Go back to school: You can make a difference | PostIndependent.com

Go back to school: You can make a difference

Suzie Romig
RFSD Public Information Officer

The following is the second part of a two-part series about how to foster the local educational process. Today’s article focuses on how to support locals schools and teachers.

No matter how busy their lives, parents and adult volunteers have a myriad of ways to help teachers and schools in the education of local children. What follows are just a few ideas about how to stay tuned in and to find the best avenues for your assistance.

Read the school newsletter and pay attention to the school calendar for special events, field trips and testing days. The Roaring Fork School District encourages parents to visit their student’s classroom, but check first to find out the best times. Visiting classrooms or stopping by for lunch shows students you value education and provides fuel for conversations.

Attend open houses and teacher/parent conferences. Keep channels of communication open with teachers by finding out the best means of contact via morning or afternoon visits, phone calls or e-mail. Don’t hesitate to call a teacher if you have concerns about the academic or social issues of your children.

Parents can make themselves known in positive ways by dropping by to meet the school staff and principal. Join the school’s Parent-Teacher League or Parents in Education group or volunteer for the school accountability committee.

If you or your student doesn’t feel comfortable with volunteering in the classroom, consider helping out in the school office, library or store. Teachers often need help copying materials or putting together packets. If you don’t have time during the day, consider helping the teacher prepare for educational projects by collecting or preparing special project supplies at home.

Most every school collects fund-raiser items, from Box Tops for Education to recycled ink cartridges, so set up a collection spot in your home. If possible, consider donating school supplies for needy children, mid-year supplies for teachers or books to the school library. Find out the school’s pressing equipment needs and organize a fund-raiser.

Schools offer simple training sessions to become reading or math mentors for local children by donating as little as one hour a week. Or volunteer professional skills by helping with a school play or leading an extra-curricular club. Take time to serve as a field trip chaperone to learn alongside your kids.

Offer your input on the district level as part of a strategic planning or accountability committee. Be an education advocate by being positive about your child’s school and about school in general; a child’s feelings about school are affected when parents express a lot of negativity.

Whether it’s chaperoning a dance, chairing a committee or cutting shapes out of construction paper, parents and adults in the community can find a good fit to help in the schools.

Here are just a few Web sites, recommended by the Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers, with more information about helping out: http://www.ed.gov/parents, http://www.ncpie.org, http://www.pta.org/parentinvolvement, http://www.teachersandfamilies.com.

To receive a weekly e-mailed “Community Update” or for RFSD questions, call 384-6000 or e-mail Info@rfsd.org.

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