I Have Only Two Good Reasons I Volunteer at School…
In the year 2000, if you had asked me what I’d be doing 10 years from now, I don’t think I could have imagined all the things I am currently doing…and I certainly didn’t think I’ve have said I would be doing them all for free!
But, if you were to ask me what I’d change about my life 10 years later, I’d say “not a thing.” I have two primary reasons for everything I decide to take on – Madisyn and Devin – and they drive me to teach them, educate them and work to make their schools better, their lives fulfilling and in the end, what I chose to do comes full circle as they then see the value of volunteering and want to also give back as they grow up.
My children are lucky to be in a school district which, overall, is very good. However, even they have not been exempt from the budget cuts that are occurring around the nation. With less support staff and more students per classroom I feel that it is my responsibility to help their school pick up the slack and partner with them to provide all of our children a chance to learn and grow. As a volunteer I bring a free resource to the school that is priceless in the end.
Volunteering is sometimes underrated and, in turn, I’ve heard people say they are “just” volunteers. However, I have seen the impact a single volunteer can have in a school and the valuable resources they bring, without expense. So I say you should be proud to say you volunteer because the support you give, in any quantity, offers security to an educational system that requires more support than ever before.
As a volunteer it is important to recognize the impact you can make simply by offering a little bit of your time in a school. Try thinking about it like this: for every minute you free up time for a teacher, whether it is making copies or shelving books, it is one more minute he/she can assist a struggling reader. For every time you volunteer at a family event sponsored at the school it is one more opportunity to show your own children the importance of giving back, the importance of their school and the importance of education. For the time you step up to help lead your school organization, it is an opportunity to make changes to benefit all children and better the environment in which they all learn and grow.
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale
So be proud to volunteer, make it a priority and know that your children are watching everything you do to learn what is important, and if you make their school a priority on your list, they will too.
Jennifer DeFranco is a committed PTA advocate in Illinois and currently serves as the Membership/Marketing Director for the Illinois PTA. She also served as the 2010 Illinois delegate to the Mom Congress at Georgetown University and currently serves as a mentor for the 2011 delegation, presenting on bullying prevention. She is the mother of two outstanding elementary age children and a wife to an exceptionally wonderful husband. Connect with her on Twitter @JenDeFranco.