I volunteer twice a week at my son's elementary school. I've been volunteering at this school since my daughter was in kindergarten five years ago. On Monday mornings I help the first graders with their language arts activities - reading out loud and writing. Teachers now have about 25 kids in their class, which is a lot to keep a handle on, even when you aren't trying to get them to do schoolwork. They do a fabulous job, but parent volunteers help them give a little extra attention to the students. On Wednesday afternoons, I work with selected fourth graders who need extra help improving their reading fluency. Our school district has a great program for supplementing the curriculum for kids who need extra help with math and reading, and I'm proud to be a part of that. I also volunteer from time to time at my daughter's intermediate school, PTO events and choir or band activities.
I volunteer for a few reasons, I guess. One is that it's a good way to get this introvert out of the house. Two is that I like getting to know the teachers and children that my kids spend their days with. Three is that I want to be helpful. I don't have a job outside of the home, and while I know that taking care of my kids and the house is important, it just isn't enough for me. I'm trying to get involved with more things, but it's hard putting myself out there. I don't volunteer elsewhere because it's hard for me to get to know new people and find my place within an existing group. I suppose it is for everyone, but it's pretty bad for me. I'm working on it, and my next step will be to add an hour per week at the public library. I'm already familiar with most of the librarians from being a frequent user, so it shouldn't be too hard, right? I think I've got my New Year's resolution figured out.