Parents are asked to be partners at Lynchburg City Schools with the Give Me 5 initiative, working together with their child's schools to help students learn and grow.
Give Me 5 asks all parents to spend five minutes each day reading with their child or talking about school, provide five or more hours of volunteer time to the school, attend five or more school events, donate five dollars or more to the school's PTO and take five or more classes beyond high school level.
For parents who work full-time, back to school means it's time for the balancing act to begin again. Many parents have a work day that's longer than the school day.
Although some employers allow their workers to take time off during the day for volunteering at their child's school or in the community, most employees don't have much flexibility in their work hours.
School volunteers have long helped schools provide extra assistance in the classroom, at events and activities. There are also many ways working parents who can't be at school during the day can help their child's school.
The most important contribution every parent can make to their child's school is to be involved with their child's education at home. Show your child that you value education by encouraging your child's learning.
Provide opportunities for your child to learn outside of school hours, not just be entertained. Take your child to the library, museums and other places where he will learn new information or skills.
Be aware of the school's mission to teach your child and support that mission. Attend teacher conferences and share any concerns about your child's education with his teacher.
Provide a learning environment at home. Set up a quiet place where your child can work on his homework, stocked with school supplies, reference books and everything he will need.
Keep electronics off while your child works on homework. Offer your guidance and assistance when needed as your child completes his homework.
Those are all important ways parents can help create a learning environment at home. Here are 10 more ways working parents can help their child's school.
Send art supplies or school supplies for the classroom in honor of your child. Ask your child's teacher what supplies are needed or purchase items on the list of classroom wants and needs.
If your child's school participates in the Box Tops for Education program, purchase items from the list and send in your box tops. Ask family members and friends to save their box tops too.
Bring food for parties and teacher appreciation luncheons. Ask your child's teacher or check the school's website to stay informed about the school's policies. Many schools only permit purchased foods.
Participate in PTO or school fundraisers. Offer family and friends the opportunity to purchase items from your child's fundraisers or purchase items to give as gifts. Parent assistance is often needed to help fill orders once the items arrive. Check with the volunteer or fundraiser coordinator for times you can assist.
Offer to make name tags or labels at home. Your child's teacher may appreciate a hand with labels for the classroom or name tags to be used at school.
Offer to cut out art patterns or items for bulletin boards at home. Ask your child's teacher how you can help provide these items and donate the materials you use.
Volunteer your time for big events at your child's school. Many schools hold an annual carnival or fair during the school year. These events take place on Saturdays, when most parents aren't working.
If your child's school holds a book fair, offer to help by organizing books or volunteering at the book fair. Bring your children to the book fair and purchase books to give as gifts.
Offer to chaperone a school dance, field trip, costume party or other school activity. This is also a great way to get to know some of the other students in your child's school.
Work the concession stand at high school games, even if your child isn't on the team. Volunteer with the schools' theater group to sell ads or work concessions at school plays. Supporting your child's school also means supporting the athletic teams, clubs and groups at the school.
Working parents can't always provide a classroom presence to help with reading, art, math or writing activities. But all parents have important gifts and skills to offer to their child's school.
Ask your child's teacher or the school's volunteer coordinator for additional suggestions. Volunteering with your child's school shows your child that you value the school and your child.
As your child heads back to school, commit your time to help your child succeed. Support the Give Me 5 initiative and offer your assistance to your child's teachers to make the school better for all of the students.