What is a Volunteer Program?
It is an organization of parents and community members who are willing to devote time and service to one of the most important institutions of any community – the school.
Educators are given the responsibility of recognizing and developing unique abilities and traits within each individual. In meeting this responsibility, our schools must give creative and vigorous attention to a variety of resources available to assist with the educational and service programs of the schools.
One valuable resource available to the schools is an abundance of capable parents and community members who are willing to volunteer their time and talents to extend the effectiveness of the educational process. By actively involving parents and community members as an integral part of the school program, our students benefit substantially because their learning processes and educational training is greatly enhanced.
Why Do We Have A Parent/Community Involvement Program
The major purpose of a Parent/Community Involvement Program is to increase educational opportunities to students through a combined effort of school, student, home and community. Additional benefits of a school volunteer program are:
(1) Allows teachers more instructional time and opportunity to broaden the scope of their teaching.
(2) Active community involvement in schools makes education a living reality and solidifies the home-school link.
(3) Personal satisfaction of volunteers from having helped others and seeing accomplishments made possible through their efforts.
(4) By providing opportunities and programs for involvement of parents and community members, the schools receive increased community support and resources.
A well organized program which utilizes community volunteers in the total schooling process will be most beneficial to students, school personnel and the community.
What do we want to accomplish as an organized Parent/Community Involvement Program?
To assist in meeting the special needs of students by locating community persons willing to meet those needs under professional guidance.
To promote the concept of school, student, home, and community as partners in learning.
To expand communication between the schools and the community.
To provide for expansion and growth of volunteers in education.
To provide a process that creates meaningful roles in the schools for community volunteers.
How do you become a Volunteer?
By completing the Parent/Community Involvement Program application form and responding to the Coordinator’s request to attend a training session to acquaint the volunteer with procedures and guidelines..
What are traits of a good volunteer?
2. Cheerful and enthusiastic.
3. Willing to follow directions and eager to see results.
4. Enjoy working with children and able to relate to them.
What kinds of services can school members of the Parent/Community Involvement Program provide?
Materials to be used by students.
Special help to an individual student.
Work with a small group of students to reinforce the efforts of the teacher.
Accompany the teacher on field trips or extra-curricular events.
Making bulletin board materials.
Helping with inventories.
Assisting in health program (such as vision & hearing, screening, scoliosis testing, & monthly head checks.
Arranging special holiday displays & decorations for programs & plays.
Reading stories to a small group or class.
Conducting special drills for students in the content area.
Listening to students who need additional oral reading practice.
Assisting in art projects, cutting paper, etc.
Why Become A Member of the Parent/Community Involvement Program?
We all have various reasons for offering to serve, but we are all stimulated by the knowledge that we are doing worthwhile tasks and our assistance is recognized and appreciated.
The volunteer’s pay is often the wide welcoming smile of a child, a scribbled note from a second grader, or a picture that they drew just for you depicting that you are that very special person in their life.
The warm day-by-day relationship that you will develop with your supervising teacher and students helps create a desire to become more involved in school activities.
It’s this type of involvement that definitely makes a good school GREAT!
Guidelines in Student Relationships for members of the Parent/Community Involvement Program
1. Recognize each student with whom you work and call him\her by name.
2. Work with students instead of merely supervising them.
3. Be fair and consistent and without partiality when working with students.
4. Be patient and show understanding of the needs of students who may have learning problems.
5. When working with students, be calm and maintain eye contact.
6. Listen to and show respect for the ideas of students and encourage the sharing of opinions.
7. Other points to remember when working with students are:
(a) Smile often and be complimentary
(b) Take time to listen to students.
(c) Do not make promises you cannot keep.
(d) Be honest and truthful.
(e) Be open-minded and optimistic.
(f) Encourage students to acquire self-discipline.
Guidelines in Professional Relationships for Volunteers
1. Sign in and pick up your name badge at the main office upon arrival. The building principal needs to know who is on the premises.
2. Be prompt and regular in attendance.
3. Find out proper procedures and policies regarding emergencies.
4. As a volunteer you will be contributing to the image of the school. It will be part of your responsibility to help maintain a positive image and promote the best interest of the school.
5. You should dress appropriately to reflect your professional commitment to the students.
6. If personal matters or family problems are discussed with you by a student, they should be kept confidential. If such a disclosure causes great concern, they should be discussed only with the building principal and/or counselor.
Responsibilities of Volunteers
1. Fill out application form with all required information and return to school, then attend a training session before doing volunteer work. The Volunteer Coordinator will notify you of this meeting.
2. Be prompt and regular in attendance. Notify the school (office or Volunteer Coordinator) in advance if unable to work at the scheduled time.
3. Sign in and out on the volunteer time sheet provided in each school upon arrival and when completing volunteer work. This enables us to record time contributed by volunteers.
4. All employees and volunteers are required to wear a name badge. This will be provided by the school and, worn each time you come to volunteer, and left in a designated area when you leave the building.
5. Become familiar with and support the school’s policies and regulations.
6. When in the building, please participate in fire and tornado drills, and any other evacuation procedures as carried out by the classrooms.
7. All volunteers and substitute teachers are required to have a TB Skin Test, as well as all other employees. This information is to be given to the Volunteer Coordinator.
8. Parents doing volunteer work within the classroom where their child is enrolled will be decided by both parent an\or teacher if there would be a problem with this arrangement.
9. Maintain close contact and communication with the teacher to inform the teacher of progress made or problems encountered concerning assigned tasks.
10. Consult the Volunteer Coordinator and\or building principal of any problem situation that concerns your volunteer involvement in order that a solution might be found, and any needed changes made for the improvement of all concerned. All matters will be kept confidential and dealt with in a most discrete manner.
11. Ask for additional directions from the teacher when clarification of assignments is needed. Better to ask and understand it clearly the first time than having to use your valuable time to redo.
12. Render services according to the process established in the training session and set forth in the handbook.
13. There is no dress code for volunteers, however, we request you dress appropriately for working with small children. They admire you and mimic you in many ways. It is most important how you appear to them.
14. Please always remember it is a privilege for us to be involved with our children in their classrooms, and our program takes pride in having you as a part of our team. We hope you feel the same, and, together we’ll always put forth our best efforts to encourage the students to achieve their highest.
15. All school matters regarding teacher, student, parents, and administrators are confidential and should not be discussed in public. You could be held liable for statements made.
16. Any information that is to be distributed to teachers must be approved by building principal.
17. Volunteers will refer student discipline matters to the principal or a certified teacher.
This information has been complied and revised by Mrs. Tammy Goodman - Coordinator
Approved and Adopted by Clarksville School Don Johnston, Superintendent, 8/2000