Engaging parents is key in building life-long learners. Volunteer programs often serve as a way to involve parents, but how do you engage them once they are in your classroom.
1. Open New Communication Channels
Nearly one third of parents want to receive information about volunteering opportunities online or via email.
2. Be Clear About Where You Most Need Parents to Help
Consider asking for the specific help you need, while explaining to parents how their support in targeted academic areas will boost student achievement. Cultivate your parents as important team members working towards the common goal of student success.
3. Engage Working Parents
Be creative in involving working parents:
- Scheduling reading circles and volunteer shifts at the start of the day so that parents can help before work
- Using telecommunication platforms like Skype or Google Hangouts so that parents can read to the class or help with pre-scheduled assignments without being physically present in the classroom
- Inviting parents to update the class website and Pinterest boards
- Preparing learning center materials from home
- Helping in the school garden on the weekends
4. Plan for Parent Volunteers
One of the things that can discourage parent volunteers is arriving at school to discover they aren’t needed or aren’t sure what to do. Make it easier on both parties by establishing regular weekly sessions for parents to help out for 30 minutes.
5. Show Appreciation
Recognizing parent volunteers is a surefire way to grow your parent volunteer pool and keep them returning to help in the classroom.