Sept 15th 2016 – Dixie Somers
Newspapers today are filled with stories about education, its failures and its successes. We read one day that test scores are up, the next day that they are down. Graduation rates are falling, but charter school students are succeeding. How can members of the community help? Here are some ideas.
If you are especially good at math, reading and writing, look into volunteer tutoring. Students who have trouble in class often show progress after receiving individual help. This is especially true for students who are hesitant to speak in front of the entire class. Individual or small group sessions can focus on problem areas, and shy children may be more comfortable asking questions when the sessions are one-on-one.
Chaperone Field Trips
A group of twenty students is a lot for one teacher to handle on activities outside the classroom. With several extra adults along, the class can be broken up into small groups of students, allowing closer supervision as well as more time spent on the activity and less on keeping a large group together.
Bring Them to Work
If appropriate to your workplace, ask management to consider giving tours to school groups. Younger children are fascinated by animals, and would love to visit a stable or pet grooming business. Middle school students like noise and movement, so manufacturing and industrial workplaces will keep their attention, and they are old enough to understand and follow safety rules. For high school students who are thinking about careers, a visit to a tech industry workplace, an architectural firm or a law office will give them a glimpse into a possible future occupation.
The list of needed donations is almost endless. Books that are in reasonably good condition can go to the school library. Classrooms always need paper, pencils, crayons or colored pencils, paints and other art supplies. Some schools, like Newgate School, even accept donations of unused cars, trucks and vans, which give auto body and auto mechanic students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in repair.
Become a Community-School Liaison Worker
Ethnic minorities are often bewildered by the bureaucracy of American education, especially if English is not their native language. Outreach and coordinating activities by someone who knows their language and their culture is an invaluable service.
Very often, elections include issues related to education, such as bonds for school expansion, bigger playgrounds, or student programs. Read up on the propositions in your community and support the ones you find worthwhile. Staying involved is often one of the most effective ways to help out educational endeavors.
If you are concerned about the state of education in your community, there are several things you can do to help local schools, the students and the teachers. Talk to the school administration and see how you can make a difference.
About the author
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.