Listen, we are all for parent participation in schools! Parent volunteers and the PTA really can make or break a school, and their dedication to helping students and teachers have the best possible school experience is really admirable. But let's be honest: if you're a working parent, if you've got kids in different schools, if you've got little ones at home, it can be incredibly difficult to find the time to actually volunteer.
It's hard enough getting a day off for a doctor's appointment or to take care of a sick kid. Taking a day off to spend a few hours in your kid's classroom or chaperone a field trip? For a lot of parents, it's just not going to happen! But that doesn't mean they don't want to help out and support the school in other, more manageable ways. One school is being heaped with praise for the fundraiser flyer it sent home with students, allowing parents to opt out of bake sales and carnivals. It's a pretty genius idea!
Auburn High School in Auburn, Alabama, asked parents to contribute to something they called the Opt-Out Fundraiser. Rather than ask parents to volunteer their time, they gave them the option of sending in a monetary donation instead.
For $15, parents can add their name to the go-to volunteer email list. For $25, parents who are too busy (or lazy) to actually do anything won't be called or asked to sign up for volunteer work. And for a whopping $50, the Auburn High School PTO will forget their name and what they look like and won't bother them to do anything more than complete the form and send in some money. Honestly, that sounds like an absolute steal!
The comments on the post are mostly supportive, with parents praising the school and PTO for being understanding (and pretty funny). Of course, there are a handful of comments from people who find the idea to be in poor taste, and shame parents into volunteering because "it takes a village."
But the thing is, sometimes your village is tapped out! Sure, we all want to be everything to everyone and be in three places at once. But trying to do it all usually only results in not being able to do anything well. For parents who care enough to spend the money, this is a great option!