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How to Volunteer at a Public School

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Public schools throughout the nation need dedicated volunteers to carry out a variety of duties ranging from chaperoning on field trips to tutoring and mentoring children or assisting with fundraising efforts. When you contribute your time at a school, you're sending the message that you consider public education a worthy cause, according to, an online resource for parents and educators. It's never too late to get involved in volunteering to support education; taking the steps to assist at a public school doesn't have to be overwhelming and time consuming.

Go to a school's open house or Parent Teacher's Association meeting. PTA meetings and open-house events are typically held at the beginning of the school year, and at these events, you can find out the needs of teachers and students. Speak to teachers and administrators, and let them know of your interest in volunteering. Ask teachers questions regarding how you can become a volunteer, and inquire about background check screenings, volunteer application forms and other information.

Contact your local school system's human resource department and ask about volunteering opportunities. By calling or emailing this representative, you're likely to receive guidance as to how to become a volunteer. The representative will likely direct you to fill out a volunteer application form, or may ask you to contact a school employee that oversees volunteers.

Call a public school's principal or assistant principal. If you have something to offer or a particular skill, such as writing, art or cooking, tell the principal your interest in teaching children voluntarily or leading a program. Teachers who lead after-school clubs or sports programs may need someone with a specific talent or ability to assist. Counselors may need someone with writing or editing experience to tutor children who are failing English. The principal, after hearing your interest, will likely inform you on how you can help the school by volunteering.


Brooke Williams is a freelance writer living in Alabama. She is a former education and government reporter at a daily newspaper and has been writing since 2003. Williams received her journalism degree from Auburn University. She has written for "Health for Alabama" and "Health for Tennessee" magazines.

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