Volunteers are an essential part of Westwood’s comprehensive educational and enrichment programs. Together, the staff and parents of Westwood Charter School work hard to inspire our children with a love of learning and to provide them with the environment and tools to learn successfully. Without volunteers to lead activities and fundraise, many essential programs would not exist.
Maintaining Westwood’s tradition of academic excellence requires a commitment FROM EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US. Whether the amount of time and resources you have to share is small or large, there is a valuable contribution that you can make. Volunteering is a wonderful way to participate in your child's education and show him or her that you think school is important. Please find at least one area where you can participate. Feel free to volunteer in as many areas as you wish. Join us in the work, and in the pleasure, of helping all our children to grow and thrive. If you have any further questions about any of the volunteer opportunities, please contact us.
New for 2012-13: We have implemented a new online committee sign-up process. You can register and manage your volunter roles on the Westwood volunteer management system via Sign-Up Genius at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040948AAAA238-westwood.
(Click here for Committee Chairs)
We are always looking to make our school look as wonderful on the outside as it is on the inside. If you’ve got a green thumb, enjoy gardening, or you just plain love to roll up your sleeves and get dirty, then this committee is for you.
In the Chill Zone students in Grades 1-5 engage with each other during the lunch recess in non-sports related activities, including board games, stacking cups, and building blocks. Volunteers are trained to set up the games, supervise the play, and put the games back in storage when the lunch period has ended. Volunteers also work with the student PAWS committee to address any requests for new games, guidelines for student sharing and clean-up, etc. The time commitment is 12 noon - 1:30 pm, approximately 1 day per week. Chill Zone volunteers create a volunteer rotation amongst themselves that fits the volunteers' schedules.
CLASSROOM CLEAN-UP DAY COMMITTEE
Please note, this committee position is in addition to your volunteer commitment to work in the classroom on Classroom Clean-Up Day.
Classroom Clean-Up Day happens one day each school year and is a wonderful opportunity for families and students to show Westwood teachers how much we appreciate them and to make our classrooms and other rooms throughout campus shine. We need help to make sure that all classrooms and other common areas have the needed people and supplies to make sure the day is successful! Volunteers will be in charge of signing people up to work and bring supplies and managing different parts of the day.
COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS
Love our school and want to help? Want to have some fun while participating in great events for Westwood Charter and our surrounding neighborhood? Then this is the group for you! We have multiple community outreach events throughout the school year and having extra hands on deck to help out would be terrific. Our goal to outreach and have community building events is to connect with the families in our school as well as those in our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods and inform the community about upcoming activities and programs that would be beneficial to certain segments of the population. If you like to host a party, enjoy special events and creating handouts and fliers for community events, we need YOU!
This committee works as the parent liaisons to the teachers' emergency preparedness committee, supporting the teachers and their needs, for example, by coordinating parent participation to practice request/reunion procedures during the school's emergency drills. The committee also coordinates the checking of each classroom's emergency backpack at the beginning of the school year through the Room Reps to ensure complete inventory. Volunteers are needed to help with the backpack coordination and assist with request/reunion procedures for drills.
GREAT BOOKS LEADER
Carefully trained volunteers lead small groups of children in discussions of selected short stories. Group leaders work with the grade level of their choice (usually their child's own classroom). Time commitment is flexible: working closely with the classroom teacher, leaders create a timetable that works for them, usually an hour or two per week for periods of six to eight weeks. We are looking for people to be trained as Great Books leaders for the 2011-2012 school year.
Help our wonderful students learn to make our school “green” by participating in one or more of our programs. We are also looking for new ideas how to improve recycling at the school and reduce waste. A few meetings throughout the year will be held to brainstorm ideas. Finally, we need help planning a fun Earth Day celebration. Join us for a few preliminary meetings this spring and celebrate Earth Day with us in April 2012.
This after school group meets to allow students to assist each other while they complete their homework. Parents are needed to help students and proctor if necessary. The Homework Co-Op meets on most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 2:50 to 3:50 pm throughout the school year. You can volunteer for one or all three days. This experience is rewarding to all that love the warm feeling of helping a child succeed. Good “basic” academic skills and a big heart are all that is required.
LOST & FOUND
We need parents to facilitate the collection, display, and removal/donation of lost and found items at Westwood Charter. Lost and Found should ideally be cleared off of the yard throughout the week, hung on the rack and then purged when the rack is full. We wash and donate the lost and found to area charities.
PARENT WORK PARTIES
This is the perfect volunteer opportunity for the commitment-phobic. Our monthly work parties require no specific time commitment or specific skill, just the desire to help. You can help for five minutes or for three hours; the decision is yours. The "parties" are held the first Friday of the month beginning in October. The idea of these "parties" is to help the teachers with copying, cutting, stapling, collating etc. Besides helping, you can socialize and enjoy a cup of coffee!
