Lending a Hand


I found myself saying several words that I didn't think I'd say again, “I'm going to an After Prom Meeting tonight.” It was the “official” transition meeting. I turned over my knowledge and experience of being an After Prom Co-Chair for five years to the gal taking over for me. I was sad to hear that what I started to notice as I was in my last two to three years of volunteering at the high school was getting worse. There is no one coming up to replace those who volunteered before them.

There seems to be a shortage of folks willing to lend a hand (or two) for the PTSA at my kids high school. It's hard to know if the economy is to blame, in that more families have both parents working. Or, if the era of the over-involved parent is coming to its natural end, and somehow volunteering at school feels like “too much?” Or, if there are just too many areas that need volunteers, like Churches/faith institutions, Scouting, band, sports teams, and schools. Kids these days have a lot of extra curricular activity options, and most of those options require some level of parent or volunteer support. Not to mention there are a number of ways to disseminate and receive information. So, how do parents these days get their information? Where do they go? The school's PTSA website? Twitter? Facebook? E-mail? The hardcopy newsletters (mailed to every household via U.S. Mail several times a year) of “yesterday” are long gone, and with them goes one of the surest forms of communication and connection between the school and home. I have been actively (albeit intermittently) seeking someone to take over the PTSA Twitter feed for the school. I have not received a single inquiry. It takes very little time and can be done from home or work. And, still no one is interested. Likewise, the current After Prom Committee Chairs are trying to find the volunteers they'll need to successfully hold this year's After Prom party. It takes approximately 100 adult volunteers to ensure the safety and fun of over 600 students on one of the biggest night's of the kids lives-prom night.

I know they will do a great job, and I hope that the next generation of parents figures out the importance of being informed and involved in their kids schools until they become Empty Nesters, like us.



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