Volunteer Handbook







P.O. Drawer 140

100 Central Circle

Low Moor, Virginia 24457


540/863-1804 (fax)








Volunteer Program Goals


The goal of the Alleghany County Public Schools Volunteer Program is to encourage and enable citizens within our communities to participate in the educational process of our students.  This goal may be accomplished by:


·       Recruiting potential volunteers to serve in schools

·       Training volunteers to be effective participants

·       Supporting volunteers and providing encouragement

·       Recognizing volunteers for their service to our school system


Purpose and Use of this Manual


This manual is intended to provide guidelines for the Alleghany County Public Schools Volunteer Program.  No statement herein is intended to conflict with existing School Board policies or with existing Administrative Directives.


It also is designed to serve as a resource manual for school volunteer coordinators, teachers and volunteers.  School coordinators should use this manual as the basis for all site-level orientation and training activities.


Guidelines and Procedures


The Volunteer Program is sponsored by the Alleghany County Public Schools.  Therefore, the School Division has the responsibility for program operations.


Definition of a Volunteer:  A volunteer is someone who works in a school on a regular basis, or assists in a school-related activity, without compensation.


Volunteer Screening: Anyone wishing to volunteer must contact a teacher or administrator in the local school of interest.  The principal will accept the person as a volunteer if convinced that the person has some immediately identifiable connection with the school and school community.  All volunteers who work within the school during the school day must complete an application form, including furnishing references.  The person will not be accepted or used as a volunteer until the school principal is satisfied of the person’s suitability.  The principal or assistant principal will initiate the application process, including but not limited to checking references, conducting a background check, and fingerprinting of any volunteers.  Volunteers must complete a background check when anticipating they would be alone with students or in a supervisory role. These will not be required for one-time events such as field days, Santa shops, dances, concession stands, or when under supervision of school staff. Background screening will be done at least once every five years.    


Volunteer Orientation & Training:  Pre-service orientation meetings will be conducted in each school for all volunteers.  The purpose of this orientation is to acquaint volunteers with the program and day-to-day expectations.


Termination of Volunteer Status:  Any adverse incident involving a volunteer should be reported immediately to the principal.  A person’s volunteer status may be terminated by the principal or personnel office, at any time without reason, without prior notice.


Policies & Regulations:  All volunteers are expected to abide by all Alleghany County School Board Policies and Regulations while serving in the school program or activity.  This includes registering in the designated sign-in book when arriving at school and wearing an identification badge while in the school building and/or reporting to the supervising school personnel.  It also includes the volunteer’s commitment to support the employee dress code as much as is practical.


Recognition:  Recognition events such as certificates for service, mementos of recognition, and end-of-year appreciation luncheons, etc., may be held in each school throughout the year.




Role of the Principal:

·       Officially appoint the school volunteer coordinator.

·       Conduct background checks on all volunteers, including checking references.

·       Approve all volunteers.

·       Plan and organize the specific duties of the school’s volunteer coordinator.

·       Identify new needs of the school.

·       Assist the volunteer coordinator with volunteer orientation and training as requested.

·       Provide general guidance to and support for the program throughout the year.

·       Notify the volunteer coordinator when extra help is needed.

·       Help identify leadership abilities.

·       Assist the volunteer coordinator with recognition activities for volunteers.

·       Assist the volunteer coordinator with the evaluation of the school program.


Role of the School Volunteer Coordinator

·       Identify student, teacher and school needs.

·       Provide teachers with guidelines and training for utilizing volunteer services.

·       Orient the volunteer to the school, explain sign-in sheets, and obtain information from the volunteer about special interests.

·       Arrange informal volunteer briefing sessions to discuss program expectations.

·       Arrange initial contacts between teacher and volunteer.

·       Provide volunteer guidelines on:

Ø  School policies

Ø  Building layout

Ø  Emergency procedures

·       Receive volunteer feedback about assignments and activities.

·       Perform ongoing evaluation of the program and coordinate recommendations and requests for additional volunteers.

·       Arrange official school recognition for volunteers.


