How to Get Involved in Education by Jesus Salas
Kids who are in school right now are the thinkers, leaders, and doers of tomorrow. But in many places in the United States, the education system simply isn’t receiving the support and resources it needs to provide students with the guidance they need to excel. Jesus Salas, who recently participated in his Miami community’s Principal Day initiative, suggests the following ways that you can get involved in your community’s schools, whether or not you’re a parent.
Be a Tutor
Many students today don’t have family members who have the time to help them with their homework after school. If you have a talent for reading, math, or any other subject, think about volunteering your time to help kids brush up on concepts they need to spend a little extra time with. Even if your algebra days are long gone and you couldn’t tell a coordinating conjunction from a transitive verb if your life depended on it, consider helping kids manage their time by showing them the value of making schedules.
Attend School Meetings
As a tax-paying member of your community, you have the right to be involved in school board meetings. Just by showing up, you’ll show administrators that you care about the quality of your community’s education. Feel free to ask questions and voice your opinion about the issues that you feel matter the most. If you’re a parent, joining a PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) can give an extra boost to your administrative involvement.
Support Leadership and Development
This is an avenue for you to push for quality education with your wallet. Help establish scholarship funds to send teachers to workshops and conferences. Or, create a funding pool for students who want to attend outside educational programs they might not be able to afford themselves. This type of fund can also help students cover the cost of college applications.
It’s especially important for supporters of public schools to stay informed about what’s going on in the government when it comes to education. Currently, many states have bills in their legislative branches that seek to limit certain aspects of instruction, or that are cutting funding from various program. Know what issues are up for vote in your community. If there’s a ballot initiative in your community that affects education, get out and vote.
Talk to Your Schools
Principal Day is just one of many community initiatives that bring individuals and schools together to improve educational opportunities and access. Get in touch with your local schools to see how you can best support them, and what options are available for volunteering or other involvement.