5 Reasons to Volunteer at Your Child's School (And the One Reason You Shouldn't!)
Thinking about volunteering at your child’s school? Here are some reasons you should, along with the one red flag you should look out for.
Another email has hit your inbox—your school is recruiting volunteers, yet again. With all the things parents juggle, it can feel daunting to add something else to the plate. But before you write it off altogether, getting involved in school activities can actually be fun and worth your while.
You might make some friends. Meeting new people can be hard work! Volunteering puts you side by side with other parents who you can relate to. Parents who are likely going through similar experiences with their children, or who have gone before you. “I’ve seen many volunteer relationships between parents turn into invaluable friendships,” says, CCA Volunteer Coordinator, Laura Brownell.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to share in some of your child’s experiences. Your child spends the majority of his time at school. He may tell you all about his day at the dinner table, but it can also be healthy for parents to see firsthand how their child interacts with other students, who their friends are, what their teacher is like, and so on.
You might learn something new about yourself. So maybe you’ve never sewn a costume or recorded basketball stats before—you may find that you actually enjoy doing it! There are always a variety of ways to serve at school, and you can choose to do things that play to your strengths or step out of your comfort zone. You may discover a new skill or passion that you never knew you had before!
Volunteers take school to the next level. Many schools simply can’t afford to go above and beyond utility when it comes to student experiences. Volunteers elevate children's’ experiences at school by offsetting costs, making room for fun in and outside the classroom. By taking on a small part, so many students benefit.
It’s fun—really! Chaperoning a field trip, serving food at a luncheon, dressing up for a classroom party—all these kinds of things can be fun and interesting ways to make memories with your family.
Now, here’s the one reason that shouldn’t motivate you… You should never volunteer out of guilt. There are very real and valid obstacles that prevent parents from being as involved in their child’s school activities as they’d like to be, and that is completely okay! If you find that you feel like you are being guilt tripped into doing something, talk to your teacher or a school administrator about it and help them understand where you’re coming from.
If volunteering is something you’ve felt intimidated by in the past, test the waters! You don’t need to commit to being a “classroom parent” or to an entire season of working concessions right out of the gate. Go at your own pace and always do what you feel is best for you family.
Are you a part of the CCA community and looking to get more involved? Click HERE to check out our volunteer opportunities!