Volunteer Opportunities

Ward Elementary School
Volunteer Opportunities in the Ward School PTO

Parent participation is the cornerstone of the Ward School experience. Becoming involved
with school activities is a great way to build connections with other parents and teachers and
feel a part of the Ward community. For many roles it is helpful to have multiple volunteers so
please consider volunteering in one or multiple volunteer roles listed below.

Event Driven Volunteering:
Back to School Picnic - Coordinate before school starts. Work with PTO on a date. Source entertainment ideas
and handle booking. Coordinate pizza and water. Event happens in September on Ward field.
Mystery Dinner - Takes place in October annually. Planning entails recruiting homes to host the appetizer,
dessert and individual dinners. Distribute flyers to recruit hosts and attendees, work with the families on
themes, print invitations, receive responses.
Spring Family Event Night Out/Or End of the Year Party - Usually in May or June. Pick a theme such as DJ party,
BINGO, magic show, or anything new. Coordination with the school, entertainment and pre-ordering food.
Teacher Raffle - Start planning and recruiting teachers around January & February for a Raffle in March. Work
with the teachers to figure out prizes, write descriptions, print out all of the raffle tickets & and distribute.
Other Community Events - e.g., Celtics Night Out or Ward Day at Fenway. Coordinate event details and logistics;
advertise and collect money; organize a spreadsheet of the attendees.
International Night Chair - Find families to find host booths representing different countries/cultures. Organize
a committee to participate. In the past the event has included performances by students and passport books in
which students could collect stamps at the various booths.
Safe Routes to School - Encourage a walk to school day in the fall and spring with the help of the city-wide
representative. In the past, trinkets have been given out to walkers and/or a raffle prize.
Ward Serves/Newton Serves - Work with the city to register the event in February. The Volunteer Day happens
in May. Come up with volunteer projects that both parents and students can participate in.
Book Fair - Coordinate with the book vender (Scholastic or other) and work with them on the timing of the fair
(usually before the holidays in early December). Coordinate volunteers for each day, setup and breakdown.
Understanding our Differences - Two coordinators per grade needed for grades 3rd through 5th for two
presentations each year. Preparation includes two 2-hour initial training sessions with the UOD Newton
Program, familiarizing yourself with the course material in advance of presenting to the kids, recruiting
parent volunteers.
Art Committee - Run the annual art gallery event in the spring. Work with the school on a date (usually in May)
and work with Ms. Broder on the set-up including mounting and hanging art work from all grades.
Directory - There are several Directory roles. Beginning at the end of the summer, enter new family info into the
database, ad sales to local businesses, proof reading, confirming data for returning families, coordinating with
printer for layout and timing.
Color Day - Springtime event. Recruit parent volunteers and support the PE teacher in setting up and
managing volunteers.

Ongoing PTO Roles:
Ward Garden Committee - Set up, plant and maintain the vegetable garden in front of the school. Coordinate
with teachers on having different classes get involved as a part of their curriculum. Solicit and volunteers to
ensure that the Garden is properly taken care of throughout the year including the summer.
Room Parent Coordinator - At the beginning of the year, coordinate with each class to make sure that there are
room parent volunteers for each class. Distribute important messages to room parents during the year.
Room Parents - Each classroom needs several room parent volunteers to support the teacher,
recruit volunteers as necessary and organize any class parties throughout the year.
Library Volunteer Coordinator - Recruiting and scheduling library volunteers to handle checking in/out books,
and re-shelving. Ideally we would have two volunteers for each class time.
Library Volunteers - Work in the library during a designated time slot, usually checking out books, and reshelving
books. You can do this during your child's class time.
METCO Representative - Welcome new METCO families to Ward, create community, and advocate regarding
any transportation issues.
Class Dinner Coordinator - Work with parents to find volunteers to host each grade's potluck dinner: date
selection, promoting it in the weekly ForWard newsletter, help host families to set up an event Evite.
Teacher Appreciation Committee - Each grade takes a turn to bring in breakfast for teachers and staff before
school (7:30am). Send around spreadsheet for different food categories. Coordinate the end of the year
luncheon for teachers and staff.
Annual Fund Coordinator - Work with the PTO chairs and the room parents to publicize the goals of the Annual
Fund, draft mailings, track contributions, send acknowledgement letters and raise awareness of Annual Fund.
CASC (Creative Arts and Science) - Rotate with other committee members at the Newton-wide monthly
meeting (Tuesday morning), review and get familiar with the CASC handbook that cover Newton's criteria for
bringing in different artists.
Parents' Night Out / Dads' Night Out / Moms' Night Out - Coordinate with other parents to set up casual social
events throughout the year.
Special Education Representative - Liaison for families who have a child with special needs. See Mrs. Peller for
further details.
CARE Committee - Coordinate multiple donations and projects to support our community during the year. Past
projects have included Food Bank Drives around Thanksgiving, Book Drives, Pet Shelter Drives, UNICEF
collections, Cradles to Crayons, and Clothing Drives.
Crisis Committee - Work with the Principal on anything that requires some PTO coordination (illness, death, etc)
PTO Website - Ongoing work to post the latest Ward news. Also, our site needs an overall upgrade/redesign if
anyone wants to take this project on.
PTO Newsletter: the ForWard - Gather weekly news, edit, and send out our weekly email Newsletter,
the ForWard, using Constant Contact.
Box Tops for Education - Gather the Box Tops in the front of the school and send them in bi-monthly.
Coordinate to make sure the money is received by the PTO.
Lost & Found - Our very active lost and found needs to be periodically organized. And twice a year unclaimed
items need to be removed and donated.
PTO Co-Chairs & Vice President - Recruit volunteers, oversee fundraising efforts, welcome new families,
assemble welcome packets, support the various committees as necessary, attend city-wide PTO Council
meetings, and coordinate with Mrs. Peller on school needs and the PTO Budget.
Treasurer - Oversee the PTO's operating budget, handle all funds, handle disbursements and payments, our
banking relationship, ensure transparency, process all matching fund paperwork, and tax filings.

If you are interested in discussing any of the roles in further detail, please contact
Diana Cohen at dianacohen1971@gmail.com, Gabi Kroszynski at frinulia@hotmail.com or
Lisa Schwarzberg at lschwarzberg@gmail.com.