Filling committee positions for parent/teacher groups is always a challenge as members graduate, complete their terms or take on other responsibilities. The key to recruiting is increasing parent involvement as a whole. The more parents are involved, the more parents you have to assess skills, abilities, and availability and the more you can encourage them to step up into leadership roles. Below are 5 ways to help recruit new families and fill committee positions.
1. Plan a summer picnic on school grounds – what a fun way for the students and families to keep in touch over the summer! You can place welcome posters all over the front of the school inviting new and current students and families to join. Everyone can bring their own food and blankets and someone can bring music and speakers. Set up an information table where you can have fliers with a tentative calendar filled with school dates and activity. Have parents complete a form writing in their current profession/skills and boxes to check with areas of interest for volunteering. They are more likely to volunteer if a friendly face is personally inviting them to check out one of the committees and attend a meeting.
2. You can discover new families entering the school by visiting local preschools. You can set a time in the morning or around pick-up time to introduce yourself to the families and talk about the fun events planned at the elementary school and how they can help make the activities happen. Whether they are working parents or stay-at-home parents, there is something for everyone. If you are planning a summer picnic, this is a good time to invite the families to join and help ease the transition for the incoming students.
3. Set up social media pages for families to follow and receive information. Create quick posts with events upcoming, committees forming, post pictures of events throughout the year, and post pictures of volunteers working those events. Spread the word that you have established these new sites and encourage active members to share with others that have students or will have students in the school.
4. Keep website up to date with activities and contacts for each activity. The more active and up-to-date your website is the more parents will go to it for information. Many schools have started their own parent teacher organization website where they post events, fliers, contacts, and ways to purchase tickets for events online. These methods save paper and give parents a place to go for information when fliers don’t make it home or gets destroyed in backpacks by spilled water bottles, smashed lunch boxes, or heavy books.
5. Conduct a survey of parents to identify volunteer interest and talents and match those with school programs and support needs. Some parents don’t step up because they don’t think they are qualified to offer support. For an example, one parent may not think she has administrative skills but only knows how to cook. She may not know that caramel apples are needed every year for teacher appreciation week. Invite her to help in making them. Once she accepts, there may be other roles leading up to that event that she can help with. Send email blasts to the parents, collect surveys at events, and encourage participation by posting on social media.
Once your network of parent volunteers grows, all of their time can be re-invested into the kids by offering more services by the parent/teacher organization. For ideas for family fun events or fundraisers, visit www.funservicessocal.com