An essential component of the Early Childhood Program is to help facilitate the involvement of parents in the program's planning processes by supporting school readiness goals to prepare children for their transition to kindergarten and beyond and to help build stronger family systems to support the social and emotional growth and development of children in their pre-formative years. One of the ways in which we are able to accomplish this goal is through volunteerism.
Parents can volunteer as teacher aides, field trip chaperones, and assist with various recruitment activities to encourage parent engagement across the entire spectrum of the various program options offered. Parents can participate in events that promote their own personal and professional growth and increase their knowledge and awareness about early learning standards through activities sponsored by the School District, and federal and State education authorities such as the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the National Head Start Association (NHSA) and Trying Together [formerly Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Childen (PAEYC)]. Through participation in classes, meetings, and workshops, parents acquire knowledge about the educational, social, and emotional needs of children which enables them to become stronger advocates for their children.
Parents also have the opportunity to serve as members of Policy Council and its various sub-committees. The formation of the Policy Council group is derived from parent committee representatives elected by their peers to represent the classroom or center, as well as former parents and community members who bring a unique perspective to the table. The purpose of Policy Council is to work with the Governing Body (School Board Directors) and Early Childhood Management Team to implement and execute the goals and objectives of the program so that all children receive the maximum benefits of a comprehensive early learning child development program. Serving on Policy Council enables members to share their expertise and provide meaningful input into the administrative decision making process.
All volunteers must have current Act 33 (Child Abuse History), Act 34 (Criminal Record Check), and FBI Fingerprint clearances, and a recent TB test. The cost for the Child Abuse History and Criminal Record Check is free for purposes of volunteering in school settings. The cost to obtain fingerprint clearances is $21.35. For more information, please click on link: Background Clearance Procedures for Volunteers. For questions about obtaining clearances, please contact Geraldine Carpenter at (412) 529-8702.
To learn more about parent engagement opportunities or serving as a parent committee representative for your child's classroom, please contact Felicia Bonner, Family Services Coordinator at (412) 529-2625.