressed by your group. Choose a coordinator for each activity, assign a group of people to help and then get busy. Make sure that people are getting involved in activities where they have skills and knowledge. That way you will have less people losing interest in their projects.

Just matter what you do, no matter how you do it...even if you don't have kids of your own, volunteering at your local public schools will make a big difference in your community.

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