4 Ways Parents Can Give Back or Volunteer at their Child’s School

The beginning of the school year is always a hectic time for parents, yet they are asked right away to volunteer for everything from a field trip to leading story time to planning one of the numerous classroom parties.  The good news is that each parent can spend as little or as much time volunteering as they can without feeling guilty about not helping out more.  After all, all those little blocks of time add up to something huge!

Here are 4 ways parents can give back or volunteer at their child’s school:

  1. Join the PTA (PAC)

Most PTAs only meet once a month for about an hour or so during the evening hours, so it can be doable for many parents.  PTAs plan different activities for the entire school and then parents help turn those plans into reality.  The good thing with PTAs is if enough people are involved, each person only needs to spend an hour or less on their portion of the work.

  1. Contribute Supplies

Not every parent has free time available to spend hours in school, but that is okay!  Teachers are always looking for extra supplies and the parents that are willing to send them in for the children to use end up being lifesavers.  Not only are they saving the teacher money, they are also saving them time from having to go from store to store picking everything up.

  1. Plan a Party

There is usually a classroom party once a month during the school year and they range from the holiday of the month to the one hundredth day of school.  Parents that help plan the party can simply ask other parents to send in specific items the day before the party, so that they do not have as much work to do.  Once everything has been sent in, the parent in charge can set up and have fun with the children during the party.

  1. Be a Classroom Reader

Teachers spend part of every school day reading to their class, but every once in a while it is nice to change things up a bit and add the excitement of a mystery reader.  Parents who sign up for this position can either bring in their own book to read or ask the teacher to supply them with one.  It is a great way to spend fifteen or twenty minutes in the school without making a larger commitment.

Five minutes here, a school supply or two there, it all adds up in the eyes of a teacher.  Nothing is too small when it comes to supporting a school and no one will look back in twenty years wishing that they hadn’t spent the money or time that they had available to help out.

When my older kids were little, it was hard for me to get into the school to help out. So my job was to make plah-do and send it in. The kids loved that we were contributing and the teacher really appreciated it. For another teacher I cut out shapes from scrap paper the school provided. This was used for crafts and journals and saved the teacher lots of time. Ask your school how you can help out!

Do you volunteer at your children’s school?


  1. I volunteered extensively when my kids were little. In high school, it is much harder to get involved but I try to find a few things to help out with.

  2. My son is only 2 months old but when he is in school I will absolutely get involved by volunteering!

  3. I love these ideas! Another great one is to volunteer to chaperone on field trips. It’s a fun way to get to know your kids classmates and see the teacher in an out of classroom setting.
    Or also volunteer in the school library, helping kids check out books, or reshelving all those books.

  4. savorthebestcooks says

    When my son was in elementary school I had time in my schedule to volunteer a few times per week and it was some of the most precious time I spent. It is the kind of small act that shows your children how much they mean to you and how important they are. It is one thing to tell them that your interested in their day but quite another thing to show them. These are all such great ideas.

  5. My son just started school and I still have a lot to do and plan, the volunteering really sounds great.

  6. These are some great ideas to allow parents to give back to their parents school. My Mum actually used to work at my primary school so was always around.

  7. Its been a long time – but I remember at the beginning of the school year there was a little paper tree in each classroom and the ‘leaves’ were wishes parents could fulfill.

  8. I need to help more with the grand kids schools. I can contribute supplies and help plan a party to be sure. That would be fun. Thank you for the suggestions.

  9. A mystery reader is a fun idea. I’d have done that when I was a SAHM!

  10. I usually volunteer for class parties! Or I offer to bring in supplies. I always tell the teacher to just let me know what she needs.

  11. Not only does those little blocks of time amount up, it makes a huge difference. I have always tried to help support my children’s school to do my part to help make it a better place for not only them but others as well.

  12. It is so important to get involved – and what a fun and wonderful way to do it! We definitely need to reconsider our involvement and ensure we are focused on our passions (just like the mystery reader – now that sounds like a fun time)!

  13. I love the idea of helping out at school trips but also in the class room with reading too

  14. Elva Roberts says

    I cooked turkeys for the annual high school supper in the fall. That was a big deal as we made dressing and lots of gravy as well. I always supported teachers in any way that I could. Your tips are sensible and timely and sure to be appreciated.

  15. I can’t wait to volunteer at my daughter’s school! We had to take a class to make sure we were approved, but any day now we should be able to!

  16. It is always nice to be involved and volunteer. I am sure the kids and teachers will be happy about it. And also, you will have a chance to meet new people.

  17. Corinne and Kirsty says

    I love the idea of helping out schools. It is the chance to do something with your free time and meet new people.

  18. Jacqui Odell says

    I like to help with planning parties. It’s fun seeing the kids excited.

  19. I remember being able to read for my daughter in class when I was working with her in school in kindergarten and first grade. I felt sad with divorce and many changes that I was unable to do that any more. Feel really badly about that.

  20. I loved being a classroom reader. In fact, it led to deciding to start substitute teaching. I found out I really wanted to get back into the classroom!

  21. Thank you so much for this post! As a former teacher I know how important help from parents are.

  22. These are all great ideas! I volunteer my time to my son’s teacher by taking items home that need to be cut out or glued. It doesn’t take much time or effort but his teacher really appreciates it!

  23. It’s hard for me to attend certain events but I love donating. It still makes me feel a part of the vibe.

  24. These are great tips for any parent to give back or volunteering at their child’s school Volunteering at your child’s school for reading or helping in the classrooms are a great way to contribute or give back to the schools. Thanks for sharing the information.

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