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Parents as Volunteer Helpers


Date: Fri Apr 05 2002 - 06:39:11 PST

In a message dated 04/05/2002 7:37:55 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> Has anyone on this list serve created a parent advisory group?

In the former district in which I was an art teacher K-6, I formed a
committee of parents which I termed APART: stood for A Parent In ART. It was
a huge success. By the time I had left the district the group of volunteers
had grown to 96 in number! BTW, I taught 400 children. I even delegated a
coordinator for the art volunteers. When I needed help I would call this
parent, explain how, what, and when I needed help. She in turn would call the
volunteers and set everything up. It was a beautiful thing! LOL.

The support for the art program grew with APART, as the parents saw first
hand how hard I worked and how their children benefitted from the program.
One year there was only one room left in the school slated for a science
room. It meant art on a cart. Well, my APART committee got together and
complained that art shouldn't loose the room to science, and guess what?
That year I had a room for art and science was on a cart!

One of the ways I also used my committee was to give prep and finishing work
to the parents to take home. If you are concerned with the parents being in
the classroom, then just do it this way. Also, schedule them to help you
after and/or before school with bulletin boards, etc. without direct
interaction with the students.

Oh, I must mention, at the end of every school year I would cook a complete
breakfast and invite all the volunteers as a thank-you. I made egg souffle,
homemade breads and cakes, fruit sculptures, and always brought my authentic
crepe pan for fresh crepes- cooked to order. (Used to have a catering/party
coordinating business, so this helped.) Funny, I always thought that the
breakfast was a draw for some people to volunteer so they could be included
in this event. Whatever the reason, it was sooo wonderful to have help and
made a tremendous difference in my art program, especially years later when I
did lose my room (music and science did as well).

Hope my point of view helps you in your decision. Good Luck.
Susan on Long Island