Schools welcome and value the help of parents and other volunteers, and educators say it's key to your child's success.
And there are added benefits: By interacting with teachers, administrators and other parents regularly, you get a clearer picture of your child's school and his or her daily routine. You also learn about trends, fads and developments at school that can help you talk with your kids as they grow.
Here are 20 ways you can get involved:
1. Help in the classroom. Talk with your child's teacher early in the year and sign up for an hour a week, an hour a month or whatever you can manage.
2. Attend site council or parent organization meetings.
3. Participate in career days.
4. Be a mentor or tutor. To learn how, call Communities in Schools at 316-973-5110.
5. Help make phone calls to other parents, reminding them of upcoming events.
6. Help with fundraising.
7. Act as a lunchroom or playground monitor.
8. Maintain the school's garden area.
9. Work as a library assistant: shelve books, help with story time or tutor students in reading.
10. Help plan or chaperone special events such as field trips and dances.
11. Organize or help with teams, interest groups or school programs such as yearbook or chess club.
12. Work in the concession stand at sporting events.
13. Make costumes for drama in the classroom or for school plays.
14. Help out in a school computer lab.
15. Help administrators prepare grant proposals, letter-writing campaigns or news releases.
16. If you speak another language, serve as a translator or interpreter for other parents.
17. Work with the school band or orchestra or coach music students individually.
18. Provide snacks for the classroom or after-school activities.
19. Supervise or judge experiments at a science fair.
20. Attend school board meetings and speak on behalf of programs you care about.