Planning Day Volunteer Program Reaps Benefits

Planning Day Volunteer Program Reaps Benefits
Posted on 01/16/2019

Finding parents in a Head Start classroom is not an unusual sight. That’s because parents are encouraged to be active participants in their children’s learning and development. 

Being a parent planning day volunteer is one of many opportunities parents have to pitch in at their Head Start centers.  

Crystal Lopez, a Remcon Head Start Parent Planning Day Volunteer, volunteers her time by reading to children. “I enjoy this, it’s fun and it’s also nice to come in as a parent and see what our kids do,” said Lopez. “They (children) start to do things on their own, like serving themselves and brushing their own teeth. This is a great volunteer program that I feel parents should be a part of.”

Planning Day Volunteers assist teachers in the classroom, provide support for the center and offer outreach to other parents and families. The Planning Day Volunteer program also serves as an effort to allow Head Start teachers to have at least one day of planning per week. 

“We know how much our teachers need their planning and how well they may utilize it. However, we realize that if the teacher is going to take a day of planning then the teacher and teacher assistant needs a classroom assistant,” said David Herrera, Family Partnership and Leadership program manager. “This is the role our planning day volunteers play. With extensive training, our parents understand daily classroom activities and routines and are better prepared to assist the teacher in the classroom.”  

Prior to being placed in a classroom, parents attend a three-day training session. The sessions cover topics in early childhood development and school readiness. Additional sessions focus on oral language development, social-emotional development, early literacy and math development, best practices and curriculum implementation.

“Being a Parent Planning Day Volunteer is a tremendous opportunity for parents who are a valued resource for our Head Start program,” said Herrera. “This training allows them (parents) to assist our teachers, gain valuable classroom experience which in turn may lead to employment as substitutes or teacher assistants.”  

Research shows that children whose parents volunteer at school have a better attitude and higher academic achievement. The data also shows that teachers who have classroom support do their job better and parents who participate in the classroom are better equipped to support their children’s learning.

If you are a Head Start parent or guardian interested in becoming a parent planning day volunteer call the Family Partnership and Leadership service area at 790-4684 or speak to your child’s teacher.