Keys to Effective Volunteer Operations


Steps to Forming Successful Teacher-Volunteer Relationships:


1.     Develop awareness of how to utilize volunteer services.


·       Deal with your concerns.  Typical staff concerns about volunteers, and some suggestions for teaching with these concerns include:


Ø  Extra planning time:  Effectively utilizing volunteer services does take extra time, but the amount of time initially required for planning and supervision will decline as the teacher-volunteer partnership develops and the volunteer is able to operate more independently.


Ø  Volunteer’s level of commitment:  In order to help volunteers make a realistic commitment that will result in dependability and job satisfaction, provide a clear and honest job description including a frank assessment of the time and skills required.  Also deal with whether you are willing to make the necessary commitment to planning, supervision, feedback, recognition and evaluation.


Ø  Confidentiality:  Clearly state what confidentiality means, why it’s important, expectations regarding it, and the consequences of violating it.


Ø  “Spying”:  Volunteers really just want to know what’s going on.  They’re probably expecting something good, not something bad!  Besides, what do you have to hide?  Remember that volunteers can be the best PR officials in the community.


·       Learn about ways volunteers can help.  Often teachers are so accustomed to doing so much by themselves that they’re unsure what help to ask for.  For example, teachers are professionals but cannot expect the same level of secretarial support which must be provided for administrative staff.  Volunteers can be a way to get additional assistance.  See “Ways Volunteers Can Help” for other ideas.


·       Assess your activities.  Becoming aware of the tremendous scope and variety of your activities as a teacher is a critical step in determining what kind of volunteer assistance you may need and want.  You can conduct your own assessment by taking a plain sheet of paper and simply recording in a word or a short phrase your activities over several days.


·       Refine expectations.  Both volunteers and teachers should be aware of the expectations each has of the other.  It’s wise to put these expectations in print on the same sheet of paper.  Teachers should have clear and high expectations and so should volunteers.  Work with fellow teachers and your volunteer coordinator to establish norms that seem to work well for your building and for your own classroom or situation.


2.     Assess and Request


·       Determine where volunteer help is appropriate.  Applying these four tests can help you to decide whether or not to make a certain request:


Ø  Authority Test:  Are volunteers permitted to do this type of activity?


Ø  Delegation Test:  Would you feel comfortable delegating this job to a volunteer?


Ø  Dollar Test:  Is the task one that should be done by paid staff?


Ø  Pattern Test:  Must you do the task because it is part of the team effort or pattern involving other staff members?


·       Make your request.  After you’ve determined where assistance is needed and appropriate, contact your school volunteer coordinator for assistance.  If your school coordinator uses a standard request form, it can minimize information gaps regarding days and times help is needed, type of job to be performed, etc.  Such a form can allow for all information necessary for the development of a job description and still be simple.


3.     Preparation and Planning


·       Conduct an initial teacher-volunteer conference.  Plan for an uninterrupted period of time when the two of you can begin to get to know each other and you can make your judgment about the suitability of the volunteer for the job.  It’s wise to indicate that there will be a trial period of time (about 4-6 weeks) to make sure the arrangement is working for both of you.  If you know right away that the match has little chance of being successful, work with your volunteer coordinator to find another potential placement for that individual.


·       Getting ready for your volunteer includes such basics as preparing any necessary tools or work area.  Provide welcoming touches like a name tag, space to store belongings, a coffee mug perhaps.  Name tags for students and other staff members will greatly assist the newcomer in learning names and feeling at home in the building.


·       Plan with your volunteer.  A planning sheet can guide you in providing information the volunteer needs to perform the job you’ve discussed.  Try putting plan sheets in a folder for the volunteer to read each time he/she reports without having to interrupt you for verbal directions (unless, of course, clarification is needed).  Sheets can also convey written feedback from the volunteer.  Update with new sheets as progress is made and/or needs change.  However, don’t neglect to maintain regular face-to-face discussion so your relationship can grow.


4.     Management


·       Orient the volunteer so he/she can begin to feel comfortable in the school setting.  The sample checklist covers the basics of a thorough orientation.


·       Train the volunteer in the techniques and/or materials needed to perform satisfactorily.  While much or all training can be on-the-job, be sure to plan time and activities to prepare the volunteer before he/she is expected to be able to perform the job.  Try providing a workshop for several volunteers to deal with the basics of tutoring reading or math, for example.  Remember the time you spend equipping volunteers with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and tools they need in order to be effective in their jobs represents an important investment that will expand your ability to reach your students.


