Even before my kids were in school, I knew I wanted to be a parent volunteer. There’s just something so awesome about volunteering your time where you’re needed – especially at a place where your kids spend so much of their time.
Now, before we begin, this article isn’t meant to make you feel guilty if you’re not a parent volunteer. That would be ridiculous. As parents, we all have different schedules, multiple children, demanding jobs, and not every parent is able to volunteer their time - even if they really want to. For others, volunteering just isn’t their thing, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
This article is simply meant to share all the reasons why volunteering at your child’s school is a great experience. It’s meant for parents who might be considering volunteering, or parents who want to volunteer when their children start school. Or grandparents! I volunteer alongside a number of grandparents.
So, here are 5 reasons why I love being a parent volunteer.
Helping – Schools need help from parents, and as I mentioned, not all parents are able to fit volunteering into their schedule. So, since I work from home and have a pretty flexible schedule, I wanted to volunteer my time where I was needed. And schools LOVE parent volunteers! Lots of events, trips and school activities couldn’t happen without the help of volunteers.
Involved – Our kids spend a good chunk of their life in school. So being able to get involved and be in the school atmosphere is pretty great. Teachers and staff get to know your face, you get the opportunity to meet other parent volunteers and see how the school runs, and you have the opportunity to interact with students too.
Environment – Seeing your own kids in their school environment is pretty interesting. For the most part, my kids really enjoy that I volunteer at their school. But sometimes, it brings out a different side of them. The “my Mom is embarrassing, and I don’t want to say hi to her” side. I told my youngest I’m not looking for a giant hug and a big wet kiss in the front foyer or anything, but a simple “Hi” when he sees me would be nice. He’s working on it.
Rewarding – It feels good to help out and volunteer when you’re needed. It’s very rewarding. When a little face looks up at you with a toothless grin and says thank you…it just warms your heart and feels really good. It makes you feel like the kids really appreciate what you’re doing too.
Fun! – I gotta say, volunteering is a lot of fun. I primarily help with the breakfast program, so I get to prepare and serve things like milk, bagels and fruit to little ones before they head off to a day of learning. It’s fun talking with the kids, it’s fun listening to them sing the national anthem in their classrooms, and it’s fun socializing with the other volunteers. It’s just an all-around fun experience.
If volunteering is something you’re interested in, there are lots of ways to get involved. I volunteer twice a week with the school’s breakfast program and I help here and there throughout the year, but you can start small.
Sign up to help with a photo day. Volunteer to go on your child’s class trip. You can even volunteer outside of the school by cooking a turkey for the annual Christmas dinner. (If your school has one)
Whatever you choose to volunteer with, I guarantee your help will be greatly appreciated. And if you’re really lucky, your kids will acknowledge that they know you with a wave or a hug you when they see you.
But probably not. 😉