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Answer This: How Can You Get Involved in Your Local School's Community?

Liz Dwyer

They say it takes a village, but unless you have school age children, chances are you're pretty disconnected from your local school's community. The truth is, it's not that hard to find some way to connect. From volunteering by reading to kindergarteners to donating supplies, there's a way for everyone to engage. Share how you currently connect, or what you're thinking about doing in the comments below.

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  • Patrick Cox

    I am involved with the Loudoun County school system and I've learned the most effective way to help out is to connect with a schools parent/teacher liaison. I run a local group called Project Supply Supplies and we have helped out several schools and shelters by providing them with school and art supplies. I learned recently that most of the teachers in our county have a very limited amount of supplies at the beginning of the school year. We connect with the community and have had several paper and supply drives that have been quite successful. I worked directly with the parent/teacher liaison and they were very appreciative. You can also connect with the schools PTA, they will point you in the right direction as well.

  • naomi.anderegg

    Years ago I taught in an inner city school system at the high school--and it chewed me up and spit me out. It was rough any way you cut it--students lived in poverty, lacked motivation, were years behind where they should have been as far as understanding of the curriculum, lacked parent support, and as a teacher I lacked basic resources, and was, quite frankly, too intimidated by parents and veteran coworkers to reach out and ask for the support I needed as an educator.

    Now, I don't work full time in inner city schools. But, I am on the sub list for a school that isn't always able to find a sub, much less a well-qualified one. (If you don't know, if there's no sub, 6 teachers lose their prep period for that day and cover classes for the teacher that is absent.) They'd be happy to have me sub more often, but in truth I probably only sub about once a month. (I'm off on Fridays, so I can occasionally sub in the inner city school closest my house on a Friday.) And, quite frankly, I've gotten to where I enjoy subbing and I think I'm good at it. Students tell me I should teach full time, or that they understand a concept better because of the way I explained it. I know the curriculum that they're supposed to be learning, and that's more than a lot of subs. And I get to send a consistent message to kids in my community who need to hear it: You are cared about & I am confident in your ability to succeed in an academic environment.

  • Jenaia

    We have created the "BE KIND" initiative which gives kids practical hands on experience with kindness through reading, discussion and creative projects that support local animal shelters and rescue organizations. The kids come up with amazing ideas and seeing the effects of their actions makes all the difference. See: http://critterkin.com/be-kind/