I signed up to volunteer at our elementary school on our son’s very first day, two years ago. It was a spur-of-the-moment, totally emotional decision.
I could barely concentrate on my work because I couldn’t stop thinking about what he was probably doing at that very moment. He’d barely been gone two hours before I messaged a friend who coordinates volunteers, and begged her for a job — anything to GET ME IN THAT BUILDING WITH MY BABY.
I filled out a lot of paperwork to ensure I was not a criminal and/or someone who shouldn’t be around kids, and then I started working at the school’s breakfast program one morning a week.
Two years later, I’m still doing the same job — serving breakfast to hundreds of kids every Wednesday morning. It isn’t difficult. Some mornings I pour bowls of cereal and add milk, and other mornings I put frozen waffles or slices of bread through the restaurant-grade toaster oven.
It’s quite the learning experience. On a few occasions, I’ve made truly terrible-looking batches of oatmeal — each one’s been slightly better than the last, at least. I’ve learned I prefer slicing oranges because the apples turn brown if you cut too many in advance. I dislike toast-and-jam days because jam is gloppy and it’s hard to avoid fruit chunks.
I’m in my third year of this job, and I’m always amazed that we’re struggling to fill volunteer slots every year — despite having more than 500 students and probably close to 1,000 parents/guardians or doting grandparents.
If you’ve ever thought about volunteering at your child’s school, here are a few things I want you to know …