Investing In The Future Of American Children Through School Involvement And Support

12 min read SEP 17, 2023

Aristotle once said “kind, educated children are the most powerful legacy we can leave behind.”

This thought is humbling, for both parents and nonparents alike, because each and every one of us will one day be dependent upon today’s children.

The success of children today is crucial for the continued growth and development of any society. Practically speaking, today’s children are tomorrow’s doctors, bankers, farmers, entrepreneurs, teachers, world leaders, parents, CEOs, and so much more.

So, when considering our future, the future of our country, and the future of our world, how can we not think of today’s youth?

There are an estimated 74.4 million school-aged children in America right now. And, while the premise of “no child left behind” sounds good on paper, the fact of the matter is, this goal can’t be accomplished without a little help.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe, and know firsthand, American schools have some of the finest teachers this world has to offer, but I also know our teachers can’t do it all.

For America’s children to succeed, for today’s youth to thrive, prosper, and take on all the challenges this world will soon throw their way, they need support.

It has been proven time and time again, when parents and members of a given community are involved in education, this brings in “added resources, support, and accountability to schools, leading to better student performance.”

Unfortunately, sometimes folks within a community simply don’t know how to get involved, what needs are most pressing for today’s youth, or how they can truly make a difference.

So, here we’ve compiled a list of ways you can get involved with schools, help children in need, and simply be the support so many schools critically need today.

Who Can Support America’s Schools?

Obviously the short answer to the above question, “who can support America’s schools,” is anyone.

But, to ensure your involvement is productive, effective, and best for school/student success, let’s consider a few thoughts before we look at the ways you can help out the schools and children in your local community.

First, let’s consider the role of parents.

Families play a vital role in any child’s education. And, there truly are no limitations here.

Studies have revealed despite income levels, family history, and background, when parents are involved in their child(ren)’s education, such students:

  • receive higher grades
  • get better test scores
  • attend school regularly
  • pass classes
  • have better behavior
  • enroll in higher level programs/classes
  • have better social skills
  • are well-adapted
  • graduate
  • attend post-secondary education institutions

And, these findings support the pleas often heard from school systems asking for parental involvement in/at their child’s school.

So parents, when your child’s teacher reaches out for support or to communicate with you regarding your child’s needs or the needs of the school, be open, be receptive, and be ready to offer support in any way you can.

Then, for those members of a community who are not parents, or do not have children in the school system at this time, there are a few avenues for you to effectively support today’s schools.


1- Community Groups & Organizations

Community groups and organizations can bring great benefits to schools when connecting with the administration to learn of the specific needs within a given school corporation.

Rather than individually approaching school officials to find ways to help your local school system, seek to get involved in outreach groups within your community as these organizations can easily partner with schools to share resources as well as volunteer both time and services.

Community groups often span a variety of needs and interests including culture, health, and faith, and these can bring great value to schools by coordinating information, providing resources, even donating time and/or finances.

2- Local Businesses

If you own or are an employee of a local business, or any business for that matter, you have a wonderful and unique opportunity to partner with schools to provide resources, funds, and meet needs that single members of a community may not be able to meet.

Locally, businesses may be able to provide opportunities for students in conjunction with or on top of any donated funds, time, or resources.

But, even from afar, businesses can make a difference by investing in today’s youth through the school system.

For example, recently here at Lifeboost we were privileged to make a difference by donating to the Richard F Dube Memorial Scholarship Fund through the Educational Foundation of Birchwood located in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.

So then, let’s now get down to the practicality of it all. Whether you’re a parent, a member of the community, or a part of a local organization or business, let’s look at some ways you can get involved, offering support for schools.

How Can You Get Involved And Support America’s School Children?

Navigating how to support today’s youth through the school system can be a tricky thing. I mean, schools are essentially businesses, and businesses are…well…busy.

So, before you dive in head first looking to volunteer your time, resources, funds, or services, seek to coordinate any involvement through the school’s administration.

It is important to email or call the administration and seek to introduce yourself and communicate the wishes of you or your organization, specifically your desire to support the school in any way needed.

As a parent, this may mean you simply communicate to your child’s teacher your desire to get involved.

And, as a community member, whether alone or as part of a group or business, this would likely involve a call or email directed at an administrator who can view, vet, and best organize your desired efforts with their unique needs.

Then, it’s also important to keep in mind that each and every school is different, and needs vary between districts, grade levels, and more. So, planning ahead is imperative.

Planning ahead and approving your involvement with the school ensures:

  • any and all safety measures are met/considered
  • education is supported through any and all contributions
  • time and resources offered are in line with the goals of school leaders and personnel

But, while coordinating with local schools is necessary, it’s also wise to have some broad ideas in mind when looking to make a difference.

The following avenues of involvement include both simple and complex ways you can best serve the schools in your community.


1- Donate Your Time

Obviously, this method of involvement needs to occur through the proper channels we’ve listed above, but once you learn of ways to help, volunteering your time is an effective way to support local schools.

And, this method of involvement is truly a wide avenue of service. Schools are often in need of volunteers to:

  • work concession stands or sell tickets at events
  • chaperone field trips
  • participate in career days
  • participate in school clean up or beautification projects

Apart from this, you can also seek to be a mentor for students. Many schools incorporate programs involving mentorships which match volunteers with students in need. If this interests you, plan to reach out to your local school administration and see what, if any, programs the school has available for such involvement.

Of course, if your local school system doesn’t have any of these programs in place, this may be a great opportunity for you to lead such a program, partnering with the school to put such an organization in place.