·       Get to know more about your volunteer.  The better we know volunteers, the better the chances that their experiences, hobbies, talents, and travels can become a part of classroom enrichment.  Moreover, familiarity usually strengthens a relationship and can lead to genuine friendship.


·       Supervise and provide direction, encouragement, feedback, praise, additional training and greater responsibility as the volunteer is able to assume it.  Increasing responsibility appropriately can be both a motivator and a reward.



5.     Recognition and Appreciation


·       Appreciation is a pervasive and ongoing attitude that must be actively and genuinely communicated in day-to-day respectfulness, kindness, and good manners.  Also, appreciation is not just a one-time occasion, although special recognition events certainly are appropriate and can be included.  Look at the list of 26 Ways to Show Appreciation to Volunteers for inspiration.  Be sure to help your students practice their manners by encouraging them to be mindful of expressing their gratitude to volunteers.  Most of all, have fun saying “Thank You” and acknowledging the special qualities and contributions of volunteers.


6.     Evaluation


·       Don’t wait until the end of the year before you ask for feedback from the volunteer, and don’t wait that long to give it either.  When appropriate, be sure to also provide for written evaluation at the end of the year or job term.  Ask yourself, the volunteer and the students questions that will provide insight into what worked and what didn't, how things could be improved, etc.  Be prepared to act on suggestions.


Essential Points for Teachers


          The success stories are so numerous about how the involvement of community volunteers is making a significant difference in the education of students that the notion is taken for granted by many educators and volunteers.  However, studies of the success stories indicate that significant outcomes do not happen by chance.  They are the result of careful program planning and the training of staff and volunteers about how to be effective partners in the education team.  The following points for teachers serve as a basis for the design of in-service training models.


1.     Develop awareness about how to involve volunteers:


·       Talk to other teachers about the ways they have involved volunteers and candidly share your concerns.  Concerns about the cost to the teacher of involving volunteers are normal.  Some typical staff concerns are the extra planning time required, the volunteer’s level of commitment, confidentiality issues, and “spying” by the volunteer.  These are all legitimate concerns and there are ways to address them with a well organized program.


·       Many education organizations are featuring workshop sessions and conferences that focus on community involvement in schools. Talk with persons who have attended state and national conferences on school volunteer programs and school/business partnerships.  The National Association of Partners in Education (www.napehq.org) sponsors an annual national conference which focuses entirely on these two topics.  Ask PTAs, PTOs, and Booster Clubs to sponsor attendance at these conferences.  Ask your principal to arrange for teachers to informally share information from these conferences at the building level through staff development programs at the district level.


2.     Assess your needs:


·       Make a list of the needs in your classroom if all students are to achieve their full potential for learning.  With which of these needs could a volunteer assist?  Could the volunteer assist with general classroom procedures so that you, the teacher, are free to spend more time teaching students?  Could a volunteer give extra reinforcement in spelling, reading, or math to students who are working below grade level, or help a child who was absent understand the work to be made up?  Could the volunteer help more advanced students to probe deeply into subjects that interest them, or prepare games and teaching materials?  Could the volunteer’s hobbies or career experience be shared to help students explore new areas of interest or vocational opportunities?  Figuring out what kind of help you want will allow the building coordinator to identify appropriate volunteers for your classroom.


3.     Request a volunteer for your classroom:


·       Rarely does a volunteer walk into a classroom uninvited.  Volunteers respond to specific needs and requests.  Consult with your school volunteer coordinator.  Provide the coordinator with the hours and days you would like to have a volunteer and what duties you wish the volunteer to perform.


·       Be realistic in what you request – a typical school volunteer might be available for one hour or one morning or one afternoon each week.  Volunteers who get satisfaction from their service do usually increase the number of hours they contribute, and some may work as many as ten to fifteen hours a week.  When the school volunteer coordinator matches a volunteer to a need in your classroom, a trial placement of a few weeks is suggested.  This gives both the teacher and the volunteer an opportunity to make sure that the placement is right.


·       It is also important to take advantage of community resource speakers who can enhance and reinforce the learning objectives for your classroom.  This person will typically make a one-time presentation, so the presenter and the students need to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the presentation and how to prepare for it.