This committee provides refreshments to various meetings throughout the school year.
SCHOOL DIRECTORY – ONLINE AND PRINT
The School Directory is published each Fall and serves as a useful tool for communicating among friends and families at our school. We are looking for detail-oriented volunteers to assist with data entry, layout, photography, editing, and proofreading. In addition, the directory is sponsored by advertisers and we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who can reach out to our local business community to spread the word about the benefits of advertising to our amazing Westwood Charter families!
A part of our school’s charter, service learning is a research-based teaching method where classroom learning is applied through action that addresses an authentic community need. The process allows for youth initiative and provides structured time for reflection on the service experience and demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge. Volunteers are requested to be available to support teachers as needed and document the process of discovery and action. A great way to get involved without a huge time commitment.
SWEET FRIDAYS / TEACHER APPRECIATION
We appreciate our teachers at Westwood Charter! We demonstrate this by providing a Back-to-School lunch, Sweet Treats every Friday, lunch during Teacher Appreciation Week in May, and special snacks throughout the year.
Coordinate Traffic schedules at the beginning of the year with classrooms- assign classes to cover each week of school. Prepare all of the paperwork for the Room Rep Packets, update letters, forms, maps (if needed). Work with new room reps to get their classes signed up on back to school night.
Work with traffic coordinator with each classroom to ensure each slot is filled weekly- send out e-mails or make telephone calls to families who have not signed up. Send out weekly reminders to class traffic coordinators with regard to traffic duty schedule. Prepare letters, e-mails to new families and kindergarten families about traffic duty. Handle and respond complaints, issue, comments from parents and school officials regarding traffic issues. Prepare articles for Westwood Window on traffic issues around the school. Coordinate with local police, LA City Parking Dept. and LAUSD Police on patrol and ticketing around the school (weekly).
Tutors work one-on-one with students at school for ½ hour or more a week to improve reading and math skills. Volunteers work directly with teachers and students. This tutoring program takes place during school hours. Training is provided.
This year the school's website will be going through a major transformation. We are looking for a team of volunteers with web design and programming skills to make regular site updates and help build out the site. We are also looking for volunteers who can help write and update content, as well as identify strategic uses of the site (no web skills required). Both roles can be done at home on your own time – at night and on weekends.
The Westwood Cares committee serves the entire Westwood Charter community in time of need – whether happy or sad times. This committee helps organize carpools, meals, and play dates when a family needs an extra helping hand.
Westwood Friends are parents who volunteer time to provide support to new families at Westwood Charter by attending the Ice Cream Social for incoming kindergarteners and by acting as friendly "ambassadors" for families with questions about Westwood Charter.
We need volunteers to assist in the distribution of our school newsletter to those families who prefer to receive print copies, as well as stuffing envelopes to our (rather small) mailing list. At the most, this might take an hour every other week, and the job can be shared by several people. The Westwood Window always welcomes articles on school-related topics. Please submit your article to email@example.com. Deadlines for submissions are posted in the Window.
Fundraising & School Events Committees
ArtShare is a voluntary campus wide arts program that encourages students to use their imagination and creativity to reflect upon a given theme, utilizing any medium they wish. A series of approximately four after-school workshops lead by parent mentors will be held after winter break. Students will ultimately submit a piece to showcase at a multi-media ArtShare event on the evening of April 19, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. The visual art will then be displayed within the greater community. We are looking for artistic parents who would like to work with students during the after-school sessions. Last year, various visual mediums, music, dance, creative writing, photography, graphic design, acting, and film were all represented at our ArtShare event and we welcome any and all creative mediums! We are looking for mentors and also need help with organizing the program.
Our major spring fundraising event is an entertaining adults-only evening which includes great company, fun music and dancing, delicious food, and the best on-line auction in town. The event will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2012. There are many opportunities to become involved, including soliciting donations, seeking sponsors, designing invitations, writing the catalog, photographing items for the website, signage, creating decorations, assisting with set-up, and working the evening of the event, to name a few.
BACK TO SCHOOL PICNIC
Held on Sunday, September 11, 2011, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Back to School Picnic is an opportunity to get reacquainted with our Westwood friends. Volunteers are needed for setup and cleanup. Donations of bottled water are appreciated.
The Sponsorship Committee is dedicated to seeking out additional funding and support for Westwood Charter from the broader community. We are looking for volunteers to help solicit and process sponsorship donations.
