Volunteering: The Art of Giving Back

Volunteering: The Art of Giving Back
Posted on 09/24/2015

By Carrie Sterrs, Coordinator of Public Relations and Special Programs

There are many quotes that capture the spirit of volunteerism, both within a school setting and beyond, but one of my favorite quotes comes from James Cash Penney, the founder of J.C. Penney Corporation: “How can we expect our children to know and experience the joy of giving unless we teach them that the greater pleasures in life lies in the art of giving rather than receiving.”

We know that days are often scheduled-to-the-minute, filled with an ever-growing to-do list, and finding time to commit to another school project, committee or PTA is nearly impossible to grasp. But your involvement – as a parent, a relative or a community member – can be invaluable to realizing the social, emotional and academic success of our students. To that end, I’d like to share just a few reasons to consider getting involved in your local schools.

First, as the saying goes: it takes a village to raise a child. Our teachers, staff and administrators work diligently to create and maintain an enriching, positive educational setting for each student. But so often, many of the events, fundraisers, set-ups, cleanups, etc. require more manpower than is available. Instances like this is where volunteers can lend a helping hand, leading to another reason to volunteer: every little bit counts.

Volunteering is often mistakenly seen as a daunting: long, inconvenient hours that you may not have to donate, but we want to assure you that any time you spend in our schools counts. Spending once a week or even once a month helping in any number of ways – distributing flyers, assisting with copies, creating posters or helping in the library/media center to name a few – can be a source of invaluable assistance for the staff and students at your local school.

We also encourage you to lend your individual talents to your volunteering experience. Do you have artistic flair? Perhaps assisting within an art classroom or painting the set pieces for a drama production would be a great avenue for your volunteerism. Are you an accountant? Perhaps being the treasurer for the school PTA or helping with fundraising efforts would be an appropriate way for you to get involved. No matter your vocation, the time you dedicate to our students certainly teaches them about the importance of responsible citizenship and how the local community sees the value in their education.

As the following unattributed quote illustrates, volunteering not only shapes the fabric of our schools, but creates a tight-knit community of volunteers that serves a solid foundation for a great community.  “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy … when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”  

Please consider volunteering in our schools. You may call your child’s home school for more information or you can contact me at 410-632-5092.