Screening and Placement

1. Characteristics of Grandees:

Special qualities should be evident in people selected as Grandees.
Our founder encouraged  us to use the acronym  A-L-I-V-E in seeking the right kind of volunteers–those who will:

Appreciate

  • appreciate the children and their families, showing respect for their customs, expectations, and limitations
  • appreciate the opportunity to connect and grow

Love

  • love youngsters patiently even when they are challenging
  • love the world around them with an enthusiasm that is contagious

Inspire

  • set an example of good character and good manners
  • share lofty ideas through biographies, personal stories, inspiring poems and songs
  • let young people know how faith and values motivate your own life

Volunteer

  • serve without asking for anything in return
  • be dependable, committed, and on time

Educate

  • have an organized, timed presentation that has valuable content
  • share expertise and even hands-on materials about which the Grandee is educated and experienced

Also consider–
Is the applicant realistic about their physical and mental capability of planning and presenting Grandees activities to active kids?
Does the applicant possess good communication skills adapted to young people?
Will this applicant be able to make a significant and regular commitment, or just a once-a-semester appearance? (Both can be good– but it must be clear)

Is he / she willing to work cooperatively with the faculty?

Is this person able to treat sensitive information that might come up in the classroom, with confidentiality?

2. Applying
Make sure your volunteer application provides the info that you need for screening, such as

  1. Social Security Number,
  2. personal references,
  3. previous volunteering history,
  4. DOB (which  lets you send them a birthday card in appreciation!) and a signature line agreeing to policies you have attached.
  5. Permission to perform a criminal background check.
  6. A separate page is a good idea if the Grandee will be driving students or riding in a school car—the Federal Volunteer Act (see “Coordinator’s Role” page under “Administrators, Faculty, and Staff” tab) does not give immunity for this but your state may.  Most Grandee programs don’t involve driving, but they can.
  7. Are they aware of the privacy and confidentiality policies regarding children?  zero-tolerance issues?  Include these for their reference.
  8. Calendar, times of day available, semester break and other scheduling issues can be addressed in the application or later, as you wish.
  9. The volunteer’s emergency medical information and emergency contact info.
  10. Types of special training they have had, and resources they would like to bring (such as a collection, musical instruments, a powerpoint, access to donations such as musical instruments or items their employer likes to share)
  11. Age group with which they would like to work.

3. Placing
A two-week initial placement is recommended. If after this time, a placement is not successful for either the Grandee or classroom teacher, consider reassigning the volunteer. Consider carefully before placing a Grandee in the same room with pupils who are related to the Grandee. Sometimes this works well, but other times it is a distraction. You may ask them their preference on this placement.