EDUCATION & ENRICHMENT FUND DRIVE
The Education & Enrichment Fund Drive is Westwood Charter’s biggest annual fundraiser, raising nearly two-thirds of the funding needed by the W.I.S.E. parent organization to support the school. 100% of the funds raised from the Education & Enrichment Fund Drive go directly to benefiting your child’s education beyond what is provided by LAUSD. In recent years, donations to the Education & Enrichment Fund have made possible the programs and staff for class-size reductions, classroom aides, art, music, drama and physical education as well as the school librarian, computers/technology, professional development and other critical needs. We strive for 100% participation from our school families, and begin seeking support for the Fund in the Fall. In addition to financial support, the E&E Fund Drive seeks volunteers to assist with preparing and distributing materials during the September, December and May time frame as well as on-going administrative help.
The Fundraising team is looking for Grant Writing Coordinators (GWC) to seek out grant opportunities in both the private and public sectors. The GWC will analyze the grant opportunities and will identify and prioritize those which are the best match for Westwood Charter Elementary. The GWC will write the grant independently or with a team. The GWC will communicate with the board and the principal regarding grant opportunities and will ensure that application requirements are met. When a grant is secured, the GWC will communicate with the board and the school principal regarding the implementation and any follow up necessary to complete requirements.
HALLOWEEN HOOT COMMITTEE
Please note, this time is in addition to your classroom volunteer commitment to work at the Hoot.
On Sunday, October 23, 2011, the yard will be transformed for Westwood’s annual Halloween Hoot. It is a festival complete with games, crafts, food and entertainment. In addition to working the required shift for at your class booth, we need additional volunteers in many areas including: tickets, prizes, Haunted House and food.
HONORS DAY LUNCHEON
Honors Day is a Westwood tradition that acknowledges parents and teachers who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to our school. A special luncheon is given to honor the year’s service award recipients. Help is needed to set up the luncheon and transform the auditorium into a lovely, festive space. We always need dessert and beverage donations.
KINDERGARTEN CONVERSATION NIGHT
Held on March 14, 2012, this evening for prospective families is an informative conversation about the Kindergarten program at Westwood Charter. Help is needed in publicizing the event ahead of time, organizing refreshments and warmly greeting parents in the auditorium on the night of the conversation.
MIDDLE SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT
A panel discussion with current and former Westwood parents whose children attend different middle schools on the Westside. These parents will share their experiences and advice about making the transition to middle school. This is a rare opportunity to get frank answers to your questions and concerns as you make the decision about which middle school is the right choice for your child.
Held the week before Winter Break, December 12-16, 2011, Multicultural Week celebrates cultural diversity. We showcase and explore art, artifacts, food, music and traditions from our school community. Join us and share your heritage. Volunteers are needed to setup and host class visits to the Cultural Museum, photograph the week's activities, and plan school-wide cultural assemblies. This is a parent-run event. Its success depends on all of our participation. Adults from a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds are needed.
RED BUCKET DRIVE
Westwood Charter participates in an annual Thanksgiving food drive, sponsored by the Westside Pavilion Mall. All Thanksgiving meals collected are donated to the Westside Food Bank and are distributed to those less fortunate on Thanksgiving Day. This project is part of the “school cents” program at the Westside Pavilion that helps us win money for our school, but even more importantly, the food drive is an opportunity for our Westwood Charter family to reach out to the greater community and share our many gifts with those families in need. Volunteers are needed to oversee the collection of food during November, help compile meal boxes November 16-17, 2011, and transport boxes to the Westside Pavilion on Friday, November 18, 2011.
Need a new Westwood Charter t-shirt, water bottle, or bag? Now you can get it all year round at our new student store. Our ONLINE store will have a once a week pick up time. We need volunteers to fill orders, work at the store pick up, and just help out. The time commitment is one hour, one day a week.
Additional Skills, Talents and Resources
We know that our Westwood Community is a creative and talented group. We would like to establish a bank of parent talents, services and resources that the school can utilize. If you have friends or relatives who can participate, please include information on their talents and abilities as well.
On occasion, we need interpreters for a variety of written notices that go out to the student body. Oral interpretation is needed periodically at school meetings and at conferences.
We always call on the same one or two talented people for our multitude of graphic arts needs. We need signs, posters, invitations, and flyers for many of the events we sponsor. If you are a graphic artist with a computer, WE NEED YOU.
LARGE VOLUME COPYING
Although the school has a powerful copying machine, we often have copying needs that exceed its capability. During the year parents produce the contents of this Back-to-School packet, our Handbook, the School Directory, and the Auction catalog, as well as all the flyers which accompany each event. We are always looking for free or extremely low-cost copying.
The main office staff needs help fielding questions, answering phones, bandaging scrapes, and mediating disputes, especially during the children’s lunch hours. Help by knowledgeable people, an hour or two a week, is needed. Call Kendra at (310) 474-7788 for information.
ADDITIONAL SKILLS AND TALENTS
Did we forget something that you would like to contribute? Do you have a skill but you aren't sure how to apply it? Let us know. Grant writers, artists, florists, caterers, fundraisers, videographers… let us know where your talents lie!