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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Parent Volunteer Committee

Posted by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 2:04 PM
  • 13 Replies

I am on my schools Parent Involvement Committee. Our problem is that in a low income, highly hispanic area alot of our parents are working, have lots of other kids or they do not speak English.

We are coming up with ideas now to have the parents volunteer more in our school.  Right now we have seriously a handful (literally about 10) parents who consistantly volunteers at functions and just throughout the school.

For next year we are considering calling it, "Two Hour Enrichment" where parents can sign up for 2 hrs a month to volunteer throughout the school.

What are some things that we can put on the list for them to volunteer to do.  We also need ideas for the parents who do not speak English. 

by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 2:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
maxswolfsuit
by Max on Apr. 27, 2013 at 3:30 PM

We have the same issue with low involvement so I will check back to see what suggestions you get. 

Most of our parents do speak English. A couple of our best volunteers are bilingual and volunteer as translators. 


JeremysMom
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 5:38 PM

I am a volunteer coordinator at a high poverty, high hispanic population school in Georgia. I have been there for two years. My first year I increased parent involvement by 5% and this year I have increased it by 10%. What I do is at the beginning of the school year I send home a flyer for the fall semester with all of the volunteer opportunities for August-December. The parents check what they would like more information about/volunteer for and send it back in. It has their name, child's name/teacher's name, and preferred contact information on it. When the time comes for needing volunteers, I check to see who wants to volunteer, I send them the information to see if they are still available and they let me know if they can help or not. Another thing that I do is we honor our volunteers. This past Monday, I attended a volunteer awards banquet for the volunteers that I nominated. I had 1 volunteer who put in 125 hours and a group of volunteers (5) who volunteered a total of 217 hours. I had several other volunteers who put in 15-24 hours but to be nominated they had to have at least 25 hours. I plan on recognizing them in a few weeks for their hard work.

As far as my Spanish speaking parents, I work closely with the Title I Parent Involvement Coordinator who helps translate everything on paper and helps with my Spanish speaking volunteers. They typically work in the media center shelving books, putting on labels (we just switched programs), and some even help in the classrooms for a special project. 

I think the biggest thing in getting volunteers is making sure that the parents know that they are wanted there. I also do a lot of parent involvement events where I don't necessarily need them as volunteers but they come and do special things such as Family Reading Night or for Valentine's Day I did a "For Love of Fun!" event. The parents came in and made a card for their child, ate lunch, and picked up some local resources on free/cheap things to do in our community as a family. If you have any questions, just let me know.

lilmsnay83
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Thank you...I will take this back to my committee.  I think alot of issue with our hispanic parents is that we only have 2 fluent Spanish speaking people in the entire building. One is the ESOL teacher and the other is the Computer Teacher. 


Quoting JeremysMom:

I am a volunteer coordinator at a high poverty, high hispanic population school in Georgia. I have been there for two years. My first year I increased parent involvement by 5% and this year I have increased it by 10%. What I do is at the beginning of the school year I send home a flyer for the fall semester with all of the volunteer opportunities for August-December. The parents check what they would like more information about/volunteer for and send it back in. It has their name, child's name/teacher's name, and preferred contact information on it. When the time comes for needing volunteers, I check to see who wants to volunteer, I send them the information to see if they are still available and they let me know if they can help or not. Another thing that I do is we honor our volunteers. This past Monday, I attended a volunteer awards banquet for the volunteers that I nominated. I had 1 volunteer who put in 125 hours and a group of volunteers (5) who volunteered a total of 217 hours. I had several other volunteers who put in 15-24 hours but to be nominated they had to have at least 25 hours. I plan on recognizing them in a few weeks for their hard work.

As far as my Spanish speaking parents, I work closely with the Title I Parent Involvement Coordinator who helps translate everything on paper and helps with my Spanish speaking volunteers. They typically work in the media center shelving books, putting on labels (we just switched programs), and some even help in the classrooms for a special project. 