4.     Orient the volunteer to classroom policies and procedures:


·       An orientation is a general session held for volunteers and staff to familiarize them with the volunteer program and important administrative procedures before they become a working team.  Although a volunteer has already attended an orientation session in the school where he or she is to service (and possibly a district-level orientation), the teacher needs to explain the operations and specific policies of his/her classroom.  The regular volunteer must know about classroom and school rules and emergency procedures for addressing discipline problems with the volunteer.  Teachers should never leave volunteers in charge of classes.


·       Guidelines should be specific, distinguishing between those tasks which are solely the teacher’s responsibility (diagnosing, prescribing, evaluating and disciplining), those which belong to the volunteer, and those in which they will work together.


·       The teacher should:


Ø  Discuss with the volunteer what to do if either of them is unable to come for any reason;


Ø  Leave written instructions for substitute teachers about volunteer activities;


Ø  Inform the volunteer by phone if the class will be gone for some reason during the volunteer’s regular scheduled time.


·       The teacher also should reinforce topics covered in the general school orientation, such as signing in and out of the school building, wearing volunteer identification badges, and practicing complete confidentiality with regard to the performance and conduct of students.


5.     Make time to get to know your volunteer:


·       “Volunteers work for free, but not for nothing.”  This axiom means that the volunteers must feel that their services are needed and worth their time and effort if they are to continue in their assignments.  Teachers who are most successful in working with volunteers are those who respect the volunteers as individuals and make them a vital part of the educational team.  They draw on the volunteer’s creativity, critical thinking ability, experiences and unique skills.  In addition to basic classroom support activities, some volunteers can contribute significantly to a special unit of study such as urban renewal or ecology.  Others can demonstrate how to make a musical instrument or share their personal experiences during periods of history through which they have lived.  Some can set up field trips, learning centers, bulletin boards or stimulate students’ thinking about an issue or social studies unit.


·       The school volunteer coordinator can give the teacher important background material on the volunteer from the application form and the initial interview data.  Still, the teacher should set aside some time when students are not present to get to know the volunteer as a person if the volunteer’s special talents are to be discovered and utilized.


·       Plan an uninterrupted period of time for the initial teacher-volunteer conference so the two of you can get to know each other and you can make a judgment about the suitability of the volunteer for the job.  If you know right away that the match has little chance of being successful, work with your coordinator to find another placement for that individual.


6.     Match the volunteer’s interests and skills with your needs:


·       There are differentiated roles for different types of volunteers.  Many school volunteers find great satisfaction in working directly with children in instructional areas. Others, particularly newcomers, may prefer to do jobs with less direct contact with the students, such as preparing classroom materials or supporting clerical functions.  Volunteers don’t mind doing routine tasks occasionally (such as collating or collecting permission slips) if these assignments are mixed with tasks which challenge their abilities and permit them to grow in their assignments.


·         Teachers should observe the volunteer’s growth in abilities and confidence and give increasing responsibilities as they are warranted.  The teacher and volunteer should develop a contract or role description that includes the understanding they have reached about duties and responsibilities.


7.     Establish good communication for purposes of planning and supervision:


·       The teacher must set up a system for communicating with the volunteer so that valuable time is not lost while the teacher gives the volunteer an assignment.  The teacher should plan ahead for each specific day the volunteer is in the classroom, giving clear directions to the volunteer, noting where to find needed materials or equipment and describing techniques or procedures to be used.


8.     Share the students with the volunteer:


·       Volunteers who work with individual students need to know how they are making a difference in the student’s life.  Although teachers will not share specific confidential information about individual students (IQ scores, grades, standardized tests scores), they should keep their volunteers informed about the progress or problems of students they help.


·       When working with individual students, the volunteer needs to know about the student’s strengths and weaknesses and what kind of reinforcement works best with that particular student.  The volunteer needs to be provided with information about the learning and development characteristics of students of a particular group or with specific learning disabilities.


9.     Show continuing appreciation for volunteer’s services:


·       The teacher who has invested time and skill in developing the talents of a volunteer does not want to lose that trained volunteer.  From the first day, the volunteer should develop a feeling of belonging which increases the desire to participate.  Job satisfaction is tied to meeting personal needs through the volunteer work.  The volunteer “pay” comes from realizing that they have met important needs for students and school staff while achieving their own personal goals.


