I am lucky enough to live in a town where the community and schools support each other. My son is in elementary school and this year I was fortunate enough to volunteer for what they call, enrichment clusters. Each school in our town offers a variation of the same program through 7th grade. Some schools find time during the school day for these enrichment clusters and others have them after school. Regardless, they are amazing!
My son’s school has them on Friday mornings for six weeks. These programs are run by parents and volunteers within the community. Each year the school looks for people to volunteer and it is amazing at the variety of programs they offer. There is everything from crafts, sewing, sign-language, the police department and fire department each offer classes, hip hop dance, ice skating (at the community center next door), tennis, gymnastics, rangers from a town beach come in and talk about nature in the area, cooking, photography, and the list goes on. Each child brings home a booklet with all that is being offered and they select their top eight choices. (It should be noted that these clusters are free to students and the PTO covers the cost of supplies)
At the end of six weeks each group creates a presentation to be shared with the school community. Today was the cluster celebration and it was inspiring. To see the wide range of talents offered and the variety of programs was amazing. It is something that I had seen in writing, but to witness it was truly special.
What a great opportunity to volunteer! Look into your own school system and see if they have anything similar. It would work at a community center as well. The children get an invaluable experience and I am sure you will get the same if not more from interacting with kids. You don’t have to be a super parent or member of the community – you just have to show up and be yourself. The more people are involved in their community, the healthier it is for everyone. Happiness is the best medicine around and these kids will definitely put a smile on your face for the entire day.