The purpose of the Kinderplatz Parent Organization (KPO) is to serve as a vital link between parents and teachers to ensure the richest educational experience possible for our children by developing connections between home and school. KPO fosters meaningful relationships between parents, teachers and faculty.
KPO plans, organizes and executes events and programs which enhance education programs and generate the monetary resources for the school to implement its curriculum, maintain equipment and provide other operational necessities each year. Some of these critical events and programs are:
Annual School Fundraiser – “Bidz for Kidz”
Super Saturdays & Super Dads
Parent Seminar Series
Children’s Art Gallery Night
KFA Spirit Shop Merchandise
Parent volunteers are needed year round. There are many ways you can show your support for the children, teachers and the school.
How to Get Involved
KPO needs every parent to give of their time and financially support the operations and programs of our school. There are so many ways to get involved! It's a fun way to meet other parents and bond with your child.
Here are some great ways to step up:
Annual School Fundraiser – “Bidz for Kidz”
This is the school's primary fundraiser held annually in the spring. The event typically hosts a dinner with live and silent auctions. The children participate by creating masterpieces of group art that are featured in the auction. Other traditional items offered are child parties, teacher parties and class baskets. The funds raised by the event are used to cover annual operating expenses, equipment purchases, teacher training, etc
Committee volunteers are needed to help plan the event, seek donations for auctions, and assist with general party planning. It's a super fun group that welcomes new faces each year! This is a great committee on which to serve to get into the heart of the culture at KFA.
Each class has one or two parents to serve as Room Parents. As Room Parents, parents help teachers with the various holiday parties, taking pictures throughout the year, coordinating parent meet-and-greets, disseminating information to parents, and coordinating class pottery painting and other art for Bidz for Kidz.
Super Saturday is two designated Saturdays in the Fall and Spring where parents come up to the school to take care of all of those "honey do" projects that have piled up throughout the semester such as touching up paint, replacing light bulbs, rearranging classrooms, etc. So roll up your sleeves and come help out!
KFA Spirit Shop
KPO sells KFA t-shirts, sweatshirts and other items each year for parents and children. This is a volunteer position to manage the inventory, new products and sales.
Parent Seminar Series
Each year KFA offers parent educational seminars on early brain development, parenting techniques, technology impact on children, and other general education topics. A volunteer is needed to coordinate the logistics of these evenings such as attendance sign up, food orders, and child care.
Digital Scrapbook Coordinator
A yearbook committee is made up of a coordinator from each classroom and the Editor. The group gathers and takes photos throughout the school year, sells the yearbooks, designs and distributes the books.
Each year a volunteer committee coordinates teacher appreciation week and plans the annual Teacher Appreciation Luncheon.
Fall Food Drive & Winter Kid to Kid
Every Fall the school comes together to bring in-kind donations of food for the Tarrant County Food Bank and in the Winter we donate to the CPS Children's Wish Card Tree for the Kid-to-Kid program.
Each Spring the school hosts a school-wide picnic which is planned and executed by a committee of volunteers.
The school keeps a closet for the children stocked with shirts, pants, socks, etc. for when children get wet or dirty and need a change of clothes for the remainder of the school day. This volunteer coordinates the inventory in the closet and seeks donations from parents.
Bulletin Board Coordinator
This volunteer maintains the bulletin board in the foyer of the school.
As parents, most of our plates are not only full but overflowing; our schedules are so tight they're cutting off blood flow and our to-do lists are endless. The last thing any of us truly wants to do is commit to another project, group, or organization.
But there's one area where we shouldn't cut corners or make excuses, and that's volunteering at our child's school. The ongoing social, academic and emotional success of our kids relies heavily on the amazing network of parents and guardians.
Volunteering doesn't have to be painful. Here are some reasons to get involved without getting overwhelmed:
It takes a village: As the saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child,” and the same is true for creating and maintaining a positive and nurturing school environment for an entire student body. While teachers and administrators are responsible for providing enriching academics, school is much more. Building a tight knit community of volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to building a solid foundation of support creates a lasting impression on children. But planning events, organizing fundraisers, donating time and energy to cleaning up and beautifying the campus, and using professional and personal connections to benefit the school takes some serious manpower. Your child's school is the village and you, my friend, are a villager.
A little goes a long way: Maybe you work full time. Maybe you run a Girl Scout troop. We're all busy, and odds are so are the other parents at your child's school. The big mistake here is thinking volunteering has to be an "all or nothing,” thing. It doesn't. Spending once a week or even once a month helping plan an event, soliciting an item for the school auction, or painting pottery with the children goes a long way. So check your calendar and figure out how much time you can really devote to volunteer work, then make a commitment and stick to it.
Your child will benefit: Some parents take for granted that their child continues to benefit from the hard work of others. School is so much more than just drop-off and pick-up -- it is the place where your child will spend the majority of his childhood. The majority of assemblies, teacher wish list items, book fairs and special events are organized and implemented by volunteers who believe your child is worth the extra effort. Helping to oversee some of these programs and projects will give your child a more meaningful school experience -- and that should be motivation enough for anyone.
You'll feel good: Not only will your volunteer efforts pay off by enhancing your child's experience on campus, you'll feel pretty good about yourself too. Doing for others feels right, and it's contagious.
So do your child's school and yourself a favor: become a volunteer in whatever capacity you are able to, and get ready for a life changing experience for you AND your child.
adapted from OCMoms blog, by Jo Ashline; a freelance writer, former kindergarten teacher, and mother of two