Parent volunteers can be life savers for busy teachers. The trick is knowing how to keep them involved and finding creative ways for them to help out. No one knows this better than Mari, a 1st Grade Teacher from Wauwatose, Wisconsin, who sent in this really good idea.
Welcome to the Book Hospital
“My students are forever calling to my attention class library books with torn pages and loose bindings,” Mari explained. “To empower kids and their parents, and to extend the life of our book collection, I create a book hospital. I take a large plastic box and invite students to make a sign that reads, ‘Book Hospital: Emergency Room.’ I then add clear packaging tape, a roll of Scotch tape, and scissors to the box.”
“Whenever a child discovers a ‘sick’ book in need of TLC, he or she rushes the book to the book hospital,” Mari continued. “The children then take turns taking the box home so parent volunteers can perform procedures and operations in their own home-based ‘Book Health Care Centers.’ When a book has been restored to health and returned to class, I give credit to the parent/doctor responsible and announce that we’ve had another successful operation! This program is especially popular with parents who work full time as they are eager to learn ways to lend support to our class.”
Here’s what you need to create your own Book Hospital:
- A box or book bag
- Clear packing tape
- Scotch tape
- Instructions for parent volunteers
How do you encourage parental involvement in your classroom? Share with us in the comments below or on the Really Good Teachers forums!