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Overview

You are a valuable PTA/PTSA leader. Tell others what a great PTA you have, your goals and your achievements. Ask people to volunteer and help your PTA achieve more for all children and families. Be positive about PTA when you are out in your community. Speak about the great opportunities available to help children and families. PTA volunteers can be found anywhere:

  • At work
  • At senior centers or retirement communities
  • At the student union building of a local college
  • At fraternal organizations, civic groups and women’s clubs
  • At a chamber of commerce luncheon
  • In a high school class, club, or organization

Tip: Ask for volunteers at the start of and close of a successful PTA event. Introduce yourself, thank everyone for attending this PTA event, and say something like, “If you enjoyed tonight’s Ice Cream Social, please consider volunteering two hours next month so we can do it again.”

Tip: Be specific. If you need two hours, say it. If the job can be done at home or with family, say it. Can someone give you the two hours in 30-minute increments? Be sensitive to the fact that many members need to know the commitment before they are willing to volunteer.

Duties at a Glance

  • Visit with your school principal to plan ahead for the needs of the school and determine priorities for volunteer recruitment
  • Become knowledgeable about the volunteer guidelines set by the school district
  • Survey teachers and staff regarding volunteer needs in the school
  • Survey potential volunteers to learn about their talents, interests and skills
  • Hold a volunteer orientation meeting
  • Set goals for volunteers for the school year
  • Recruit volunteers throughout the year
  • Recognize volunteers for their hard work
  • Evaluate volunteer program success after each event

Volunteer Roles

No two volunteers are alike - and there are as many different roles to play as there are personalities! Whether volunteers would prefer to roll up their sleeves in a planning meeting, help promote programs from home, or simply lend a hand at events, there is a job for everyone who wants to help. Use the following suggestions to expand your thinking about how team members can be involved in your PTA programs.

Plan

  • Be sure to announce planning meetings widely, rather than relying on the same small circle of volunteers. Ask the principal to suggest parents who might be interested in getting more involved, and have your board members extend a personal invitation. You might be surprised who steps up!
  • Invite a representative of the student council or student government to participate on a planning team, or ask a group of interested students to take the lead in planning a program or event, with PTA support.
  • Consider recruiting school staff who have a natural interest related to particular programs. For health and safety programs, for example, these might include health and physical education teachers, school nurses, kitchen staff, crossing guards and playground monitors.
  • Also consider tapping into student groups related to the program area. For arts in education programs, for example, think about choir/band classes, dance teams or film clubs.

Promote

  • PTA members who cannot make it to planning meetings might be willing to help with promotion: writing press releases, creating a flier or banners, updating the school sign board, making phone calls to invite parents or community representatives or spreading the word via social media.
  • Student volunteers might be willing to promote an event during morning announcements or write an article about a program’s impact for their school newspaper.
  • Teachers might agree to have their students make posters reinforcing program messages.

Participate

  • Family members who attend events with their children might be willing to come a little early for set up, stay a few minutes after to help clean up or give a half hour of their time to staff a membership table or collect event evaluation forms. If yours is a Title I school, the parent center is a great place to reach potential volunteers.
  • If you are hosting an event in the afternoon or evening, consider contacting the local high school to identify older students who might need community service hours to meet graduation requirements.

Resources