Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Recognizing parent volunteers

What would we do without our parent volunteers? At my school parents volunteer a lot (even for the counselor) and to show our appreciation of all their volunteer hours, we held a volunteer appreciation breakfast.  For this event, I was in charge of the entertainment and the party favors.  This year we really wanted to include our students in the celebration and here's a few things that we did:
-Staff donated money towards the volunteer celebration (food, favors, decorations, etc.)
-Student-made invitations to take home to their parents
-Student-made place mats that said "thank you" on the table
-Flowers from Trader Joe's ($2.99 per bushel) to decorate in tin pails (borrowed from the assistant principal)
-We have a stash of table clothes and serving bowls on hand at school ($0).
Tables decorated w/ student-made placements and flowers
Student-made placement

The entertainment piece was easy and I didn't have to look far to find it!  I recruited students that wanted to showcase their musical talents.  The students were more than happy to play a tune whether it was on the piano, violin, guitar, recorder or even in song.  Of course having local musicians gives the event a more personal touch and the students feel a little ownership in the event (plus more parents will attend to see their child).

Recorder players

Tickling the keys

Rocking on!

Strumming the strings

A violin soloist!


More piano
Thanks to Pinterest, the party favors were bottled water with a packet of Crystal Light On the Go packets.  I saw a lot of cute cards that were attached to the bottled water on Pinterest but I was short on time so I bought some round labels from Staples ($7) used the online template and typed "Thank you JYJ volunteers for quenching our thirst for student success". 
Avery Round Labels

Screen shot of labels in Word.

After the original packaging from the water bottles was removed, myself and a great co-worker friend put the new volunteer labels on (you can put the label over the glue from the previous label, no one will notice).

Water bottles w/ labels
We then used a very small hole puncher to punch holes at the top of the Crystal Light packets (be careful not to punch too low...potential to make a mess). 

Hole punched packets

After hole punching the Crystal Light, we added ribbon through each hole to tie to each bottle of water.  We chose ribbon in school colors (blue & gold).  I got the ribbon at Michael's for 50 cents each (bought 4 = $2). 

With blue & gold ribbon

Here's the finished product:

The parents really seemed to like the breakfast, water bottle and especially the entertainment.  What a great way to recognize how much we appreciate the efforts of our parent volunteers.

What ways do you recognize parent volunteers? Pin It


  1. WoW - I'll be they felt like royalty! LOVE the little packets . . . I've used the raspberry ones before as 'character crystals' . . . . it's a great visual for when you talk about how infusing character into a lesson makes it so much more colorful and tasty!

    We celebrate our volunteers in a very similar way though in the past years it's been with a breakfast after publicly singing to them and thanking them in our community gathering. This year we turned our library into a Tea Room and used the theme "Volunteers suit us to a Tea!" We brought soups and salads and fun desserts to treat them to a come-and-go luncheon. Interestingly enough, they did remark that they missed the singing, so we'll probably go back to that next year.

    Have a super summer!

    The Corner On Character

  2. Thanks for sharing Barbara, this was our 1st year with "live entertainment" and I think that it was a hit from our parents and drew more people in. I love hearing from you & reading your blog! Rest up during the summer, which means that we'll have more time to blog!!! Have a wonderful evening:-D

  3. Hi, I just found your blog and I love this idea of a volunteer breakfast. Our school is having a volunteer lunch next week and I think I will use the water bottle gift idea. Thanks for sharing. We have no entertainment planned and it might be too late for me to pull something together. Have you ever seen any inpirational videos thanking volunteers that would be appropriate to show?

  4. This is great! I love the water bottle idea with crystal light. I'll have to use it for one of my events. Great Job Burston!