I have two children, one in second grade and one in ninth grade. It seems like yesterday that my ninth grade son was entering PK. It literally brings me to tears when I think about it too much, how quickly they are growing up. I made a choice early on, thanks to my husband’s career, to only work part time outside the home while our kids were young. So having some extra time, I decided to become more active at my child’s school through the Parent’s Association (PA). I joined the PA Board during my son’s second grade year and have never looked back. I can honestly say it’s been one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made. What’s a better way to be involved with my kids while they are still young, while giving back to a place that is always giving to them?
Whether it’s the PTA, PTO or PA, the goal is the same: bridge a connection between the school and the parents. Why is being a part of this so important? There are several reasons.
First, it shows your children that you have an interest in their education. It tells them that school is important to you. It’s not just a place you drop them off every day. It’s a part of their world that you want to be a part of, too.
"You also have opportunities to meet other parents and get to know the teachers, which opens a whole new network. I personally have met some of my closest friends through the PA."
Second, volunteering keeps you in the loop. You become aware of upcoming events at school which allows you to be more involved. You know what is happening without relying on your child to tell you (which rarely gets conveyed at my house). You also have opportunities to meet other parents and get to know the teachers, which opens a whole new network. I personally have met some of my closest friends through the PA. People whose paths I might never have crossed if not for my involvement at school.
Third, there are dozens of research articles that prove the more a parent is involved in their child’s education, the more the child benefits. The child tends to have better grades and fewer discipline problems. Again, this goes back to the fact that if the child sees how education is important to you, it becomes more important to the child. Finally, your volunteering will make your child proud. There is nothing like more than seeing my daughter’s smiling face as she runs to me for a hug when our paths cross on campus. She LOVES seeing me at “her school”. Once, she even asked me, “Mom, do you work here?” I guess that showed how much I was there.
"No matter the age of your child – elementary, middle school, or even high school – it’s never too late to get involved."
How rewarding it is to be a part of something so meaningful to my children’s lives, yet allows me to give back at the same time. It’s a win, win. No matter the age of your child – elementary, middle school, or even high school – it’s never too late to get involved. Even if it’s just a small role, it can make a huge impact on your life, your child's life, and the school.
– Kim Robbins, mother of Luke and Ella Robbins
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