August 14, 2011

“I support my school…my way”

mommy perks

Shara - owner of Mommy Perks

This post is a part of the Volunteer Spot blogger campaign for back-to-school.

My parents raised their daughters with a sense of volunteerism, from birth. Over the years my volunteering has taken on various forms, especially in the classroom.

Flashback: The evolution of the judgmental mother (2010 post)

Since writing that guest post last year, things have changed again for our family. We’ve moved homes, tacked on more duties like Library Board Member (me) and town Small Business Group member (my husband). Our daughter is now in Preschool and our eldest son has entered grade 7. Our youngest son will turn three in November and we are still running three businesses from home.

We’ve added a live-in nanny to our family mix and do our best to keep on top of school happenings, holiday parties and show-and-tell projects. Our nanny recently told me that she is like my Hard-drive: my back up information storage system. Seeing as I forget so many little things…she remembers them for me. Ha.

Our school involvement currently includes the following activities; many of which you’ll likely deem insignificant – but to us, they matter!

  • Getting the kids up on time and out the door (grand gesture, I know)
  • Dropping the kids to school (hey – the school gets tax money for every bottom in the seats so this really is helping matters)
  • Reading the newsletters for both kids, as long as they remember to bring them home
  • Helping with homework
  • Teaching life, social and learning skills at home, to support their school education and social-emotional development
  • Inviting their friends over (and mentoring some of them who need love, food, etc)
  • Attending all parent/teacher conferences
  • Asking our children how school is going and if there are any issues we need to discuss (bullying, sharing, struggles with teachers and so on)
  • Checking in with teachers every week or so to be sure things are going well with our kids (or at least…no one is getting hurt)
  • Attending school functions (so long as we remember that they exist)
  • Baking cupcakes about once a year for either Thanksgiving, Christmas or Teacher Appreciation Day
  • Gathering donations from my clients for such things like student yearbooks
  • Saving up our Campbell’s soup labels and Box Tops
  • Donating pre-paid CD downloads to our daughter’s Preschool teacher (from Kiboomu.com)
  • Doing our best to remember what day it is so we can recall important information from the classroom newsletters (last year I was very proud of myself for sending my daughter to school in her togs for Water Day…only to find out I was one week ahead of schedule)
  • Picking our kids up from school, delivering them to sports practice or extra-curricular activities and so on
  • Assisting one teacher with getting free diapers for her new baby (at the location I volunteer with once a week)
  • Donating food, snacks and supplies to the classrooms
  • As a Library Board Member, I help to plan town events for the kids who attend the school
  • As a charity group member, I assist with fundraisers that help our local low income school/town children

At this time, my husband and I do not volunteer inside the classrooms unless it’s for a one-day classroom party. We simply don’t have the time, running three businesses from home, knowing our clients want our attention and resources.

As I stated last year in my school volunteering article, do what you can…when you can! Our lives shift, change and we each have different gifts and talents to bring to the table.

When you know how best YOU can help, you’ll BE the most help.

Resources and more:

Volunteer Spot

Room Mom Survival Guide

Like Volunteer Spot on Facebook

Follow Volunteer Spot on Twitter

ENTER the $500 giveaway on Volunteer Spot!

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classroom helpDisclosure: I SUPPORT MY SCHOOL.. MY WAY! And I’m joining VolunteerSpot’s sponsored Back To School campaign to help raise visibility for parent involvement in schools. Save time {and sanity} and get more parents involved at school with VolunteerSpot.com!

VolunteerSpot’s FREE online signup sheets make it easy to organize parents and signup to help for just about anything: classroom helpers, snack schedules, carnivals, library volunteers, parent-teacher conferences and more….  No more ‘Reply-All’ email chains or clipboard sign up sheets! Please share with your room mom, teachers and parent leaders…

There’s a huge Sweepstakes on VolunteerSpot’s Facebook page!

Win $500 worth of school supplies for YOUR School!

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