I am blessed with scads of wonderful parent volunteers throughout the
year. We have a parent docent taught art appreciation course, taught in
the history classrooms with subject matter in tandem with the period kids
are studying in history, but curriculum content is overseen and directed
by myself and the other art teacher. We have about 50-60 parents in this
program annually. It's a lot of work for them to take this on, and we
truly appreciate them at our school. Anyway, at the end of the year and
throughout the year, I drop little Thank you notes to them, and also to
volunteers who come into my classroom to help periodically. It's so easy
to just grab a photo of a particular kid's artwork off of our webpage to
use in designing a personal card. I just open the web page and download a
picture for every parent that I need to write to, write a generalized
thank you note for whatever that can be sent to as many as possible with
the same note, paste their child's art photo on the front, make a note on
the back of the card like "Still life with Sunflowers" by ________, 2002.
I get SO much feedback from parents about this little gesture. I love
doing it. It makes the kid feel special, it makes the mom feel special, it
promotes the program, and so on , and so on. As Martha Stewart would say,
"it's a good thing." (You may gag on the last line if you wish.)
Sometimes I think it's why we have SO many volunteers in our program.
Parents at my school love to be involved, they don't try to run my
program, and they are wonderful. But you really need to let them know
that if you want and use parent volunteers and want to keep them happy and
coming back for more.