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Empowering Young Women: The Impact of Parental Volunteering at Girls Choral Academy

It’s easy to become pessimistic about the state of the world and the divides in our communities. One of the best antidotes to despair, however, is taking action.

Did you know that many nonprofits are underfunded and understaffed and need members of the community to help? Whatever skills or experiences you have, you can bet they’re in demand at our large events like concerts, benefit fundraising evenings and open houses

. On the fence about volunteering? Here are some awesome reasons to start!


1. YOU can and should, play a direct role in improving your community.

By volunteering to work with children as they learn to read, improve their music or math skills, or prepare for college, you play a part in helping your community become better educated.

Just by showing up, you make a difference. This study found that the higher the adult-to-youth ratio in each community, the better children are likely to fare in life. A 1% increase in adults in a community is associated with a 1% decrease in the rate of kids leaving school. What’s more, studies show that children who grow up with mentors are more likely to want to become mentors themselves, and people who are more educated are more likely to give back to their own communities by volunteering. By volunteering, you can help start a positive cycle of community-building that outlasts your immediate work.


2.     Volunteering Allows You to Spend More Time with Your Child

Our children spend A LOT of time at school and in extracurriculars. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to share in school-related experiences with your child. It gives you more in common. It also allows you to be a fly on the wall and see your children in a different environment. It’s rewarding to watch them as they put all the skills you’ve taught them into action.


3.    You can fit it into your busy schedule because it takes just one hour a week to make a difference.

While educators appreciate all the time volunteers can possibly give, just dedicating one hour a week goes a long way. Volunteers can spend that time as tutors, mentors, or classroom assistants during the school day. Even with a full-time job and a busy day, you can make an impact by heading to school before or after work or during a lunch break. You might also find that spending time with children and teachers provides a welcome escape from the workday grind.

“For years, every time I entered the third-grade classroom, everyone cheered,” said George Cruys, who works at Wells Fargo and volunteers at the Chinese Education Center Elementary School near his office. “Volunteering is the only place in my life where I’ve gotten that kind of reception on a consistent basis.”


4. Your kids’ choir directors, teachers and mentors may be superheroes, but it’s tough to save the world alone.

Choir directors work incredibly hard to educate each of their students, but when they’re tasked with instructing a group of up 25 girls, their mission can be daunting.  Every year Kent County and the United Way receive more volunteer requests from schools and classrooms than they can fill. By volunteering, you can help change that.

Volunteers can support teachers in their rehearsals in a variety of ways, including by spotting students who might be having trouble with an assignment and providing extra guidance, interpreting in Spanish, or helping students get organized. Volunteers who help a student’s one-on-one can also increase the capacity of the choir director to instruct the rest of the class.

Take middle school teacher Helana Corda, who said she was having her toughest year yet until volunteers came to help in her classroom.  “Girls learn at different paces, and they come in at all different levels,” Ms. Corda said. “[My volunteer] does great work one-on-one with kids who might need that extra help or might need one-on-one support so I can then walk around and help out the rest of the kids. That’s been fantastic.”

 5. It’s good for you!

variety of studies have found correlations between volunteering and positive physical and mental health. For example, one study discovered that a group of adults over the age of 50 who had volunteered frequently were less likely to develop high blood pressure, while in this survey 78 percent of people who volunteered said volunteering made them feel less stressed.

“Being a school volunteer brings a lot of joy to my life,” said Education Fund volunteer George Kelly, who has dedicated time each week for the past 18 years in the Castro’s Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy. “My relationship with the school, students, families, and staff all add to the quality and fullness of my life. People who help other people are happier healthier people, and I am a happier and healthier person because of my involvement.”

6. Volunteering gives you a chance to put your skills to use for positive change and further develop those skills.

When you dedicate time to a nonprofit, you help children learn important soft skills like leadership, teamwork, problem-solving and creativity along with their skills in academic subjects. You also develop your own soft skills at the same time, which is especially useful considering many employers look for these attributes in their future employees. By volunteering, you can work on the character traits that are in-demand at all levels of society.


7. Volunteering gives you a chance to connect more with your own child when you see them learning in a special environment.

Children whose parents are involved in their lives by volunteer in their school and extracurriculars actually do better. Research has shown that children of a volunteer make better grades and perform better on tests. They’re also better behaved, have better attendance, and are more likely to graduate and continue their education. The more parents participate, the more successful their children will be.


8. Volunteering makes girls choral academy stronger & better (for your child!)


Simply put:  programs that have a strong volunteer base perform better. There are so many demands placed on nonprofits that are continually fundraising and trying to offer valuable programming with limited financial resources. Any volunteer effort can help bridge that gap at no additional cost to GCA.  Taking things off the plate of choir directors, administration, and staff frees them up to do what they do best—educate our children!


Contact to volunteer at GCA! 


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