50 Ways Parents Can Help Schools
The Center for School Change (n.d.) lists the following ways that parents
can become involved in schools:
- Come to school to assist.
Help arrange learning opportunities in the community.
- Share information with a student or class about a hobby.
- Share information with a student or a class about a career.
- Share information with students about a country you visited or lived
- Tutor one or a small group of students in reading, math, or other area.
- Help coach an athletic team.
- Help check a student's written work.
- Help put out a school or classroom newsletter (can also be done at
- Help sew or paint a display.
- Help build something (such as a loft in a classroom or new playground).
- Help students work on a finalexhibition or project (can also be done
at home or workplace).
- Help answer the schools' phone.
- Help plan a new playground for the school.*
- Help plan a theme-based presentation for students.*
- Help present a theme-based program for students.*
- Demonstrate cooking from a particular country or culture to students.*
- Share a particular expertise with faculty (such as use of computers,
dealing with disruptive students).
- Help students plan and build an outdoor garden or other project to
beautify the outside of the school.
- Help coach students competing in an academic competition (such as Odyssey
of the Mind, Future Problem Solving, Math Masters).
- Help bring senior citizens to school to watch a student production.
- Help set up an internship or apprenticeship for a student at your business,
organization, or agency.*
- Host a one-day 'shadow study' for one or a small group of students
about your career in business or some other organization.
- Go on a local field trip with a teacher and a group of students.
- Go on an extended (3-5 day) cross-country field trip with a teacher
- Contact a particular local business or organization regarding possible
- Help to create a natural area outside the building where students can
Serve on an advisory or decision-making committee.
- Serve on the school-wide site council.
- Serve on a school committee that reports to the site council.
- Serve on a district committee representing the school.
- Serve as an officer in the school's PTA.
- Help organize a parent organization for the school.
- Help design a parent and or student survey for the school.
- Help conduct and or tabulate results of a parent survey regarding the
Share information or advocate for the school.
- Serve as a member of a 'telephone tree' to distribute information quickly.
- Write a letter to legislators about the school.
- Write a letter to school board members about the school.
- Go to a school board meeting to advocate for the school.
- Go to another school to provide information about this school.
- Help design a brochure or booklet about the school.
- Help translate information from the school into a language other than
- Help translate at a parent-teacher conference for people who don't
speak English well.
- Provide transportation to a parent-teacher conference for a parent
who needs a ride.
- Write an article for publication in a magazine about the school's activities.
- Help arrange for a political leader (mayor, city council, state representative,
member of Congress) to visit the school.
Increase financial resources available to the school.
- Help write a proposal that would bring new resources to the school.
- Donate materials to the school.
- Arrange for a business or other organization to donate materials to
- Help with a fundraiser for the school.
Help other parents develop their parenting skills.
- Help teach a class for parents on ways they can be stronger parents.
- Help produce a videotape for parents on ways they can be more effective
- Help write, publish, and distribute a list of parenting tips."
*Columns on these subjects are available from the Center for School
Change, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota,
301 19th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55455; (612) 626-1834.
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