Save Needed Items: Many schools collect “Box Tops for Education”, Campbell’s Soup labels or Tyson Chicken bar codes. Find out which ones your school saves and keep a plastic bag in your kitchen for saving these items. Make sure you clip them out carefully. They won’t be accepted without the expiration date or complete bar code. You could also pay attention to newsletters which may include requests for needed items for the teacher, like paper towel tubes or coffee cans.
Go into the school: Some schools have a basket in the work room where teachers put items to be copied or laminated. If your school doesn’t have one, maybe you could suggest this and help recruit parents to come in to work on the items in the basket.
Go into the classroom: Ask the teacher if you can help out during a craft or science activity. Perhaps a weekly time can be arranged for you to assist during centers activities or for a read-aloud while the teacher meets with a small group.
Meetings and Information: Attend PTA meetings and find out what fundraisers and other activities are going on in the school. You may be able to help on a Saturday or in the evening at a PTA event. Read newsletters carefully to see what events are coming up and to find requests for needed items or volunteers.
For your child’s teacher: Most teachers work very hard and spend a lot of their own money to help your child’s experience in school be more meaningful and more fun. Show your child’s teacher that you appreciate their efforts. Surprise them one morning with a nice cup of coffee and a muffin. Buy a rubber stamp or a package of stickers to donate to the classroom. Arrange to bring them
lunch one day from a local sub shop. These very small gestures really do make a teacher’s day.
- As the economy slows and times are tough, teachers will have less and less time to plan and less of their own money to spend on their students. Keep this in mind.