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    Why volunteer at your child's school?

    Students are motivated to achieve more when parents, caregivers or other significant adults get involved in their school.  Positive effects of parental involvement include:  

    • Higher grades, test scores & graduation rates
    • Better attendance
    • Increased motivation & self-esteem

    There are many ways to get involved! Consider becoming part of the school community by helping once a week, a few times per year, or by volunteering from home. 


    South Shore volunteer

    “We show what we value by what we spend our time on.  By spending time at their school, I show my children that I value education and theirs in particular.”    Harold Baker, South Shore PK-8

    How do I find available volunteer opportunities?

    • Think about your availability, skills, and interests.
    • Check your school website and/or newsletter. Your child's school may also be featured on the district-wide volunteer opportunities website here
    • Look for requests from the teacher or check with the librarian.
    • Ask the school office if they need playground monitoring volunteers or a lost & found helper. 
    • PTA or an after-school program may also be looking for volunteers – they will have their own but similar volunteer application process.

    Examples of volunteer opportunities your school may have available:   

    Classroom or library help: Read or listen to students read in your native language, organize books, prepare materials, tutoring math, and more! 

    Time before and between classes: Help for 30-40min during recess, in the lunchroom, or as students arrive in the morning. Your positive presence will brighten students’ day, help them be safe and on their best behavior.

    Coe Elementary parent volunteer

    “School is your child’s first community, really, and it is very exciting to be a part of that community with your child. I have loved getting to know the teachers, and other parents and, of course, the kids!”   Janis Hart, Frantz Coe Elementary

    Events and field trips: Chaperone an evening event or a field trip, share your country’s cuisine at a school event, or attend career day and tell students about your job, business, or the leadership role you play in the community. 

    Lost & found: Offer to organize lost and found items once or twice per month.

    Special talents: Schools have many specialized needs. Are you fluent in Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese or Chinese? Can you lend a hand in the learning garden or the robotics club?

    Volunteer from home: Ask the teacher for a project you can work on at home, or offer to help with the school newsletter or event. 

    How do I get started?

    We believe that every parent or caretaker should have the opportunity to participate in their student’s education. While we require volunteers related to students to complete the same application process as community volunteers, we make accommodations for SPS families. 

    • A new application is required every year. We cannot process your annual background check without it.
    • You may apply to volunteer at any point during the school year.
    • 2018/19 School Year Volunteer Application is available at www.seattleschools.org/volunteer.
    • Processing applications take time—please allow at least two weeks. 
    • We are building a diverse, inclusive, and culturally competent volunteer program to best serve our students. We encourage people of different cultural, ethnic, educational and national backgrounds to apply to volunteer with us.

    If you do not have access to a computer or internet at home, you can try one of the following:

    • Visit your neighborhood library where you can use a computer for up to 90 minutes per day. Find the most convenient library at https://www.spl.org/hours-and-locations

    • The John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence located at 2445 3rd Avenue South in SoDo has two computers available to community members applying for employment and volunteer opportunities with SPS. You can find them between our Enrollment and Security offices.
    • If your child attends the school where you wish to volunteer, check in with the school office about computer availability. If the school computer lab is not used by students, schools can offer SPS families access to computers to complete their volunteer application.

    Please notify school staff if you are experiencing one of the following challenges so we can assist: 

    For detailed instructions and volunteer application process resources please visit http://www.seattleschools.org/volunteer

    Thank You for partnering with us and your generous donations of time and talents!


    http://www.seattleschools.org/familiesinschools