Cheers to Home and School Association, The Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, PA
Tell us about your role as a volunteer leader.
The Science Leadership Academy is a wonderful inquiry-driven, project-based public high school in Philadelphia, PA that faces budget cuts and reduced funding since its founding in 2006. The Home and School works to make up for some of these deficits through a variety of fundraising endeavors. We also help coordinate parents to help with other school events, such as the open house for prospective families and our interview weekends, where we interview hundreds of prospective students in four very busy weekend days. One of the challenges for parental involvement for our school is that it draws from all over the city.
How do you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate your parent volunteers?
We first used VolunteerSpot when a parent saw Real Simple feature the company on Facebook. We were about to coordinate the annual education conference hosted by SLA, Educon, a national conference attended by educators from all over the country and is our biggest fundraiser.
Student and staff lead the conference, but there are well over 100 parent shifts to fill over three days for jobs including registration, coat check, food service and bringing snacks. We couldn't believe how much easier it was to use VolunteerSpot! It is so user-friendly to set up an activity.
Volunteer coordinator Lisa Heller appreciates the reminders sent to participants just before the event and the alerts for late cancellations. "I don't know how we ever did this with a clipboard and pencils," she said. "It is so gratifying to watch our wonderful parent community respond. I send out the invitations, and within an hour dozens of shifts are already filled!"
We also use VolunteerSpot to coordinate our Silent Auction, another major fundraiser with lots of volunteer shifts needed.
What’s one piece of advice you have for parent volunteers out there?
We have found that, when possible, breaking tasks into shorter shifts brings us more volunteers. For instance, at our silent auction, people are more likely to sign up for a one-hour shift selling raffles than a two-hour shift. Then they don't have to miss the fun of this wonderful community event. Some will still sign up for two consecutive shifts, but offering the shorter option has been a plus.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about your school, event or volunteering?
We see how hard the teachers and staff work to make our school the incredible community that it is. We are grateful to be able to support their work in any way that we can. VolunteerSpot makes this easier!
We salute The Science Leadership Academy and all the other educational programs out there working hard to better the community. Check out how VolunteerSpot’s Volunteer Software can help you!