If you’re a parent, you’re going to want your children to go to the best schools. Your realtor probably showed you homes for sale based on school ratings. If you’re not a parent, you might not think schools matter to you. But eventually you’re going to be selling your home, and parents might be buying it. No matter who you are, helping the schools helps you. But do you know what you can do?
The First Step is to Ask
You have to find out what your school district needs. Get involved by signing up for your school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA is where you’ll get an inside look at what the teachers need to make their schools successful. For example, mid-year, you might find they need help with supplies. Your kids can’t learn if they don’t have the supplies they need. And then, of course, they always need you to…
Volunteer at the Schools
The best way you can help your school and learn what they need is to volunteer. There are a lot of things you can do to help. Most school districts need volunteers that can give one on one tutoring for core subjects like reading and math. You can assist your school’s library media specialist, making sure the library is stocked and organized. If you’ve got the time, a summer break will let you help paint the school. This may seem superficial, but children at nice looking schools will be more eager to learn. Finally, you can chaperone field trips or a dance, or other school events.
Remember Your Public Libraries
You might not think libraries have anything to do with the schools, but they serve an important purpose. Public libraries offer excellent research material, as they always have. Even if it’s just a quiet place to research, better study environments mean better test scores. And finally, most public libraries take an active role in education. You can find after school programs and homework resources that expand beyond the classroom.
Get Involved in the School Board Meetings
Your school district’s spending and policy decisions are mostly made at state and local levels. As long as you vote, you have a voice. You can use that voice to make sure teachers get your support.
If you’re going to use your voice properly, you have to know how your school board operates, and the issues that they’re facing. Once you’ve gotten a handle on the issues your district faces, you can start getting further involved, both on the state and local levels.
Support Classroom Projects Directly
If you’ve got the means to do so, you can donate to classroom projects on donorschoose.org. There, you can choose the classroom you’re trying to support, and leave notes for why you think it’s important. If you can’t afford to make donations you can still use your voice on social media to get the word out, and help people who can make donations find a worthy project. If you’ve got a large circle of friends, try spreading the word the old-fashioned way, through word-of-mouth.
These are just a few ways you can improve your school system. Better schools mean better communities, higher home values, and happier neighbors.