Volunteering as a Working Parent

Recently a parent reached out to me wondering how to volunteer at Mar Vista as a mom who works from 9-5 each week day. This question struck me not only because I am a working, single mom who has yet to volunteer at my own child’s preschool in 2018, but also because I didn’t have a quick and easy answer. The most important thing to remember, in my thinking, is that there are so many different ways to contribute that look different than working in your child’s classroom during the school day. And, at the same time, Mar Vista wouldn’t be the same without our many parents who are able to contribute during the school day. We encourage all types of participation!

When thinking about volunteering, here are some things to remember:

  • Everyone has something to contribute
  • Find your niche
  • Be realistic with your time to find something that fits your schedule
  • Talk to your child’s teacher directly about what they might need
  • Remember School Site Council, ELAC, and MVP meetings occur later in the day or in the evening
  • Many of our bigger family fun and fundraising events occur on the weekends: Fall Carnival, Auction, Move for Mar Vista 5K
  • Don’t replicate your 9-5. For example, if your day job has you constantly making mental decisions, think about something more physical you could do on campus like tend to the garden. 

Thank you to our many volunteers. Over the last two weeks alone, I have seen parents, grandparents, and even some adult siblings heading up the auction, creating sets for the amazing third and forth grade plays, leading Kindergarten center time, practicing yoga with second graders, supervising the yard, attending field trips, participating in the MVP meetings, attending School Site Council, and organizing 21 Days of Kindness for the entire school.

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This also got me thinking that we need a resource that we can point families to where all volunteering opportunities, policies, and procedures are laid out clearly. We are in the process of updating our school website and including this information there all under the link that says “Donate/Volunteer.” Keep an eye out for this.

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