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How can we engage our parents to be more involved... - Printable Version

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How can we engage our parents to be more involved... - Admin Jaime - 06-17-2017

... and rebuild those communities of yesteryear? 

I've spent a lot of time working with volunteers over the last 15 years and the fact of the matter is that volunteers and the nature of volunteering is changing.
At the start of my career, when I began to professionally work with volunteers at an independent school in New Jersey our volunteers we're eager and abundant. There was a waiting list for room parents and major events at the school had chairs in position a year (or even two!) ahead of the event. But more than that, parents were offering their time around school doing little things like helping to build the set for the school plays or decorating for the socials.
Parents walked their children in to school, socialized with other parents, and offered a few minutes of their time if something needed to be done. All of this selfless giving of time was not only great for the school, but it helped to build and strengthen the school's community.
I was recently sitting in on a meeting at that same school when the discussion found its way to the topics of volunteering and community building. While some parents spoke to the desire for the school to do more, I truly believe that it is the parents who need to take more responsibility for creating this. Every school, or organization for that matter, has ample opportunity for people to get involved. How do I know this? Because every organization is struggling to find volunteers to help in any way they can. I can promise you that there is no organization that is turning away volunteers in this day and age. What we need to do is figure out how to teach those in our communities that our community is worth investing in, and that without each and every person putting in some effort the community will cease to exist.