Parental involvement in the classroom has had a proven, positive effect on children's success. But how do you find time in your already-busy schedule to volunteer? Try these 38 simple ways to make the most of the upcoming school year.
On your very last day of school, you probably relished the fact that you'd never have to step foot in a classroom ever again. Goodbye, homework! So long, teachers! School is out, for good.

Until you became a parent, that is.

According to decades of scientific research—including a study from the Department of Education that reviews 30 years of research—parental involvement in the classroom is a key factor in improving students' academic performance. Returning to the classroom and showing up to school translates into your child's overall success.

With study after study revealing the dramatic impact of parental presence, it's been drilled into the heads of moms and dads across the country that they must make an effort in their children's classrooms. Sure, you know that's what you need to do, but do you know how to do it?

Between demanding work schedules, family responsibilities, household upkeep, frequent errands and cooking for what sometimes seems like a small army, it may seem impossible to find time to devote to being in yet another place at another time, all school year long. But even the busiest parents can get involved in the classroom without spending time they don't have or stretching themselves too thin. The secret is knowing how to allocate your limited availability and which small-scale ideas have a big impact.

The Power of Three Hours

Volunteering in the classroom for just three hours over the course of the entire school year is enough to make an impact. In fact, this idea is the foundation of The National Parent-Teacher Association's Three for Me program, encouraging and guiding busy parents through different ways to get involved at their children's schools.

With free online resources, sample forms, promotional fliers and a forum for idea-sharing, Three for Me does a huge part of the time-consuming work for you—all you need to focus on is your child. So, find just three hours over the course of nine months to volunteer in your child's classroom, and you'll be helping set him up for success not just now, but in the future as well.

Get 8 ideas for how you can get involved in the classrooms of younger and older children


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