I think the biggest thing in getting volunteers is making sure that the parents know that they are wanted there. I also do a lot of parent involvement events where I don't necessarily need them as volunteers but they come and do special things such as Family Reading Night or for Valentine's Day I did a "For Love of Fun!" event. The parents came in and made a card for their child, ate lunch, and picked up some local resources on free/cheap things to do in our community as a family. If you have any questions, just let me know.


 

JulesFairy
by Silver Member on Apr. 30, 2013 at 11:02 PM
I agree with the paper out at the beginning of the year to see what they would like to do. Its what our school does and it helps so much.
Also, does your school do any kind of luncheon or food drive or bake sale so that parents can get involved without having to actually be in the school. A lot of our working parents send in good every month for our teacher appreciation luncheon. It helps everyone all around.
janitablue
by on May. 1, 2013 at 12:01 AM

I hope this help click on PTO

momofjkkc
by on May. 1, 2013 at 12:48 AM
My sons pta at his old school did this and it was great. The only thing that would help is, when you put down the activities, put down whether it is a 1time thing,year round, twice,a month, whatever. We had a big issue when I was head of,the popcorn committee. People would sign up thinking they only did it once or twice,a year and never showed up. Or couldnt come in because it was on fridays in the morning and they worked.


Quoting JeremysMom:

I am a volunteer coordinator at a high poverty, high hispanic population school in Georgia. I have been there for two years. My first year I increased parent involvement by 5% and this year I have increased it by 10%. What I do is at the beginning of the school year I send home a flyer for the fall semester with all of the volunteer opportunities for August-December. The parents check what they would like more information about/volunteer for and send it back in. It has their name, child's name/teacher's name, and preferred contact information on it. When the time comes for needing volunteers, I check to see who wants to volunteer, I send them the information to see if they are still available and they let me know if they can help or not. Another thing that I do is we honor our volunteers. This past Monday, I attended a volunteer awards banquet for the volunteers that I nominated. I had 1 volunteer who put in 125 hours and a group of volunteers (5) who volunteered a total of 217 hours. I had several other volunteers who put in 15-24 hours but to be nominated they had to have at least 25 hours. I plan on recognizing them in a few weeks for their hard work.

As far as my Spanish speaking parents, I work closely with the Title I Parent Involvement Coordinator who helps translate everything on paper and helps with my Spanish speaking volunteers. They typically work in the media center shelving books, putting on labels (we just switched programs), and some even help in the classrooms for a special project. 

I think the biggest thing in getting volunteers is making sure that the parents know that they are wanted there. I also do a lot of parent involvement events where I don't necessarily need them as volunteers but they come and do special things such as Family Reading Night or for Valentine's Day I did a "For Love of Fun!" event. The parents came in and made a card for their child, ate lunch, and picked up some local resources on free/cheap things to do in our community as a family. If you have any questions, just let me know.


soymujer
by Mikki on May. 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM

If you have people that are bilingual, they can explain to the Spanish speaking parents.

family in the van   Mom of four


momto3B
by on May. 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM

For the parents who do not speak English, maybe they can give a brief presentation on some aspect of their culture, food, history, etc. and have their child interpert for the class. That way the child can take pride in helping and their parents will be able to feel like they can contribute even without speaking the language. 

corrinacs
by on May. 1, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Reading books to the children (even if its in Spanish).

Things they can bring home.  They could help cut out templates for artwork, or create flyers for things going on in the school.

See if you can have weekend events.  Like huge weekend volunteering events with raffle tickets.  See what types of projects the teachers could have done for the event and have them setting out that day :).

goddess99
by Michelle on May. 1, 2013 at 5:01 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow I was pto pres for years and I was lucky if I had 1 or 2 volunteers. I would have LOVED 10. lol you're luckier than you think!

We always decorated our Halloween carnival and sock hop, they could make decorations. We also had popcorn days every month and bake sales, they could come in and pop popcorn or help with the bake sales or just bake something and bring it in. 

It really depends what your school does.

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