Mandatory volunteer hours at school - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 08-31-2004, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is starting a new charter school soon. I pay for preschool though. They require 15 hours of volunteering by parents. I think that's wonderful but I can't see how it's going to work out. My baby has stranger anxiety and won't even tolerate anyone holding her, much less me leaving her with someone to do volunteer work. She also has special medical needs so I would have a hard time finding someone even if she would let me leave her.

Any suggestions on how to work with the school on this? I'm not trying to get out of it, I just don't know how it's going to work.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#2 of 9 Old 08-31-2004, 05:21 PM
 
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i would tell them your limitations really early, and ask for tasks that you can do with your baby or at home. (cutting things out, craft prep, shopping, baking, phone calls, office work, classroom setup outside of school hours.) I am sure they can come up with something. Also perhaps a swap with a friend relative or parent for something you can do for them in exchange for some classroom time. Schoolteachers for example, never get to volunteer at their kid's school - so i did it for a friend who teaches when her son was little. are there weekend or evening events? is dd ok with your dh? - forgetting for a moment if you're a single parent...
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#3 of 9 Old 08-31-2004, 05:29 PM
 
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I also imagine that they will work around you. Home projects are a good option as are things that you can bring your youngest along with. The car is not my favorite but perhaps they would allow you to do some car errands as well. Bake sales are another good option. Oh, telephone calls for fund raisers and etc. Cleaning, organizing or garden work after hours, too. And, yes, the volunteer requirement should be for your entire family so I don’t see why the father or extended family (grandparents) couldn’t pitch in. As a last option, some schools around here allow parents to pay their way out of the service but my personal feelings are that this should be kept at a minimum.

Oh, what Clarity said, LOL...

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#4 of 9 Old 09-01-2004, 12:01 AM
 
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I don't think you will have any problems finding 15 hours that will work in your schedule.

Consider what would be most convenient for you (cutting out art projects, making copies, calling businesses for donations...) and sign up early. When DD was in preschool & I had a newborn we had no problems finding lots of work that we could do w/newborn in tow.

Another option is to hook up with another mother/father/family with sibling issues & babysit for them while they volunteer at the school (hours for both of you).

Good luck!!!

 

 

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#5 of 9 Old 09-01-2004, 02:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas! For some reason it never occured to me that I could do take-home work. That would be ideal, dh and I can do it together some evenings after the kids go to bed. I think they would understand our situation. The principal said Nitara was so cute she'd love to watch her in her office while I volunteer. Unfortunately I don't think Nitara would go for that in her current state of stranger anxiety.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#6 of 9 Old 09-04-2004, 12:50 AM
 
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My kids also go to a charter school, and our requirement is also 15 hours. I'm the volunteer coordinator, and take home work is our biggest request.

I do my best to honor the take home requests, but sometimes there just isn't enough to go around.

We have pizza day, and this is probably our second most popular event for volunteering. We have many parents that come to help and also have a child on their hip. This may actually be something for you to consider. It will get your little one used to the school surrounding, you will meet other parents, and you'll have a blast. If you don't have a pizza day or the like, volunteer in the classroom a couple of times for class parties. You can spend as little or as much time as you like, and still reep the benifits.

I can't tell you how many hours I spent at school with a young child on my hip while I was helping in the classroom for my older child. It is a little more challenging, but I'm glad I did it.

All charter schools require hours. Here in Florida, we can actually legally ask a family not to return if their hours have not been fullfilled. It's written into every charter. So please make sure you get your hours in.

You're probably not the first parent with challenges they prevent you from being as involved as you would like. So talk to the appropriate personel at school so you can make sure that you and your school can both benefit from your volunteer time!!!

Good luck!
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#7 of 9 Old 09-04-2004, 07:02 PM
 
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I would just let them know your situation. There are probably quite a few things you can do with a baby in tow. I'm sure there are lots of parents who are in the situation of not having a babysitter for a younger child so they should already have ideas in place for that. Also, I don't know how feasible this is, but many schools with volunteer requirements allow you to buy supplies that they need instead of actually volunteering hours. Of course it would take time to go out and get the supplies so you are still helping out that way but could take your baby.
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#8 of 9 Old 09-04-2004, 11:10 PM
 
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15 hours of volunteering a week????

wow!
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#9 of 9 Old 09-05-2004, 12:53 AM
 
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I do quite a bit of work at my son's school as well. (Its a cooperative private school.) I always take my younger child along with me. Its been perfectly fine. He has a good time and the older kids are very sweet to him. However, I think it would have been even easier to bring a baby because I would have just used a sling.

My son's school values the experience of having different ages interact in the classroom. It is a learning experience for some of the kids to have a baby around, to see a baby nursing, or being soothed. I love to see a 7 or 8 year old child take my little guys hand and lead him around the playground.
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