Lately it almost seems like a contest to see who is the busiest. As a working mother myself, I assure you, I can relate 1000% of the time. I often find myself juggling work, caring for my kiddo, household responsibilities, work events, work travel, and planning family trips. Does it ever stop?
But the BIG question here that many of us are asking is HOW do parents have the time to volunteer at school?
I know that when the PTA approaches you to become a school volunteer, it often feels like there is no more time to give. But HOW & WHY those volunteering parents who donate, show up at events, and help the school, do it?
Many of them have different reasons, but the most shared answer as to why it is not just another thing on their “To Do” list? Because of all the benefits it brings.
If you’re wondering, “Why should I volunteer?” Here is the reasons to do it and how it will benefit you and your child.
1. Volunteering Makes a Difference in your Child’s Education
Children whose parents are involved in their schools do better. Research has shown that children of a school volunteer make better grades and perform better on tests. They’re also better behaved, have better attendance, and are more likely to graduate and continue their education. The more parents participate at school, the more successful their children will be. I truly believe in this research and have seen the difference it makes in every student. You may not always be available to be at the school, but I highly recommend being involve in other ways. You will see the big difference it makes in your own children when you are always aware of what is happening at school because you are part of the PTA.
2. Volunteering Allows You to Spend More Time with Your Child
Our children spend A LOT of time at school. Becoming a school volunteer gives you the opportunity to share in school-related experiences. It gives you more in common. It also allows you to be a fly on the wall and see your children in a different environment. It’s rewarding to watch them as they put all the skills you’ve taught them into action. I cannot tell you how many times I got to see my child in the classroom. Not only was he so happy to see me, but also proud of me. For this reason I always schedule a few or more important events at school in my work schedule.
3. Volunteering Helps Create Community
I know it sounds cliché, but raising children takes a village. Volunteering at school is a great way to connect with other parents and create a circle of adult friends. I have always made the time to meet the PTA members and other parents. Over time, these became friends and they grew to know my child as I did theirs. Throughout the years at SBMCS we looked out for our kids and helped each other, which for me was so beneficial since I do not have any family in Florida. To build a Village like this was simply amazing. Never underestimate the power of a community in raising children.
4. Volunteering Allows You to Get to Know Teachers and Staff
Did you know your child’s teacher and school staff are your teammates in parenting during the school year.? They have a tremendous impact on our children, both academically and socially. Having a presence at school is a great way to get to know them better and show them your support. I had the pleasure to meet so many wonderful teachers at SBMCS while volunteering and being part of the PTA. I still keep in touch with many and some still tutor my "Not so Little Anymore" Middle schooler.
5. Volunteering Makes Schools Better
Schools that have a strong school volunteer base perform better. There are so many demands placed on schools with limited financial resources. Any volunteer effort can help bridge that gap at no additional cost to the school. Taking things off the plate of teachers, administration, and staff frees them up to do what they do best—educate our children. I've have seen some incredible changes at our school and cannot wait to see more this year. To be part of that change for all students including mine was always the ultimate reward.
6. Volunteering Allows You to Use Your Strengths
Why volunteer with kids? Volunteering is a great way to showcase your strengths. Look for opportunities that are within your wheelhouse. Using the skills that come naturally to you makes things easier (and often more enjoyable). If you love baking, sign up to help with the bake sale. Volunteering will feel less burdensome, and your natural talents will be appreciated. So remember that the PTA is always looking for talented parents who can share their skills!
7. Volunteering is Good for Your Health
I can’t share the benefits of volunteering without mentioning that it’s good for your health. Research shows that people who volunteer live longer, have lower stress levels, and are generally healthier. You can’t beat an opportunity that allows you to spend more time with your children AND decreases your stress. PTA events are always fun, not to mention our PARENT ONLY meetings!
Those are truly fun and it shows how being part of this is not to get stressed but to enjoy it and feel relaxed by simply helping.
Still wondering, “Why should I volunteer?” If for no other reason than to spend more time with your children, I hope you’ll make the time to be a school volunteer. There are no tasks too small, and every little bit helps to make the school better. And I have a feeling you’ll have a lot of fun along the way. Just like I did!