·       The teacher should prepare children for the volunteers by building positive attitude toward volunteer’s contributions.  The teacher should encourage children to call the volunteers by name and to show their appreciation by giving notes and cards on birthdays and holidays or when they are ill or absent.


·       Volunteers who are welcomed to the teachers lounge or lunch room are more likely to feel they are partners on the educational team than those who are excluded.  Staff and volunteer social events also help to create good interpersonal relationships.


10.    Plan evaluation to include the volunteer and the students:


·       Many benefits of involving a volunteer in the classroom cannot be measured such as the change in a child’s attitude toward learning, improved self-image, and the warmth of the volunteer-child relationship.  Additional benefits can be helping to improve grades, reduce absenteeism, and improve behavior in the classroom.  These benefits are very important and may affect educational outcomes later in the school experience.


·       The volunteers and students should be frequently asked for suggestions for improving routines, schedules and approaches that may influence the volunteer-child relationship in a productive way.



Responsibilities of Volunteers


1.     Volunteers must undergo a background check, which includes completing the Virginia Department of Social Services/Child Protective Services Central Registry Release of Information Form.  A $10.00 money order or cashier’s check must accompany the application.  No cash or personal checks will be accepted.  If the volunteer is on the approved substitute list or an employee of the Alleghany County School System, he/she does not have to complete this form.


2.     Volunteers should have cell phones on vibrate when volunteering.  If a volunteer needs to take a phone call, he/she must step out of the classroom.


3.      Volunteers may not bring other children with them when volunteering.


4.     The Importance of Dependability:


·       The volunteer’s loyalty and dependability are determined in large part by the degree of satisfaction felt on the job – tasks assigned should be perceived as meaningful, tasks should be varied, and responsibility should increase as the volunteer can handle it.


·       Volunteers enter the program with enthusiasm and high hopes for a meaningful experience.  If a volunteer is not dependable, the teacher should learn why and make sure the volunteer understands what to do when he/she cannot come on an assigned day.


·       The teacher should make sure the volunteer understands the value of his/her volunteer contribution and how it relates to the total effort.


5.     The Importance of Professionalism:


·       The teacher sets the example.  The volunteer will model the professional attitude demonstrated by the teacher in dress, manner, behavior, etc.


·       Volunteer orientation should include a section on professionalism, which reminds volunteers that, although their job is that of a volunteer, their commitment is professional.


6.     The Importance of Confidentiality:


·       The teacher should stress the importance of confidentiality to the volunteer.


·       The teacher should instruct the volunteer not to comment on individual students, faculty members, or the school in an inappropriate manner, confidential files and papers.  Records should be put away after they are used and are not to be shared with others.


7.     The Importance of Following Directions & Asking Questions:


·       The volunteer needs clear directions or instructions from the teacher.


·       The teacher should make sure the volunteer understands the assigned task.


·       The teacher should provide samples or demonstrate how tasks are to be performed.


·       The volunteer should feel comfortable about asking the teacher for clarifications when needed.  The teacher should try to create a suitable working atmosphere to encourage good communications.


·       Volunteers need clearly defined job descriptions and a thorough orientation to classroom procedures.


Expectations for Teachers & Volunteers


1.     What does the teacher expect of the volunteer?


Ø  Promptness

Ø  Love of children

Ø  Enthusiasm

Ø  Flexibility

Ø  Dependability

Ø  Patience

Ø  Loyalty

Ø  Businesslike attitude

Ø  Imagination and creativity

Ø  Non-disruptive influence

Ø  Tact

Ø  Sense of humor

Ø  Initiative

Ø  Interest in helping for the benefit of community

Ø  Be discreet and trustworthy with confidential matters relating to classroom and students

Ø  Be willing to help, ask for directions, follow instructions, take training, try a variety of approaches and techniques with students

Ø  Be pleasant, friendly, have a warm, positive attitude

Ø  Dress appropriately for the activity while supporting the Alleghany County Public School employee dress policy whenever possible

Ø  Be sensitive to children’s needs

Ø  Know that the teacher is the authority

Ø  Be sensitive to teacher’s time needs

Ø  Avoid trying to be amateur psychologist

Ø  Be capable of maintaining firm but kind discipline when working the small groups of children


