WHAT IS A ROOM PARENT?
A room parent is a volunteer who helps the teacher organize events for the classroom and serves as the liaison between the teacher and other classroom families. In addition, the room parent relays information about volunteer needs for various school events and rallies (such as the Fall Festival). This is a great way to be involved with your child’s class and to help foster family involvement! Our 2019-2020 Room Parent Coordinator is Julie Carrow juliecarrow[at]gmail.com, and she will help coordinate room parent efforts for school wide events and be a resource for you. Here are some suggestions to help you get started:
- Check out Room Parent a website by PTO for great resources & ideas.
- Sign up to be a room parent (or co-room parent) at the Meet and Greet. Be sure to leave your contact information so our room parent coordinator and PTA can contact you, too. (We’re here to help!)
- Once the teacher confirms you as the room parent, meet to discuss how the teacher would like you to support the class
- Talk with the teacher about events and activities s/he has planned and how families can be involved. Try to set dates. Note: teachers have different styles and preferences for their classroom celebrations. Be sure to talk with the teacher in advance before planning.
- Find out what time events tend to be scheduled–morning? late afternoon? lunch?
- Find out about food allergies, dietary restrictions, and the Forest View wellness policy recommendations for class parties.
- Ask if you can send a memo to families introducing yourself and asking families if they will share email or phone contact info with you (the teacher cannot give this to you for confidentiality reasons). Here’s a sample letter: Room_Parent_Flyer.
Throughout the year:
- Communicate classroom event information about 3 weeks before the event. Include time/date as well as volunteer and supply needs. For those families not on the class email list, be sure to send a print copy home in folders. A few days before the event, send a reminder email and include the names of those who have volunteered. Teachers sometimes have class newsletters, so ask if the teacher would like to include the event in the newsletter.
- Recruit volunteers for the Fall Festival. Each class needs 2 volunteers to run a game or booth.
- For teacher appreciation week, recruit parents to cover the teacher’s lunch period during the teacher appreciation lunch at the end of the week.
- For field trips, help the teacher make sure there are parent volunteers. Possibly organize snack donations.
- Some room parents organize group gifts for the holidays and the end of the year. This can be decided with the other families in your class.
- Remember to keep all family contact information confidential.
Teachers love volunteers! Just ask the teacher how parents can best support the classroom. Some possibilities:
- Stuffing Friday Folders
- A monthly birthday snack for children whose birthdays fall during that month
- Getting additional supplies or classroom snacks during the year
- Organizing family gatherings
- Helping with Field Day, field trips, class plays, living wax museums, gardens, or crafts.
Being a room parent is a wonderful way to support your teacher, get to know your child’s classroom, and participate in your child’s education.