Building community through volunteers
The opportunities to volunteer on Dallas ISD campuses are endless, and the volunteers who show up every day to take advantage of them are an invaluable part of the district’s team focused on student success.
“Our most important partners and volunteers are our parents, as student success is heavily impacted by parent participation and engagement,” said Candace Sledge, director of the Partnerships and Volunteer Engagement department.
In recognition of volunteers in Dallas ISD and everywhere, Dec. 5 has been designated as International Volunteer Day. This year’s theme is “The power of collective action: if everyone did.”
Established by the United Nations General Assembly, this day is a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, organizations. For more information, visit www.un.org/en/observances/volunteer-day.
“Volunteering is a good opportunity for business leaders and community members to experience the culture of schools, learn more about the needs in education, and collaborate with teachers, parents and administrators to meet those needs that our families deserve,” Sledge said.
Volunteers, especially parents and community members, can be recruited by team members at schools by encouraging them to fill out the volunteer application form at https://dallasisd.voly.org or by downloading the Voly app on Google Play or iTunes.
One of the tips that Sledge shares is reaching out to community leaders who participated in Principal for a Day to continue to build relationships, invite them to get involved.
Another tip for schools to recruit volunteers is to take advantage of events or celebrations to engage with families and partners, keeping in mind the different cultures of the students, families, and team members on campus.
“Volunteers get a ‘boots on the ground’ perspective from the students and the school and are able to draw from it,” said Sandra Martinez, coordinator in the Partnership and Volunteer Engagement department. “Sometimes parents don’t feel that they have talents that they have to offer in order to volunteer, but the most valuable gift is time. Dedicating your time to help your school and community goes a long way.”
For more information on how to create volunteer opportunities on your campus or department, visit the Partnerships and Volunteer Engagement department website.