We know the classic image of a cake baking PTA parent isn’t for everyone but it’s not all about the cakes. We also know that PTAs often struggle to get parents involved, with the main reasons that they don’t have the time available or the skills that they would need to get involved! To help people realise that really any help is appreciated, here’s a list of simple/ short/ fun jobs you can ask people to volunteer for.
Top tip: If you know that someone has skills in a certain area, try approaching them about a specific task and play to their strengths.
- Designing/updating posters – plus flyers and price lists etc. to make it even easier we recently created some templates for members in the PTA resources section.
- Putting up the posters for events – As well as around the school to remind parents and children of upcoming events, it is also worth having a group of people that could put posters up in local shops. Split it up and it’s a 10 minute job for someone and if the person is confident and wants to do more they can ask in shops for prize donations.
- Ticket selling – tickets for PTA events can be sold each morning or afternoon (not one for working parents). Sell in a prime location straight after school opens and children are dropped off or just before school pick up time when parents are in the playground waiting. This is also a good way to remind people face to face of events and help to gain a better response than informing parents via paper/email/text. And for those PTAs that are offering a cashless alternative, set up your PTA Events web page and you could stand on the playground encouraging parents to sign up online there and then!
- Photocopying – if the school allows the PTA to use their facilities, someone to photocopy posters and letters would be useful and save time for committee members.
- Tuckshop/ice lolly stall – If the school PTA run a regular tuckshop or ice lolly sale, organise a rota of volunteers to share the workload.
- Event preparation – tables put up, chairs put out, gazebos, and tablecloths….most events involve furniture moving so good to have a list of strong people to help!
- Event clear up – after every event there is the clearing up to do. People may not feel comfortable manning a stall or speaking to people but are more than happy to collect rubbish and put tables and chairs away.
- BBQ and bar – there’s always a dad / uncle/ grandad who thinks he’s the greatest BBQ King ever (although you can have a BBQ Queen too!) Use these people to run a BBQ at summer event, it’s normally a once a year job role. You could also get a regular crew together to run the bar at your events.
- Leaflet distribution – photocopy your public event posters into a small A5 format and distribute in the school playground as reminders. You can also consider the area around the school – possibly put leaflets through letterboxes of surrounding residential streets of the school to encourage locals to attend your public events too.
- Refreshments – many PTAs provide refreshments for school events – parents evening, Christmas concerts, school plays etc. you may find people are willing to serve refreshments at just one or two of these events.
- Folding raffle tickets – prepare tickets in advance for the Tombola by folding the tickets and separating winning tickets ready to be placed on prizes.
- Labelling – Tombola tickets always need attaching to bottles, boxes of chocolates, jars, and teddy bears. This takes time but is a great thing to do in advance of an event to make set up times quicker.
- Spread the word – PTA events are only successful if they are well attended. If it is a public event then tell all your family and friends, invite them along to summer fetes, Christmas shopping events, and sponsored fun runs to help raise funds.
- Facebook page (or other social media) – Manage and act as admin on your PTAs Facebook page. You can use this page to communicate with parents, advertise PTA events, answer parent questions and put out school reminders. One or two people could manage this page, see our information on Social Media.
- PTA Events webpage – Set up a PTA Events web page, and find someone that’s happy to become your PTA Events expert! They can to keep this up-to-date with the latest events, meetings and information about what the PTA is up to.
- Termly newsletter – keep parents in the know of your activities, successes and what you need volunteers for in a termly newsletter. Someone who’s confident sourcing the information and pulling these together each term.
- Sorting second-hand uniform – organising uniform to be sold by size and items.
- Wrapping gifts – whether it’s Christmas grotto gifts or a lucky dip, see if someone can wrap these ahead of your fair.
- Finding sponsors – there may be a parent really good at this. Calling round local businesses asking for sponsorship of the next fair or a stall at the fair.
What other small jobs can you think of? We’d love to add to this list!
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Our blog is a place for a range of opinions and debate on parents and their role in their schools and their children’s education. Whilst we think this debate is really important, we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.