School Volunteer Work: Just Do It!

I just completed my last bit volunteer work at my daughter’s school. Why am I writing about this? Because after 12 more school days, I can no longer call her a 5th grader in elementary school – she’s making the leap (already?!) to middle school in the fall.

So here we are at yet another transition, and no doubt one that she’ll handle better than I will! Where has the time gone is the obvious question. But I also find myself feeling grateful – for all the times when I could have said no but I said yes when it came to helping out at school. The first year I was hesitant and then I gradually signed up for more and last year I got wise and figured out that these were opportunities to cherish and not just more on my to-do list.

I started out slowly by helping at classroom parties then eventually became room mom for several years. The parties were the best because the kids were always so excited for whatever holiday was coming up. I also really enjoyed the annual plant sale before Mother’s Day, not only because I love plants but it was pure joy to help young kids pick out a flower for their mom or grandma. To see them thrilled to spend whatever money they had on someone they loved and to see how carefully they made their selections and how proud they were when they found what they wanted. My final bit of volunteerism was an appropriate task to end such a big chapter… I created a memory book for all the fifth graders that includes letters and memories from the teachers and staff. A keepsake that many kids may still have when they grow up!

If you find yourself on the fence or over extended at times, consider the reasons to say YES:

– The elementary years are special, even if you don’t realize it until the end.
– Let me tell you how awesome it feels to go to school and have Livi run up and hug me and hear her friends say, “Hi, Livi’s mom!” We all know that kind of PDA (public display of affection) doesn’t last forever!
– Your child spends a lot of time at school. Do you know what it’s like to be there?
– It’s beneficial to get to know the teachers and staff.
– It’s also good to know the kids your child goes to school with and makes it easier when your child mentions someone and you know exactly who they’re talking about.
– Giving your time just feels GOOD.
– You become a role model for your child when he/she sees you giving your time and energy for them, and for a cause.
– It’s interesting to see your kid in the school environment and with other kids.
– The time is NOW; there are far fewer ways to get involved as your kids grow up.
– It’s a way to bond with your child. I can’t tell you how many hours Livi and I spent researching classroom party game ideas, making favors and buying prizes.
– Spending time with kids is a great way to appreciate and celebrate the seasons and holidays.
– It’s good to get out of your adult head once in awhile and see things from a kid’s perspective.
– Your child will know he/she is loved.
– Whatever else you could be doing can wait… because growing kids can’t!

Start by joining your PTA and find a way to get involved. YOU have the power to enrich your child’s school and the experiences that all have there. Make a difference and make memories, not regrets!


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