2.     What does the volunteer expect of the teacher?


Ø  Consideration

Ø  Patience

Ø  Appreciation

Ø  Respect

Ø  Courtesy

Ø  Pleasant voice

Ø  Sincerity

Ø  Good directions

Ø  Loves children

Ø  Has tasks ready

Ø  Cooperative attitude

Ø  Controls class

Ø  Shows how to use machines, when applicable

Ø  Organization – gives clear instructions and plans

Ø  Explains specific expectations for volunteer

Ø  Explains policies and procedures of school and classroom

Ø  Gives feedback on student’s progress

Ø  Is willing to help volunteer as needed

Ø  Assigns tasks volunteers are capable of doing

Ø  Treats volunteers as professional assistants

Ø  Has children prepared to work with volunteer

Ø  Has friendly and welcoming attitude

Ø  Remains in charge of classroom

Ø  Tells volunteer about schedule changes

Ø  Matches personality of volunteer with students

Ø  Offers constructive criticism, but not in front of students

Ø  Accepts creative ideas and suggestions

Ø  Gives volunteer relevant information about students




Initial Teacher/Volunteer Conference Checklist


1.     As the volunteer is oriented to the class, plan to discuss the following:


·       Signing in and out of the building and wearing volunteer identification badge.

·       Days and times to work in the classroom.

·       Designation of a work area location.

·       Classroom duties.

·       Number of students the volunteer will help.

·       Procedures for the volunteer and teacher to keep in touch (regular conferences, telephone conversation, notes, informal meetings, etc.)

·       Alternate plans if the student(s) is/are absent.

·       Procedure to follow if the volunteer must be absent (contact the volunteer coordinator).

·       How the teacher will tell the volunteer of the days assignment (folder, note, or other means).

·       What name students will use for the volunteer (a college student might want to be called by the first name rather than Mr. ___ or Mrs. ___).

·       Materials, strategies or games to be used.

·       The teachers own classroom policies, procedures, and rules (such as management system, reinforcement techniques, organizational plans, emergency procedures, where the volunteer leaves personal belongings, and whether the volunteer is welcome in the teachers lounge and lunchroom).

·       The volunteer’s role in discipline.

·       Any special training needed.


2.     If the volunteer will be working in academic areas with a student or students, the teacher should also discuss:


·       Pertinent background information about the student(s) with whom the volunteer will work.

·       Special strengths of the student(s).

·       Special needs of the student(s) and skills to be developed.

·       Tips for working with specific students (learning style and reinforcement techniques).


Tips for Volunteers


·       Time:  Report on time to the staff person who will supervise your job, and remain for the period of time for which you are committed.  If, at any time, the teacher is not available, or if for any reason the job does not materialize, please contact the school office or the school volunteer coordinator promptly.  We value your services far too much to waste time.


·       Appearance:  Your appearance in dress and grooming should be appropriate for the setting.  You should follow the school dress

·       Accept Direction:  Accept direction and supervision, recognizing that you are an important helper.  You do not take the place of a staff member.  You are a supplementary person who offers assistance and enrichment with your personal skill and competence.


·       Assignment:  If the assignment does not prove to be what you expected or you feel you cannot handle it, you should discuss your concerns with the teacher. If you are hesitant to discuss this with the teacher, please contact the school volunteer coordinator.  If you are hesitant to discuss it with the school volunteer coordinator, please contact the Alleghany County Public Schools director of volunteer services.


·       Confidentiality:  Respect the confidential nature of anything you see or hear.  Share any concerns you may have only with those in authority at the school.


·       If You Must Cancel:  If illness or any emergency arises, please call the office of the school where you volunteer as soon as possible.  Ask the secretary to inform the teacher you will not be there.  The carefully laid out plans of at least one teacher and the learning of children may be interrupted if you are not where you’re expected at the scheduled time.


·       Ask:  Ask the person in charge what you should do in case of emergencies.  Become familiar with the school policies.


·       Nothing is Fixed:  Nothing is so fixed that efforts to improve it are not in order.  Share your ideas with staff members, but remember that past experiences of volunteer involvement in the school may not be known to you.  Be prepared to accept the staff members judgment in these matters.


·       Enjoy Yourself:  Your enthusiasm will be conveyed to the students who are eager to learn.


