1. Cooperate: Help with what they are already doing. No individual school has enough staff to address the needs of all the children in the school. This is especially true for schools with a larger percentage of at risk students. For this reason, the vast majority of the schools already have a number of volunteer programs operating in the schools. These programs range from donations to specific areas, mentoring and reading with individual students, to administrative and classroom help. This could be a great first step for you and your church.
Things to keep in mind:
- The program is run by the school, usually by a community liaison or a volunteer coordinator that is employed by the school.
- In this level of engagement there is minimal or no financial cost to your church. Your church is simply providing volunteers or donations for the program that they are already running.
- Your role would be to communicate the needs of the school to your congregation, provide accurate and clear information about the program to your congregation and help potential volunteers navigate the initial process.
- All school volunteer programs in the Florida educational system will require some kind of process for criminal background checks. Most volunteers will need encouragement and education from a trusted source in order to effectively complete the process.
- Schools are usually happy to help. They can provide you with flyers, informational brochures and other resources. Depending on the situation, they might even be available to visit your church in order to present a program.