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How To: Get Involved In Your Child’s School

Whew! Your kids are heading back to school and you’ll finally have some time for yourself, right? Have you considered how you can contribute to your child’s education? We’ve compiled a list of suggestions on how to get involved in your local school:

1. Check out your local Parent Teacher Association (PTA). PTA serves as a Voice, Resource & Advocate for Every Child.

2. PTA is not just for Moms. Every child can benefit when Dads help out too.

3. Ask how you can help. Find out who’s in charge. Registration Day is a great day to ask questions, to learn about the programs at your school and to sign up to help.

4. Know your skills and interests. You’ll have a much better experience if you can find a program you care about. Don’t sign up for fundraising if you don’t like asking for money. DO sign up to help with art class if you love being creative.

5. Know your time commitment. Maybe you have 3 hours a week or maybe you have 1 hour a month. Find an activity that matches your schedule.

6. Know your limits. Don’t take on the entire school carnival if it seems overwhelming. You’ll have a much better experience being on a committee or co-chairing an activity.

7. Remember respect. Don’t be a power monger. Don’t be exclusive. Everyone’s a volunteer and doing the best they can. The school staff may love volunteers and welcome their help, but they still need respect too.

Not only will your school benefit from your involvement, your kids will also know you care about them and their education. Being a volunteer helps you get to know other parents at the school. You’ll probably meet the parents of your child’s friends. Setting play dates is now so easy! Getting involved means you’ll be better informed about what’s going on at the school.

If these benefits weren’t motivating enough, the benefits of being involved as a parent are well documented by the U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov ) , the National PTA (www.pta.org), and the National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education (www.ncpie.org). When parents are involved in their children’s school, children are more likely to enjoy school, to have better attendance, and to have higher achievement rates. Social skills and behavior improve and the likelihood for graduation increases when parents and the community are engaged.

Fun things you could do at your child’s school: Lead out on literacy—Find corporate donations—Host a class party—Coordinate a Teacher Appreciation Day—Man the field trip—Write a newsletter—Train on health and safety tips—Teach physical education skills—Lobby the State Legislature for changes—Chair the Science Fair—Emcee a school dance—Be a clown in a dunking booth—Start a school blog—Tutor in math skills—Lead walks around the school—Give high fives in the hall—You dream it up and do it!

Have another idea on how to get involved? Share it on Connect! Use #pta tag.

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