My son is in first grade at a charter school here in West Michigan, and for the last two years, I’ve had the fun opportunity to volunteer at his school. Right now, I volunteer at lunch once a week, and I tell you, the experience has been invaluable.
There are many ways to volunteer at a child’s school; making photocopies for the teachers, grading assignments, reading to the kids, helping them with school work, helping out at lunch, wherever you are in life, they have something for you to do.
Like I said, I help out once a week during lunch, but I noticed how the kids were while eating. Some would get up and wander around, some would shout across the room to their friends, and because they were so distracted, they weren’t eating their lunch. I was very discouraged because I felt like they weren’t listening to me, and I was talking to a friend about it and telling her that I was thinking of quitting. I didn’t want to, I knew my son was really happy to see me every week, but I just couldn’t get through to his class and get them to be settled long enough to eat. She also volunteers in her daughter’s class and she mentioned that she makes lunch time fun. She is musically oriented so she sings to the kids, or plays kids videos on the big screen. This gets them to quiet down and focus on something other than their friends, and they eat their lunch better.
So I thought about it, and wondered what I could possibly do to get my son’s class to settle down, and then I remembered all the times that I couldn’t get my own kids to stay at the table to eat and what I did to settle THEM down. I read to them. I would get a bunch of board books with bright, colorful pages and I would read until they were done eating. So I started bringing books to my son’s class, and low and behold, it worked! They ask me now every week if I brought any books and they settle right down to listen to what I’ve brought.
So whatever your talent is, whatever your gifts and skills are, you can find volunteer opportunities at any school.