Soon, the lazy days of summer will give way to school buses and books. Back-to-school time arrives sooner than you think. And to give students the best chance at success, schools need the support of their communities. Whether you have children who attend a local school or just want to be a part of making your community’s education system stronger, here are some ways you can help your local schools.
Organize a supply drive
School budgets only go so far, and teachers spend an average of $750 per year on supplies for their classrooms, according to recent research from AdoptaClassroom.org. You can help alleviate that expense or provide school supplies for children who can’t afford them by organizing a drive to help provide school supplies and other classroom essentials. You can also help a teacher coordinate an online fundraising effort or supply drive through AdoptaClassroom.org, DonorsChoose, or other programs.
Parent-teacher organizations (PTOs) are great ways for parents, guardians, and loved ones to get involved in the school. A number of studies and reports, including one from Purdue University, found that students do better in school when parents are involved. Attend meetings and volunteer for events and committees.
Another way to get involved is to attend board of education meetings, which are usually open to the public. You’ll be better informed about issues going on at the schools in your communities and get a better understanding of their needs and concerns.
Offer to speak to a classroom or club
If you have a skill, profession, or hobby that aligns with the interests of certain classes or clubs, offer to come speak to students about that topic. For example, if you own a small business, you may offer to speak to the business class or club about what it’s like to be your own boss. If you are a dancer, artist, or photographer, you may find that arts teachers at the school are interested in having you speak to their classes. If you have coaching experience and certifications, you may be able to help out with a team. District rules about coaching and volunteering may vary, so be sure to contact the school to find out their requirements.
Help the children hit the books
You can also help children sharpen their literacy skills and develop a passion for reading. Readingrockets.org can show you how to teach kids to love reading from a young age. For volunteers age 50 and over, check out AARP Foundation Experience Corps or find more than a handful of other opportunities here. If one-on-one tutoring is more your style, consider sharing your skills with students as a member of the national tutor registry at Atutors.org.
Help students plan their futures
Older students also need real-world experience and insight to take their next steps. You may be able to help high school seniors with their college applications, or help students land their first job by volunteering to review their resumes or hold mock interviews, you can help give young adults help in achieving their goals.
Looking for more back-to-school volunteer opportunities? Visit Create The Good and use our simple, local search.
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