Orientation and Training
All volunteers must complete an orientation/training course which can be held at your facility. The orientation will cover what it means to be a U4H volunteer, information about MNPS and your partner school, and details about attire/arrival/check-in/etc. This can also be the time your volunteers complete all paperwork for background checks, etc. Consider teaming up with other U4H partners for a shared Orientation time.
The content of Volunteer Orientation is prepared and set by U4H with input from the Partnership Coordinator. A Volunteer Handbook will be provided as a resource to you.
Volunteer tutors in MNPS Reading Clinics are required to attend a 2-hour training that prepares the tutor to work one-on-one with a student following a predetermined curriculum based on best-practices from around the country. This Reading Clinic training is hosted by the school and will be provided by Reading Clinic staff or school leadership. Reading Clinic volunteerism is a high-priority for U4H partnerships. They are exciting for the tutors as they are able to see the progress of students as they advance reading levels during their time together.
Serving at Schools
- Student Support Ideas: tutoring (one-on-one in reading clinc or classroom) ∙ ∙ lunch buddies ∙ ∙ reading buddies ∙ ∙ book fair ∙ ∙ read me week ∙
- Classroom adoption: holiday parties, adopt students to pray for individually, weekly teachers support, photograph students to make Mother’s Day cards, read to class, help with special projects ∙ ∙ school-wide birthday recognition on a monthly basis during lunch: provide ice cream cup and small goodie bag for all those with a birthday that month
- Boost average daily attendance with incentives ∙ ∙ provide school uniforms - could be tied to parent’s attendance at open house at start of school year to draw parents to attend and meet the teacher
- First day of school welcome table and assist walking kindergartners to classroom during first week of school
- African-American history play ∙ ∙ school-wide/church-wide “Spring Fling on school playground providing games and snacks for students and their families ∙ ∙ host a career night to encourage students to dream and visualize their futures ∙ ∙ end-of-year Fun Day ∙ ∙ summer activities: sports camps, VBS in park, summer reading program, etc.
- Teacher Support Ideas: provide snacks or goodies with notes in the teachers’ workroom periodically ∙ ∙ proctor tests ∙ ∙ chaperon field trips ∙ ∙assist teacher with activities ∙ ∙ breakfast or lunches for teachers, snack during in-service days ∙ ∙ teacher test survival kits
- Supplies for classroom: hand sanitizer, dry erase markers, kleenex, Clorox wipes, paper ∙ ∙ 100 for 100: ask your church members to consider being part of 100 people to donate $100 each - funds raised are used to help administration purchase larger ticket items not provide for in the school budget
Parent/Family Support Ideas
- Family math, reading, and science nights ∙ ∙ provide volunteers and a meal to ease strain on teachers and get to know students and their families - providing a meal boosts attendance by families
- Family fun event: movie night, game board night, sports night, chili night, etc. ∙ ∙workshops and conferences hosted and led by your volunteer team: teaching parents how to teach their children - how to teach and help with homework
- Parent incentive program for attending school activities ∙ ∙ assist with Night Out Against Crime ∙ ∙ various festival options at a nearby park
While U4H emphasizes volunteer time spent in the schools, in-kind contributions to the school are certainly appreciated. On occasion, in-kind contributions of Standard School attire, socks, belts, coats, and backpacks are requested based on the needs the Principal identifies with the Partnership Coordinator. Classroom teachers always appreciated donations of dry erase markers, kleenex, paper, and hand sanitizer. These in-kind donations are recorded on a quarterly basis with volunteer hours to U4H and PENCIL Foundation. This allows us to show the full impact of a U4H Partnership with MNPS.