I am not a classroom teacher. I am a Special Education Resource teacher, in a Title 1 school. Parent involvement is required and these are some of the suggestions that I have seen work when trying to recruit parents to help. I have used those parents who ARE active to help recruit those parents who are not. At the beginning of the school year, ask parents for email addresses, cell phone numbers, and/or work numbers. Let them know what you plan to do so they will leave the appropriate information. Here are my suggestions:
- Have a monthly newsletter letting parents know how they can help for the upcoming month. CHUNK parents, i.e., for a classroom of 25-30 students, have/ask for 3-4 parents per month to help with specific things and for specific times, OR
- Group parents based on their expertise and the needs of the class. Some parents could help get guest speakers for a special lesson or help organize career day for the school. From the list of experience, develop committees, let parents know what you need for the classroom, and the committees could handle the needs in that area. CAUTION: still give credit if the parent helps the school, as opposed to just the classroom.
- Have needs that parents can help with from home/work, i.e., making copies, sending out the newsletter via email, making calls if needed (phone tree).
- Use a free text alert app for notifying parents of upcoming events. Send reminders, requests, information that is quick can be sent via text.
- Offer extra points for students of parents who volunteer. For events where students may have to pay, give students $1 off for every hour that a parent ACTIVELY volunteers, or allow students to earn "bucks" to spend at the school store for small supplies like pencils and fun erasers. The items in the store can be bought at the dollar store. (Some parents may donate to that as well!)
- Have family nights just for parents to come together in an informal environment to help with an evening activity.
- Check out Google and Pinterest for more ideas.