“Something for everyone and a good time for all”
Families have made sure that the school’s values come alive through their active support. This kind of participation creates a stronger institution and a quality education for our children, provides a positive model for them of how a community works, and leads to the satisfaction that comes from involvement.
- We recognize that each individual member of our community is as unique as each child. Although we do need everyone to volunteer in some capacity, we recognize that each of us can contribute different skills, talents, expertise and passions. Some can re-paint the fence; some cook meals for a family in need; some lead the auction and others chair the Board. It is the beauty of a community that if everyone gives what they are able and we all work together, all needs can be met.
- We have volunteer opportunities that suit a variety of individual and family circumstances and schedules. Our volunteer coordinators help our families find the right place for each person’s talents and circumstances.
- Whatever volunteering families have done during the year, everyone participates in our annual auction. Again, there are a variety of ways to get involved: soliciting items, planning the party, data entry, attending the auction and bidding on items. Something for everyone and a good time for all.
sample of this year's volunteer activities
- Plant new vines and flowers in our playground
- Substitute in the classrooms
- Lead admissions tours
- Ask for contributions for the Annual Fund
- Review staff benefits on the personnel committee
- Volunteer monthly to share Farsi songs and stories in a class with Farsi speaking children
- Lead the LGBT Affinity Group
- Organize meals for families who have new babies
Campaigns And Funds
Our tuition dollars do not cover all the expenses associated with running our program. The Annual Fund helps us bridge that gap. It is our main and most important ongoing fundraising effort. Every family is expected to participate at a financial level comfortable for them. An appeal is mailed in late October and a group of parent volunteers reach out to all families shortly thereafter to secure commitments and answer questions.
At The Little School, we believe that designating financial resources to support core aspects of our mission and approach is an important way to ensure our program fulfills its own aspirations. Current Funds at The Little School include a General Endowment Fund, an Inclusion Fund and a Discounted Tuition Fund. To find out more about these funds, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
eScrip is an easy way to give back to The Little School through purchases you make everyday. When you register your credit, debit and grocery cards with eScrip, participating retailers contribute a percentage of your purchases to The Little School (and up to two additional schools of your choice, for those with older children).
Here are some key annual events as well as occasional events that support our relationship-based program.
ANNUAL AUCTION TO SUPPORT DISCOUNTED TUITION
Every spring, The Little School, with the generous collaboration of many parent volunteers, organizes an auction that supports the school's discounted tuition program. The event nets over $150,000, which goes directly to the annual discounted tuition program. It’s a great way to get to know fellow parents while directly supporting the socio-economic diversity of our community.
The school picnic takes place in fall, and gives the entire community of staff and families a chance to connect and celebrate together at the beginning of the new school year. It is an informal event where families share desserts, games and activities.
CLASS MEETINGS AND POTLUCK
Each class asks two or three parents per year to partner with teachers to coordinate class events. The “Room Parents” help each teaching team organize parent meetings and potlucks in fall. This annual event for each class allows the parents to learn about developmental age-related topics and the school’s plan to meet them, to plan for the school year together and get to know each other better. For younger groups, the class meeting and potluck take place on separate nights. For older classes, they are combined.
INTEREST OR AFFINITY GROUPS
Families have found fulfillment and pleasure in having a setting where they and their children can meet with other families who share an important aspect of their lives. The LGBT families have enjoyed gathering and getting to know each other across classes. Parents speaking multiple languages have met and worked with the school to further our mutual understanding of how to meet their children’s needs. A monthly parent support group allows parents who have developmental concerns about their children to share information as well as feelings and thoughts. This year, families receiving a discount on their tuition will gather to share the experience of being in a school where many families have more financial resources.
The Little School believes that the entire community can educate each other and learn together. To that end we offer occasional adult education events throughout the year. Some are workshops led by The Little School staff which provide an educator’s perspective on aspects of child development and parenting. Others are led by outside resources for the benefit of families and teachers alike. Some of our educational efforts are intended to raise our mutual cultural literacy. Periodically, families write about t heir own personal experiences and perspectives in the newsletter’s In a Different Voice feature. Recently, staff and families gathered to hear individual parents speak about their experience of having a child with special needs, or being a non-English speaking parent, or being a family on discounted tuition. The sharing and conversation led to more ideas and desire to find ways to learn about each other.