Volunteering at Ben Rhydding Primary School
‘Get your Buzz on’
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: volunteering doesn’t have to be painful.
Here are five reasons why should get involved (and how to do it without getting overwhelmed).
It takes a village: As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and the same is true for creating and maintaining a positive and nurturing school environment for an entire student body. While teachers and teaching assistants are responsible for providing enriching academics and professional support, school is much more than just a place where worksheets are distributed and graded. Building a tight knit community of volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to building a solid foundation of support creates a lasting impression on staff and students alike. But running a school club, planning events, organising fundraisers, donating time and energy to cleaning up and beautifying the school, and using professional and personal connections to benefit the school takes some serious manpower. Your child’s school is the village and you, my friend, are a villager, so get to work.
A little goes a long way: Maybe you work full time. Maybe you already run a group. Maybe you haven’t had a decent shower since your firstborn arrived in 2014. We all get busy too, and odds are so are the other parents at your child’s school. The big mistake here is thinking volunteering has to be an “all or nothing,” thing. It doesn’t. When it comes to helping out, a little can really go a long way. Spending once a week or even once a month helping the children to read, practice phonics or maths, helping with school displays or coming along on a school trip takes the edge off of someone else who’s probably already doing more than their fair share. So check your calendar and and see if you can help us out.
Everyone has something to offer: Volunteer work at your child’s school can certainly seem daunting if you buy into the idea that you have to be Sir Ken Robinson or have the personality of Mary Poppins to contribute anything of worth. But volunteering is so much more than decorating the perfect cake or greeting parents during school events. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work to be done that doesn’t require anything other than a true willingness to give your time and energy. Everyone is good at something which means everyone has something to offer. Library books are just begging to be organised in the school library, support within the classroom, sporting activities both inside and outside, fundraising ideas are just waiting to be discovered and implemented, and general support around the school is needed. What are you good at? How can you apply your skills and passions to your child’s school community? In other words, don’t sign up as the main talent for putting school displays together if you don’t have an artistic or creative bone in your body — you’ll hate what you’re doing and end up quitting. The trick is to find your niche and apply it to volunteer work accordingly.
Your child will benefit: Some parents take for granted that their child continues to benefit from the hard work of others. School is so much more than just drop-off and pick-up. The majority of assemblies, teacher wish list items, book fairs and special events are organised and implemented by volunteers who believe your child is worth the extra effort. Helping to oversee some of these programs and projects will give your child a more meaningful school experience — and that should be motivation enough for anyone. We need to at this point make it clear that we will not put you in the same class as your child – it causes chaos!
So do your child’s school – and yourself – a favor: become a volunteer in whatever capacity you are able to, and get ready to get your buzz on.