Yesterday one of our moms visited my class and read her favorite books to us. Last week we also had a "guest reader" and another is scheduled for week after next. The children love to have their parents visit our class, but more importantly they love to hear someone else read. Guest readers are an essential part of my reading program. I will beg to get other adults to read in my classroom. I want my students to understand that reading isn't just something that teachers and children do. I want them to have role models from all areas of life. One year a young man from the high school football team came and read to the children, in his uniform. He also explained to them that he had to be able to read the rules and plays of the game. He made quite an impact on my boys. Another time I had a grandpa read about cowboys. One of my moms, a dental hygienist, read a book about teeth and passed out toothpaste samples.
Reading is just one of the things that parents and other adults can volunteer to do at school that will have an impact on children. Many classes could use an assistant for tutoring, making copies, cutting out projects, or preparing supplies. A group of ladies helped me one year by coloring file folder games. File folder games are language games, such as matching color words to colored balls, that are glued on file folders and laminated. Each child takes a folder and an envelope of matching pieces to his table to work on. They are great teaching tools and perfect for children who finish projects early. I love to use them, but before I can assemble one, all the pieces have to be colored with crayons or markers, and cut out. That usually means sitting in front of my favorite TV show and coloring and cutting for an hour. So you can imagine how grateful I was when the ladies colored six of them for me!
I also have parents and other relatives who are always on the lookout for free or cheap supplies. They save egg cartons and wrapping paper for me. They pick up paper scraps at the printer. They bring me extra pencils or boxes of tissue. Last week a parent brought me some of those swimming pool "noodles"- the long foam tubes the kids play with. I will slice them up into sections and on rainy days we will use them as quiet building blocks. I already had a few, but now I have enough for every child! We can build a whole city! LOL
If you have any free time at all, I urge you to contact your local school and volunteer to read or do something else to contribute to the education of our children. It doesn't matter if you have a child or even a grandchild in your local school. We all benefit when our children are well-educated. We all benefit when our children are happy and productive. With all of the budget cutbacks and problems facing us, we need to join together to solve the problems that are within our capabilities. We can help each other, and we can begin by helping our children.