Press Editorial

August 28, 2012

By Contributor

School begins with need for volunteers

Next Tuesday, parents across the Issaquah School District will walk their kids to the school bus or to school for the start of a new school year.

Ahhhh, finally, a bit of free time for a second cup of coffee!

But wait, your school needs you! The volunteer jobs at school are endless. The playground needs monitors, the library can use assistance, the front office might need your organizational skills, teachers almost never have enough helpers and the nurse’s office is often in need of a mother’s touch to watch over a sick child.

But the best of the volunteer jobs may be working directly with students. Parents, grandparents and other citizens are always welcome to just listen to children read. For a bigger role, ask about becoming a mentor to students, helping guide them in their social development and their studies — or sometimes just to be there to listen.

If you prefer something more athletic, check into becoming a volunteer to a coach. The middle schools and high schools have an array of sports teams that need organizational and skills assistance in support of its coaches.

Volunteers at schools are not expected to take a leadership role. Volunteers do not get involved in discipline or instruction. Their role is one of helper.

Getting involved in school doesn’t necessarily mean more time with kids. The PTA at each school is looking for parents to volunteer in everything from teacher recognition to fundraising. Start by joining your PTA, and then get involved.

The Issaquah School District requires a background check on every volunteer, whether a parent or not. All volunteers must apply and be approved before they get clearance to begin service. In additional to the typical background information, volunteers must undergo a Washington State Patrol criminal history check once every two years.

To get started, stop in at a school office to learn more about volunteer opportunities and get an application. Forms can also be found on the district’s website, www.issaquah.wednet.edu.

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