On Ramps for Connecting and Continued Involvement
Principals/Assistant Principals Heart4Schools leaders usually first connect with their local school’s principal or assistant principal, if the principal encourages them to make this connection. If you try to connect at the beginning of the school year, know that our principals are very busy. Ask to make an appointment. If you do not get a response, drop off a personal note stating that you and your church would like to help this school year. Include a special treat with the note.
Once a relationship is established you may find it helpful to connect with these leaders:
Guidance Counselors Guidance Counselors know the needs of individual students and are a great resource for meeting the physical needs of students and families. They often help set up Backpack Buddies. They also know the emotional needs of students and would know about mentoring needs.
Social Workers Social workers provide intervention services to assist students in reaching their maximum potential in school by identifying, assessing, and resolving barriers that interfere with student academic achievement, attendance, and school adjustment. They are most often found in middle and high schools – and at the district level. They would love to have a church that they can call on to invest in students.
School Nurses School nurses receive limited budgets to care for the needs of their students and often purchase supplies with their own money. They may be the person at your school that could use items like lice kits, Band-Aids, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair brushes, feminine products, girls’ underwear, and body wipes.
Title One Facilitator Title One Facilitators often function in roles similar to social workers. They could be your connection for meeting student needs, being involved in parent engagement events, and supporting/encouraging teachers.
Reading Interventionists If a school has a Reading Interventionist, you will work with them to set up Reading Buddies or any type of tutoring.
School Improvement Councils All public schools (and some charter schools) have School Improvement Councils. Principals are required to appoint at least two community members to their SIC. Even if those slots are filled, SIC meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend meetings and serve as volunteers. This is a great way to learn the needs of the school. It is also a path to connecting with others from your community and collaborating with area businesses to serve your school.
PTO – Parent Teacher Organizations A PTO is a local organization of teachers and parents who work together to improve schools and to help students. This is a great way for church members (who are also parents to students in the school) to serve and work alongside others in the community.