Give A Little,
Get A Lot

Being involved with your kids’ school shows that you value education and that you care about your kids and what they’re doing. It gives them confidence and better odds of succeeding. You can get involved in many different ways, no matter what your schedule -- so roll up your sleeves and dive in.

Mom on field trip

1Join the PTA.

The PTA does more than hold bake sales. It's a national organization that works hard to improve educational opportunities available to children. If you join your local PTA, you'll attend meetings and work closely with the school district to help make sure students have all the opportunities they deserve and more. You'll also organize and participate in fundraisers -- and yes, you can probably count on a bake sale or two.

Should you run for school committee? >>

2Be a room mom.

If you have a young child, being a room mom may be the perfect way to spend some time in her classroom. Room moms are teachers' go-to people when they need a helping hand. They plan parties and activities, chaperone field trips and provide an extra set of hands during big projects. In the process, room moms get to know the teachers as well as the students. This job is perfect for a stay-at-home-mom or someone with lots of free time during the day, but working moms may be able to fit it into their schedules, as well.

3Help with fundraisers.

Even if you don't have much time, squeeze in a few hours when you can for special events. Work a booth at a carnival or tag along on a field trip. No extra time at all? Bring a few extra boxes of chocolates or whatever your school is selling to work.

Surviving school fundraisers >>

4Be a tutor.

If selling stuff isn't your thing, no big deal. Everyone has a skill, and you can share yours with the students by being a tutor. Let a teacher or the principal know what your skills and qualifications are and ask him to set you up with a student or two who need help in that area. Teachers put in long days as it is, so they'll likely welcome anyone who wants to stay after school and help.

Helping older children with homework >>

5Join the boosters.

If you're a sports buff, this may be the job for you. School budgets are tight these days, and most districts have cut out the frills. Unfortunately, for many districts, this extends to the athletic department. Sports teams need all the help they can get these days, so volunteer to organize a fundraiser or work the concession stand.

Even if you can't volunteer on a regular basis, ask your child's teacher to call or email when something comes up. You never know when your schedules might match up.

More ways to get involved

Getting involved beyond the PTA
Learn how to get involved at school
4 Ways to get involved at your child's school

Tags: volunteering at school

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