We’re big baseball fans in my house. We spend many hours running from field to field, game to game, chasing balls and building memories. But as much as we love the thrill of a win and the passion it builds in our son, we realize that it allows us to teach him a few good life lessons as well. Life lessons that can be used anywhere, at anytime, by anyone. We often find ourselves explaining how events on the field can translate to situations in other parts of his life…especially school.
If you’ve been associated with Neuse Charter School over the past few years you’ve no doubt witnessed the tremendous growth in student population. In just 11 years, the only public charter school in Johnston County with a campus has grown from a mere few dozen students to a student body of nearly 1,000! Personally I think this is a strong testament to the environment, instructors, curriculum and overall experience our school offers. Hundreds are still waiting to get in, and we, parents of the fortunate ones, most likely breathe a sigh of relief that our lottery days are over.
When I toured the school a few years back there was a clear message that parents were expected to volunteer. I was concerned about the expectation because both my husband and I worked in jobs that required a lot of travel. I wasn’t home much and when I was I was bringing work home or trying to focus on my kids. How could I possibly add more to my plate? But I also knew I was looking for something more for my children. Our family was in need of a greater educational experience with teachers that were allowed to think outside the box and parents that were committed to helping them.
The need for parent involvement at Neuse Charter is as great now as it was in the beginning, yet parent involvement has dwindled as our student population grows.
The founding families of our school put in tireless hours and while many are still visible in the classrooms and extracurriculars there must be a “new guard” stepping up to the plate to ensure future success, but what does this mean exactly?
There is something for everyone and every schedule at our school! If you have availability during the week our teachers at ALL LEVELS need help making copies…pretty simple stuff. There are bigger jobs too like organizing classroom annual baskets or coordinating parties so that the teachers can focus on teaching. Maybe you don’t have time during school hours, but you want to help. Did you know teachers need help creating test prep materials such as a Kahoot and Quizlet games? This can be done at home using a provided study guide, and generally takes less than an hour. Ask your child if they’ve used these tools in the classroom and if they’ve helped. I promise they do. There are so many needs at our school and our teachers can only do so much. We as parents must find our niche, our area of expertise, where we can give our time and help our school thrive.
Don’t box yourself in either. If you have elementary-aged children, but the thought of being in a 3rd grade classroom for the day seems overwhelming (Trust me, I write this from experience!) please consider helping our high school teachers. Yes, they need help too! Our physical education teachers even need help in the gym if you don’t mind pushing a mop or cleaning bleachers…sometimes mindless work is the only thing a really busy person can offer and that’s ok! But maybe you have a background in health or marketing and want to help the freshman in their 5K efforts or maybe you work in another career field where that work could prove valuable as a tutor. Maybe you like photography and want to help the yearbook staff. If you’re willing to give even a little bit of time you can make a huge difference!
There will be a table in the gym at Open House on Aug. 8th from 3-4:30pm and Aug 10th from 4-6pm (Open House runs from 3-6:30) and I’ll be sharing information about the needs of teachers and distributing volunteer background check forms. Please stop by to say hello or ask questions. It’s not a commitment, it’s just a conversation, but that’s where we need to start. If you can’t make it there during those times, but are interested in receiving the information please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to meeting you and finding ways we can make the Neuse Charter School “team” that much better for our children, teachers and community.