Head Start would not be possible without parent involvement. Furthermore, studies have shown that children are more successful in school when their parents are involved. As a result here at SETA Head Start, single parent families are encouraged to volunteer 10 hours a month; two parent families are encouraged to volunteer 15 hours a month – any relative 18 or older can do the volunteer hours. However, a child’s enrollment is not conditional upon a family’s participation in and completion of the volunteer hours.
There are many opportunities for volunteer activities and many can be done at home as well as in the classroom. Here are a few ideas:
At the school…
- Read to children.
- Share a story or song from your childhood.
- Bring photos, pictures, clothing, musical instruments, etc. from your culture to share with the children.
- Plan and carry out an art, movement, music, math, science, or other activity.
- Participate in observation and assessment of children.
- Make suggestions about classroom materials or set up.
- Supervise the playground.
- Conduct the required daily safety check of the playground.
- Set up the playground equipment.
- Plant a tree, or flowers…or a garden.
- Plan field trips.
- Attend field trips.
- Help evaluate our program – self assessment.
- Help make lunch.
- Eat with the children.
- Tape a story or song in your native language.
- Sew doll clothing, or wash and repair doll clothes.
- Be in charge of communication – to notify about/invite other parents to events.
- Write a parent newsletter.
- Make games and felt-board stories.
- Cut things out for projects.
- Gather collage materials.
- Provide childcare for a parent volunteering in the classroom – trade off, so you will both be receiving credit for volunteer hours.
- Make a birdhouse for a tree outside the classroom.
- Care for classroom pets on weekends or holidays.
- Refurbish/repair classroom materials/furniture.