Ways Volunteers Can Help at the Elementary School Level


1.     Tell stories to children.

2.     Listen to children read.

3.     Conduct flash card drills.

4.     Assist in learning center.

5.     Provide individual help.

6.     Set up learning center.

7.     Help contact parents.

8.     Reproduce materials.

9.     Work in clinic or library.

10.  Check out audio-visual equipment.

11.  Practice vocabulary with non-English speaking students.

12.  Make instructional games.

13.  Play instructional games.

14.  Play games at recess.

15.  Assist with visual tests.

16.  Prepare visual materials.

17.  Develop programmed materials.

18.  Help with book fairs.

19.  Work with underachievers.

20.  Reinforce Dolch words.

21.  Help select library books.

22.  Assist with field trips.

23.  Make props for plays.

24.  Set up or run bookstore or book exchange.

25.  Gather resource materials.

26.  Help children learn to type.

27.  Help children with arts and crafts.

28.  Help with cooking projects.

29.  Check out books from public library.

30.  Set up experiments.

31.  Take attendance.

32.  Escort children to various locations throughout the building.

33.  Work on perceptual activities.

34.  Make a list of library resources.

35.  Visit a sick child at home.

36.  Work with a handicapped child.

37.  Prepare teaching materials.

38.  Supervise groups taking tests.

39.  Discuss careers or hobbies.

40.  Show a film to a group.

41.  Help young children with walking on a balance beam, jumping rope or skipping.

42.  Reinforce learning of alphabet.

43.  Reinforce recognition of numerals.

44.  Drill recognition of color words.

45.  Talk to children – be a friend.

46.  Help children with motor skill problems.

47.  Help children learn a foreign language.

48.  Play a musical instrument.

49.  Help students who play instruments.

50.  Make puppets.

51.  Dramatize a story.

52.  Help with handwriting practice.

53.  Set up grocery store to practice math skills.

54.  Drill spelling words.

55.  Make reading carrels from boxes.

56.  Tell stories with puppets with flannel board.

57.  Assist with sing-along.

58.  Show slides:  life in other countries, parts of the US, crafts, games.

59.  Discuss care and training of pets.

60.  Demonstrate different artistic abilities.

61.  Discuss life from the point of view of a person with a handicap and the importance of understanding others.

62.  Discuss different handicaps.

63.  Discuss attitudes, feelings and emotions.

64.  Share ethnic backgrounds and experiences.

65.  Discuss farm life and farm animals.

66.  Demonstrate gardening skills.

67.  Help prepare assembly programs.

68.  Discuss holidays and special occasions.

69.  Discuss aspects of safety.

70.  Share information about local history.

71.  Demonstrate pioneer crafts: weaving, candle making, musical instruments, toys and dolls.

72.  Assist in preparing courses in: photography, creative dramatics, knitting, square dancing.


Ways Volunteers Can Help at the Secondary School Level


1.     Volunteers who are native speakers from other countries and people who speak foreign languages fluently can give language students extra practice in conversation or discuss the literature that advanced language students are reading.

2.     Volunteers can be available in guidance offices to help students find answers to questions about careers, training opportunities and college selections.

3.     Volunteers can contribute to social studies units.  Resource people from the community can speak or be interviewed on topics in which they have experience and expertise.  A senior citizen can supply details on local history.  Others may describe their personal participation in events such as the bombings on London during WW II, the Nazi movement, political campaigns or other current events.  A city planner might discuss urban renewal or current zoning problems.

4.     Volunteers can help students use library resources for units of study.

5.     Volunteers can assist teachers in gathering resources for units of study.

6.     Volunteer nurses may extend the work of the school nurse – for example, they might help teach CPR to health classes.

7.     Volunteers can prepare tactile materials for visually impaired students using large print typewriters, Braille machines, etc.

8.     Volunteers can assist in science and math laboratories.

9.      Volunteers can help in vocational classrooms and laboratories, such as printing, auto mechanics, commercial food and sewing, industrial arts, construction trades.

10.  Volunteers can accompany the school chorus and help build sets for plays.

11.  Volunteers who are artists and performers can assist and encourage students who aspire to careers in fine arts.

12.  Volunteers can arrange meaningful field trips into the community.

13.  Volunteers can share collections, discuss careers, travels, hobbies and other areas of special knowledge.

14.  Volunteers can sponsor school clubs.

15.  Volunteers can assist with audio-visual equipment maintenance and scheduling, and with production of video cassettes and other AV products.

