Are you a working parent or a stay-at-home one, a caregiver or a grandparent?
Do you have a couple hours a week, or a few hours a month?
Prefer days, weekends or evenings? 

When you volunteer you show your support
for your kids, our school and community.

By volunteering and showing your support for Neil Cummins, you make our community stronger and our school even more successful.  Today, everyone feels (and is!) busier than ever before, but the ongoing social, academic and emotional success of our kids relies heavily on the amazing network of parents and guardians.  A tight knit community of volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to building a solid foundation of support creates a lasting impression on staff and students.  There are so many ways to get involved whatever your availabilty and time.  Explore the possibilities, get involved, make some new friends, and see our community shine!


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"When parents are involved in their children's education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school and the schools they go to are better."*​​

A little goes a long way:  Maybe you work full time. Maybe you run a Girl Scout troop or a large company. I'm busy, you're busy, and the odds are so are the other parents at our school. The big mistake here is thinking volunteering has to be an “all or nothing,” thing. It doesn’t. When it comes to helping out, a little can really go a long way. Spending once a week or even once a month serving hot lunch, stacking books in the library, sending out emails, or helping with a fundraiser takes the edge off of someone else who’s probably already doing more than their fair share. So check your calendar and figure out how much time you can really devote to volunteer work, then make a commitment and stick to it.

Everyone has something to offer: I get it – you can’t bake your way out of a paper bag. Or maybe you have the social skills of an aardvark. Volunteer work at your child’s school can certainly seem daunting if you buy into the idea that you have to be Martha Stewart or have the personality of a politician to contribute anything of worth. But volunteering is so much more than decorating the perfect holiday cupcakes or greeting parents during school events. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work to be done that doesn’t require anything other than a true willingness to give your time and energy. Everyone is good at something which means everyone has something to offer. Library books are just begging to be organized in the library, fundraising ideas are just waiting to be discovered and implemented, and emails about upcoming meetings are dying to be typed out and sent. What are you good at? When are you available? How can you apply your skills and passions to your child’s school community? In other words, don’t sign up as the PTO treasurer if you barely passed 10th grade Algebra — you’ll hate what you’re doing and end up quitting (and maybe even bounce some checks while you’re at it). Only available at night? Come stuff envelopes, send a few emails, and plan some events. The trick is to find your niche and apply it to volunteer work accordingly.

Your child will benefit: Some parents take for granted that their child continues to benefit from the hard work of others. School is so much more than just drop-off and pick-up, yet a large percentage of moms and dads regard the place where their child spends the majority of their childhood as nothing more than an overcrowded babysitting agency.  (Hopefully not at our school but you get the point.) The majority of assemblies, teacher wish list items, book fairs and special events are organized and implemented by volunteers who believe your child is worth the extra effort. Helping to oversee some of these programs and projects will give your child a more meaningful school experience — and that should be motivation enough for anyone.

You’ll feel good: Not only will your volunteer efforts pay off by enhancing your child’s experience on campus, you’ll feel pretty good about yourself too. Doing for others feels right, and it’s contagious. Plus those “I’m a volunteer!” stickers you get to wear are pretty awesome; it’s a badge that says I care about my community and makes me feel kind of special. I’m not going to try and sell you on volunteer work without tapping into the fact that it’s sure to get those feel-good endorphins flowing.

* A New Generation of Evidence: The Family Is Critical to Student Achievement by Anne Henderson & Nancy Berla


Volunteer at Any Level:  Studies indicate that parent involvement in education has a positive effect at all grade levels: elementary, middle, and high school. You don't have to be the PTO President or run SPARK's Annual Giving campaign (well you could...), but even a few hours of your time every week, month, or year can benefit the school. Volunteer as much or as little as you can. The rewards at any level are outstanding!

Dads Who Volunteer Make a Difference:  In both two-parent and father-only households where dads are highly involved in their schools, children are more likely to succeed academically,  participate in extracurricular activities, and enjoy school. 

Make A Significant Difference:  One study found that students from families with above-average parent involvement were 30% more successful in school than those with below-average involvement. Success was measured by grades; test scores in math, science, reading, and social studies; promotion and retention rates; and teacher ratings.

Create a  Deeper Connection Between Home and School:  A three-year study of 12,000 high school student concluded that "When parents come to school regularly, it reinforces the view in the child's mind that school and home are connected and that school is an integral part of the whole family's life." Sure that's high school students, but imagine the impact you could have on elementary school students!

The Opportunities Fade in Upper Grades: We all know the qualms of puberty. The dreaded moments when your kids may not want to recognize you at their school. The moment they may want to run and hide in the bathroom because you are trying to volunteer. Of course you are still needed at middle school  and even high school, but the reception maybe quite different and the opportunities are less.  So get as much volunteering in as you can whilst they are still in elementary school.

All of the above information sourced from PTOToday (online) and Jo Ashline, The Orange County Register.