Hispanic grandmother and granddaughter reading library book . — Dave & Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Getty Images
5. “I’d love a volunteer who’s willing to be taught computer skills by the children,” says Raquel Scharf-Anderson, director of student services at Pardes Day School in Phoenix. “Teaching reinforces skills learned in the classroom.”
6. “Grandfathers are desperately needed,” says Pat Stille Martin, teacher at Raleigh Egypt Middle School in Memphis, Tenn. “They help break up fights. They talk to the boys. They may play basketball or help them with a bully.”
7. Offer your career skills, says Jacqueline Edelberg, community activist who helped turn around the Nettelhorst School in Chicago. “If you’re a tax attorney, you can help us with tax stuff,” says Edelberg. “If you’re an accountant, you can help us with that. You don’t even have to like kids. I have tons of stuff you could do at home with a computer.”
8. Work one-on-one with a student on math or reading, says Dina Gerdon of Children First Academy, which serves homeless children in Tempe, Ariz., and Phoenix. “Many of our students are one or two grade levels behind, and having a caring adult to work with them can add that extra bump they need to achieve,” she says.
9. Bring history to life for students by telling stories of where you were and what it was like to live through the defining historical experiences of your lifetime, says Rhonda Parmer, principal of Frazier Elementary School in Houston.
10. “We love to have grandparents come read with children,” says Linda Anderson, principal of Sharon Elementary School in Orem, Utah. “A caring adult sitting by a child as they read and then discussing the book is the ideal situation to promote reading. Often parents have huge time demands as they try to provide for their young families. But grandparents can help fill this essential role.”