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Friday, October 14, 2011

Why Volunteer in the School Library

As most of you who follow me regularly or frequent me often know, this year was a big transition year for both my children and myself into a new school district.

We went from a private campus of 36 students, grades Pre-K through 4th to a Primary campus of 1,100 students and an Intermediate campus of about 600. Not only was it a size transition but also a social and academic transition because the teaching methods are different.

It took a full six weeks for us to settle in. While Farmer, Jr. fell in well socially (it didn't matter one way or the other to him) he struggled with academics and new teaching styles (ie: Mama can't hold your hand no more). Where as Lil'Gal adapted to the scholastic part but, even being my assertive social butterfly, she floundered socially. To the point of tears almost every morning - hers (and mine once out of sight).

I had to find a way to be involved. I needed to know what was going on. My children's entire academic careers have involved me being involved. I'm lucky enough to have the flexibility that I can volunteer and attend school functions during the day that I know some parents aren't lucky enough to be able to do.

Obviously, I volunteered myself to the teachers as needed. Lil'Gal's teacher took me up on this here and there and this was beneficial in Lil'Gal's adjustment - she felt more secure knowing I was there on campus somewhere. And, the occasional pop-in to the classroom furthered this. But, Farmer, Jr.'s teachers didn't seem to need me. How else could I be involved? Then a flyer was popped into my hand - "Volunteer at Your School Library". GENIUS.

It is amazing the untapped knowledge I've learned and continue to learn from volunteering at the library. I've learned how the school works, the schedule, I've met teachers and am getting to know the student population AND they are recognizing me. I'm "Lil'Gal's Mom" which makes Lil'Gal a person, a name, no longer just a student ID number. I'm there which makes me more available to the teachers and the teachers more available to me. I myself am no longer a parent to an ID number, but a parent with a face - and thus a voice.

Librarians are the heart of the school, I swear. They know something about everything going on. And, they know all the teachers and staff, obviously :-). They know testing schedules, upcoming events, and of course ALL ABOUT AR. They gave me links to pretty much everything - my children's academics and AR are all online. I can know anything I need to about anything with the click of a mouse.  "I" can check out additional library books for additional AR reading for the kids. I could go on and on and on.

Top Reasons Why You Should Volunteer at the School Library:

1) It's FUN!
2) The Librarian and the library are the heart of the school, vessels of knowledge (and they will share)
3) Accessibility: to the teachers and by the teachers as well as to your kids
4) Make your child a name and face, not a student ID #
5) Learn how AR and so many other school and academic programs work
6) It makes it easy to help pre-select AR books your children would like and test well on
7) The BOOK FAIR!!
8) Get to know the student population
9) Meet other parents who also volunteer
10) Your kids really love you being there ;-)

Believe me, this list should be WAY more than ten. But, if you get the opportunity to volunteer at your children's school library then you can find out the rest for yourself!

I'm blessed, as Dave Ramsey says, "Better than I deserve". HAPPY FRIDAY!! FWFD of the week!!


1 comment:

shoreacres said...

What a great post. And all of the reasons you list to volunteer are right on. The grade school down the road from me had a reading program this summer using community volunteers to staff the library under teacher supervision, and that was great, too. It gave the kids a chance to know adults from outside their usual circles - really a great thing.

Not only that, there's the name of Dave Ramsey - clear evidence that you're a sensible and pretty danged great person!