The back-to-school season is one of the busiest seasons for retailers who sell children's clothing and school supplies. Parents prepare their kids for the new school year by buying them a new school wardrobe, as well as the tools they will need for school and homework. Once your child walks through that door on the first day of school, you can breathe a little easier knowing that she's begun a new adventure in her academic career. But your job isn't over yet; it's only just begun.
All schools need, want and appreciate parental support. There are many ways that you as a parent can help your child's school. What's most important is that you feel that you are a part of your child's education and the organization that is providing the education. The task of running a school and providing the school and students with everything that it requires is a huge effort. Your involvement as a parent can help to reduce the weight of that task.
- Material Contributions -- School Supplies.
Material contributions are welcome, and are just one way in which you can support your child's school. Many classroom teachers, myself included, send home lists of items that will be needed for classroom projects. Some items are things that you may already have in your home, such as magazines, material, or plastic margarine containers. Friends and relatives may also be a resource for these things. Other items may need to be purchased, but are not particularly expensive, such as facial tissues or paper towels. If your office is remodeled, consider donating the old furniture to the school. Children's books in good condition can be found at garage sales for as little as five cents, and could be donated to the school library, or your child's classroom library. Every little bit helps and everything is greatly appreciated.
- Can Your Office/Business Provide a School Partnership?
Some schools have "partnerships" with local businesses. The school I teach at is blessed to be partners with a local hospital. Employees come once a month to read stories to the students. The hospital also outfitted a science lab for our school, which is a wonderful resource for the teachers and children alike. Perhaps your skills could help your child's school to initiate and develop such a relationship with a local business. Make an appointment with the school principal, or write her a letter explaining your proposal. A connection with a business can be a winning prospect for all involved.
- Volunteer to Help Your Child's Teacher.
Whether your child's school requires it or not, volunteering in the classroom is one of the best ways that you can help your child's teacher. Some teachers need help on a daily basis with small group work or centers. Working with the children in this capacity allows you to see what your child is doing at school, as well as frees the teacher to work smaller groups of students. Teachers also welcome occasional helpers. An additional adult can listen to a child read, help with special projects, and assist with clerical duties such as stapling and collating. Check with the school office about volunteering. While schools may have a health screening for you to complete before volunteering, the main requirement is that you enjoy being with children.
- Volunteer to Help Your Child's School.
The school as a whole needs volunteers, too. Books need to be shelved in the library, costumes need to be sewn for plays, copies need to be run, and crossing guards are needed at busy intersections. Ask your school principal or secretary what you can do to help out, or let them know of a specific talent that you have that may be useful. They will be thrilled to have your support.