2- Donate Your Talents

One big need for many schools involves tutoring.

While this method of involvement does require a certain skillset, those who’ve excelled or have training in various subjects can greatly support today’s school children by volunteering their time and expertise to tutor students.

If you’re available to volunteer in this area, reach out to your local school system, so you can be directed on how to best contribute your unique knowledge.

Then, aside from tutoring children in specific subject matter, individuals and organizations alike have a wealth of value to offer schools through their specific talents and skill sets.

For instance, health organizations may volunteer their services when a school is in need of any health-related presentation. Likewise, many business owners can be involved in a similar fashion.

Perhaps you’re a carpenter? Have you considered how you may be able to help your local school’s drama or theater department in set building, booth building for fundraisers, beautification projects, repairs, and more?

Do you run a farm? Consider reaching out to the local school system to coordinate field trips to your farm or seek to volunteer your expertise through a detailed presentation or convocation teaching children about the value and necessities of farm life.

Truly, the possibilities are vast when it comes to sharing your skills and talents with schools.

3- Organize Donations

Schools are almost always in need of supply donations.

On a large scale, you can either get involved with an existing donation drive or begin one yourself. Then, you can also collect supplies as an individual or family that your local district has communicated a need for.

At the beginning of any given school year, you can seek out teachers and learn of any needs they have for their classroom. Or, you can plan to simply collect commonly needed items to deliver to the school front office to use as needed within the entire district.

Some of the most needed items for schools include:

  • Pocket folders
  • Backpacks
  • Wide and college ruled notebook paper (loose leaf and spiral bound)
  • Graph paper
  • Three ring binders
  • Ink pens (blue, red, and black ink)
  • No 2 pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Crayons
  • Erasers
  • Glue sticks, glue
  • Index cards
  • Calculators
  • Tissues
  • Sanitizing wipes and other hygiene products
  • Sports equipment

Then, a few “outside of the box” types of items often needed in schools include warm winter clothing such as hats, gloves, and shoes.

Even donating slightly used or new clothing can be a great help to teachers and schools as they seek to aid any and all students in their care.


4- Monetary Donations

As we mentioned earlier, we were blessed to be able to donate recently to the Richard F Dube Memorial Scholarship Fund, aiding students seeking higher education opportunities.

Establishing or donating to a scholarship foundation provides opportunities for current and post-high school learning. But, you can also donate funds to support education in any school, from preschool to primary, middle to high, trade schools, colleges, universities, and anything in between.

Or, in a simpler fashion, though equally effective, you can simply donate to your favorite teacher when it’s time for him/her to stock their classroom.

You can also donate to the specific programs and events offered through the school(s) in your community as these seek to support students at all ages/grade levels.

5- The More You Know

Plan to attend local school board meetings, as doing so allows you to stay informed regarding all that’s going on in the schools within your community.

At school board meetings you can often learn of specific ways to support both students and families within your community.

And, here you’ll also learn in a more in depth manner the state or condition of the schools in your town/city. With this information, you can then better plan any intentions surrounding involvement.

6- Join Parent Organizations

The PTA or PTO is generally specific to parents and ways they can be involved in their child’s school, so if you’re looking for ways to support students and education, these types of organizations are greatly valuable.

Such groups provide a unique opportunity for parents to work together with teachers and school administrators towards the common goal of enriching the lives of and enhancing educational opportunities for students.

Oftentimes the direction of funds as well as the development of fundraisers and extracurricular activities occurs within the PTO/PTA, so partnering in this manner with educators is a vitally important way to effectively be involved in any school system to ensure resources, funds, and activities are available to enhance and advance education within a school.

7- Volunteer At Your Local Library

Aside from volunteering your time at or within the school system, you can also effectively pour into the educational advancement of today’s youth when you donate your time or services to your local library.

Libraries not only provide a wealth of information and educational opportunities through reading, they also commonly host activities, groups, and programs which help children build a wide range of skills, even instilling a curiosity towards education and outside talents.

And, this isn’t simply for young children either.

Many libraries provide needed resources for older students looking for job opportunities, those wishing to learn a trade, and some even host college days where prospective students can learn about various schools and fields of study.

Helping Children In Need Outside Of The School System

While getting involved in your local schools is a wonderful way to invest in children, their education, and their future, there are also a few other ways you can help kids in need.

There are many businesses, organizations, and groups within a given community that share in any schools’ desire to see children grow, increase in knowledge, gain value, improve character, and ultimately succeed in all they set out to do in their lives.

And, volunteering your time, talents, or treasures to any such organization is another great way to support the youth in your community.

Any of the following organizations or groups commonly share in the goal of all school systems, desiring health, happiness, and prosperity (academic and otherwise) for all children:

  • Public health officials, such as state or local health departments
  • Mental health providers
  • Faith based organizations, particularly those providing youth services
  • Public housing officials
  • Juvenile justice personnel (police, probation, juvenile court officials)

Aside from these broad-focused organizations, you can also check to see if your community has any of the following programs which seek to invest in the lives of today’s youth:

  • Girl Scouts of America
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Headstart programs
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America

Of course, depending on your specific community, your city/town may even provide shelters and after school services for children, both of which commonly rely on the community to volunteer time, services, and funds to support children/youth.

Today we’ve seen many avenues of service and investment when it comes to schools and children in general. And in closing, I’d like to challenge you to find ways you can get involved, if you’re able, seeking to invest in America’s children.

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Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


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