Administrators, Faculty, and Staff

Introduction to Grandees
Effective volunteer programs provide the extra hands that are needed to assist teachers with ever increasing non-teaching tasks. One teacher commented, “Every half hour my volunteer comes, I get an extra half hour to teach.”

Volunteers also enrich the learning environment with their varied backgrounds, career and travel experiences, skills and resources into the classroom.

Bringing community members into your school can enhance the stature of your teachers and site.  Even unmet needs observed at your school may well challenge the community to help.

There are hundreds of capable volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours available for the asking. This website provides a step-by-step process for enlisting and using volunteers in an inter-generational program.

Establishing the Need
The first task in setting up a Grandees program is creating an awareness of the value of volunteers. Sometimes teachers are reluctant to involve volunteers in their classrooms because they feel that such a commitment requires an additional responsibility.

The following strategies will help resolve these concerns:

1. Emphasize to your teachers the program benefits.
The benefits of having a Grandees volunteer program include:

Extending teacher time.

Modeling good manners and moral principles.

Motivating students to value family and heritage.

Reinforcing strong traditional values.

Increasing the community’s awareness of your school.

2. Explain the logistics.

A Grandee may be in the classroom one time per week or once per month. He or she is responsible for preparing the materials presented during this time. In many cases, Grandees will reinforce what is being taught in the classroom.  Biographies of great people are available to reinforce character qualities.
In a classroom studying other countries, a Grandee enriched the day’s theme of “Modern France” with a story about a child in Avignon, mementos from France, and by playing French games.  The students loved it. Grandees bring their varied backgrounds, travel and career experiences, skills and resources into the classroom and enrich the learning environment.

3. Include teachers in your planning and explain the role of the Grandee. You can reduce teacher concern by including teachers in your planning and implementation.  The National School Volunteer Program in their booklet states: “A major reason for the slow decay or early death of a school volunteer program is lack of acceptance and support by teachers… the teachers who are most successful in working with volunteers are those who respect the volunteers as persons and make them feel a part of the educational team. ” (1978, p. 18, 20).

4. Get support from your Board.

Enter a statement of recommendation in the official board minutes. Give the Grandees Coordinator (see Coordinator page) the task of providing the board with a periodic report on volunteer activity.