Tag Archives: volunteers

Open House Fall 2012

We had a great turn out for Open House on Thursday.  The families of nine children visited the kindergarten room–thank you so much for coming!  If you were unable to attend, I will send the information home with your child on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Many people expressed interest in volunteering either inside or outside of the classroom so I have been looking at our schedule to see what times and days will work out best.  I will be in touch soon.  We have a large class this year so I am especially grateful for your help.

We will spend the first days of school learning routines and procedures for kindergarten as well as doing evaluations in reading and math.  This will help students get adjusted to school and will help me plan the best instruction for your child.

Please email or stop by if you have questions or concerns.  The step into kindergarten is a big one for both children and parents and I look forward to helping all of you enjoy your child’s first year in school!


Mark A. Hicks, illustrator



Kindergarten News December 16– 4th Grade Help

The fourth graders came and helped tie all the blankets for the kindergarten students.  We were finished in about 45 minutes!  It was a lot of fun and we had extra volunteers from outside and inside the school.  The fourth graders also had a caroling field trip today so we really appreciate everyone taking the time to help our young students with their project.

Hard at work

Teenage volunteers get special attention

Matthew’s photography. He was a big help!

Kindergarten News October 24–When Volunteering Isn’t An Option


Helping at School When Volunteering Isn’t an Option

by Ann Barbour

Ann BarbourDr. Ann Barbour is Professor of Early Childhood Education at California State University, Los Angeles, (CSULA) and Series Content Advisor for the Peabody Award winning daily television series A Place of Our Own and Los Niños en Su Casa. Read more »

As you settled into the new school year, did you receive requests to volunteer at your child’s school? I thought so!

Schools encourage parent involvement primarily because children do better academically and have fewer behavior problems when families are involved. Schools also benefit from the resources and support families can provide, which are particularly important in these economic times.

Even though we know this type of involvement is a good thing, parents with overloaded work and family responsibilities can find participation difficult. If helping out at school isn’t possible for you, there are many other ways to participate. The most important type of parent involvement happens at home. And it involves much more than overseeing homework. On the most basic level, you can encourage your child’s learning during every day conversations and activities, by paying attention to his interests and questions, and by reading together on a regular basis.

Also, whenever you can help your child make outside-of-school connections to curriculum, you’re reinforcing and extending classroom learning. Being able to do so hinges on actually knowing what’s happening at school. And since kids aren’t always the best sources of information about this, it’s good to keep in touch with your child’s teacher.

The teacher may already have established regular communication channels to help you keep up-to-date with and give feedback about your child’s educational experiences. Whether or not that’s the case, you can take the initiative to let her know you’re interested in your child’s learning and offer whatever kind of support you can. If she knows something about your other responsibilities, schedule and preferences, she’ll be more likely to tailor messages and requests accordingly.

Understanding what your child is learning will also help you talk with him about it and connect other experiences to it. You’ll be able to say, “Tell me about Curious George (your poem, the neighborhood map, the mealworm habitat” rather than asking “What happened in school today?” which can yield a “Nothing” reply. If information about curriculum topics, lessons or investigations isn’t part of the teacher’s regular communications with families, you can respectfully request it. You can also follow up by letting her know what your child does outside of class that’s related e.g., “Emma emptied out my change purse to look for nickels so she could count by 5s.”

Here are some other ways you can be actively involved without volunteering at school or committing a huge amount of time:

  • Make sure you review with your child any work he brings home. Think about displaying it in a prominent place in your home to show how much you value his education.
  • Schedule occasional phone conferences or ask the teacher if you can “talk” by email when you have a question, concern or something to share.
  • If your child brings home a weekly folder, include short notes in it for the teacher to read.
  • Make a point of briefly touching base with the teacher when you drop your child off at school. A quick greeting and comment will continue to let her know you’re an active partner in your child’s learning.
  • Ask the teacher how you can support classroom activities at home. You can even make suggestions based on your particular skills or talents. For example, you could offer to:
    • Help make learning activities or repair broken equipment.
    • Donate materials.
    • Use your technology skills to help publish a class newsletter.
    • Organize or participate in a telephone tree that informs families about school activities.

You might also consider thinking about how you might be present occasionally. If you have a flexible work schedule or a vacation day, consider joining your child for lunch. You might even decide to help out at a one-time event such as a field trip or school festival. Your child will look forward to and remember these special times, and you’ll further reinforce the importance of his school experiences.