My experience as a parent volunteer at school

My experience as a parent volunteer at schoolYesterday was the annual event at my daughter’s school “Magic Puddles“. The theme this time was “Street Utsav” & the school team had roped in parent volunteers to help them out. We started off with lots of ideas on showcasing the street flavours of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Our first few meetings were full of enthusiastic suggestions from parents and teachers on dandiya, Char minar, Hyderabadi biriyani, dhoklas, et al. It all sounded hunky dory. But, I soon realized that we were nowhere close to execution! While the teachers were juggling school work with this added responsibility, the parents were doing double duty with work and office – none of us had the time to actually do anything!

With client deadlines breathing down my neck & my troublesome toddler eating away whatever free time I had, I undertook the responsibility of handling a “Dandiya” stall, where I would teach youngsters to make their own dandiya sticks from newspapers. I decided to make this fun for myself and my kids by involving them in every step. My daughter accompanied me to the shop to buy craft accessories, my son helped me glue things together & they both gave me some critical feedback on the end products too.

The day of the fair – a lovely Sunday morning – was really exciting. Glad to leave the kids behind with their father, I went in early to the school to find a whole bunch of mothers and teachers looking all resplendent like a glass of bubbly champagne! We had a blast setting up the stalls, trying our hand at a few rounds of dandiya dance before the crowd arrived and, of course, in sampling the food at the food stalls. As the children and their families came in, time just flew by in all the craft activites, games, qawwali rounds, dandiya dances, et al. As a lover of craft, I had a blast teaching youngsters to mess around with fevicol and paper creating their own sticks. As a mother, I enjoyed watching the smiles on the faces of each child proudly showing off his/her hand-made puppets, kites, caps, pen holders, etc. Most of all, as a stressed out working mother of two, I enjoyed doing something for myself – something which I truly enjoyed.

As a busy parent, have you ever taken time out to do something different – which turned out to be surprisingly refreshing?

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children.