16.  Volunteers can assist the staffs of student publications, yearbook, literary magazine, newspaper.

17.  Volunteers can produce a parent-teacher newsletter to inform parents of student and school achievements and activities.

18.  Volunteers can assist teachers in academic subject matter areas.

19.  Volunteers can assist English teachers as lay readers of student essays and compositions, enabling teachers to give more writing assignments.

20.  Volunteers can assist special education teachers giving students extra drill and reinforcement of concepts.

21.  Volunteers can help students who were absent to make up missed work.

22.  Volunteers can supervise students who are taking tests.

23.  Volunteers can assist non-English speaking students in expanding their vocabularies and improving conversational skills.

24.  Volunteers can share slides and artifacts from other cultures and countries as well as from different sections of the US.

25.  Volunteers share their own experiences, such as what it’s like to be a handicapped person and how the handicap impacts on relationships and career choices.

26.  Volunteers can demonstrate a variety of artistic abilities.

27.  Volunteers from various ethnic backgrounds might share their individual life experiences.

28.  Volunteers can assist in organizing a college fair.

29.  Volunteers can assist in organizing a career exploration day or week.


*Note: The teacher must request permission from the textbook publishers before any textbook can be taped. Publishers usually give permission of such usage with disadvantaged students.


Ways to Show Appreciation to Volunteers


1.     Greet the volunteer by name.  Encourage students and teachers to use volunteer’s name.

2.     Thank the volunteer personally each day, noting special contributions.

3.     Set a time to talk with the volunteer when children are not present.  Speak briefly with the volunteer each day before departure.

4.     Celebrate the volunteer’s birthday.  Encourage students to write occasional thank-you notes.

5.     Use the volunteer’s special talents, knowledge and interests in assigning tasks.

6.     Share articles and books of mutual interest on child development, learning styles, or content area in which the volunteer works.

7.     Include the volunteer when planning class activities.

8.      Send a letter of appreciation.

9.      Take the volunteer to lunch.

10.  Call or write when the volunteer is absent or ill.

11.  Invite experienced volunteers to train new volunteers.

12.  Seek training opportunities for the volunteer, perhaps by providing PTA scholarship to a volunteer conference or workshop.

13.  Write an article on the volunteer’s contributions for your volunteer newsletter, school newspaper, or community paper.

14.  Ask the school volunteer coordinator or the Alleghany County Public Schools director of volunteer services to feature a story on volunteers for the newspaper, radio, or TV station.

15.  Nominate your volunteer for a volunteer award.

16.  Celebrate outstanding contributions or achievements.

17.  Commend the volunteer to supervisory staff.

18.  Ask volunteers to help evaluate programs and suggest improvements.

19.  Help plan a recognition event – an assembly, reception or luncheon; invite the superintendent, school board, administrators, parents, and community leaders.

20.  Write a letter of recommendation when the volunteer requests it.

21.  Write a letter to the supervisor of a business volunteer commending the volunteer’s contribution to education


Volunteer Coordinator’s Contact Information


Alleghany High School

Principal – Mr. Dwayne E. Ross

Assistant Principal – Mrs. Kelly A. Huff

Assistant Principal – Ms. Karen C. Staunton

Assistant Principal/AD – Mr. Thomas L. Dobbs


Clifton Middle School

Principal – Sarah A. Rowe

Assistant Principal – Mr. George M. Wood


Callaghan Elementary School

Principal – Mr. Joshua S. Craft


Mountain View Elementary School

Principal – Mrs. April C. Easton

Assistant Principal – Mr. Devan A. Nicely


Sharon Elementary School

Principal – Mr. Sherman B. Callahan




The Alleghany County School Board does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, political affiliation, disability, or age in its programs and activities.  The following have been designated as the contact regarding compliance issues associated with this non-discrimination policy and compliance with Title IX:  Director of Human Resources and Pupil Personnel and Director of Assessment and Accountability.  For questions and compliance with Section 504 and ADA contact the Director of Special Education.  Alleghany County School Board Office, 100 Central Circle/P.O. Drawer 140, Low Moor, Virginia 24457. 540-863-1800.






Revised 7.27.18