- Be a class reader. Offer to come in to read to the whole class of children or to individual children who need more support.
- Work as a center/lab helper. Teaching things like science, art and computer lab to young children requires lots of hands-on help, and under tight budgets, these are often the first areas to be cut. If you have an interest in one of these areas, offer to come in once a week to lend a hand.
- Offer to tutor. Teachers usually have to teach to a wide range of abilities. Having parents on hand to give one-on-one support to students on the high and low ends of the spectrum gives the teacher more time to focus on the middle.
- Volunteer as class parent. If you have more time to give, this is a fantastic opportunity, usually involving organizing parties and teacher gifts throughout the year.
- Assist with a special interest club or drama group. With teachers being asked to do more and more with fewer resources, sometimes it's up to parents to keep extracurricular activities going.
- Speak to classes about your career or special expertise. One of the most important gifts you can give a child is the gift of inspiration. Older kids have moved beyond wanting to be a fireman or the president and need role models to teach them about other career opportunities.
- Work as library assistant. Helping kids discover books they love or research topics they're excited about can be a really rewarding experience for parents.
- Volunteer to help with sports programs. Keeping kids active is critical to their physical and emotional health. Parent involvement can do a lot for increasingly underfunded school sports programs.