The programme was launched in 2006 at the NZPTA Conference in Christchurch, with the support of Minister of Education, Hon. Steve Maharey.
“Our wider community is becoming more involved with school.” – Principal
“It was easy to get involved. I’d always wanted to help, but just didn’t know how.” – Parent
Parental involvement in schools and centres is nothing new. PTAs have been operating in New Zealand schools for over 100 years. But changes to the education system and our society over the last couple of decades have created the need for schools and centres to find new ways of getting parents involved in their child’s education. Give Me Five succeeds in improving parent and whanau involvement because it requires a committment from both parents and teachers.
Through volunteering, Give Me Five links to all aspects of a successful parent and whanau involvement programme and provides the first step towards a stronger partnership.
“When we have a job to do, it is so handy to have the list of names right there to call on.” – PTA Chairperson
“It is great having the parents around helping as it benefits the children having some one-on-one when needed.” – Teacher
Benefits of Give Me Five
When families sign up as Give Me Five volunteers, you give them a reason to come into the school or ask to do things from home to support the school its students.
- You open the door to the school for the first time for many parents and family members.
- Parents become more in tune with the needs of the school and students.
- Teachers become more in tune with the needs of families.
- Give Me Five can make it easier for more dads, step dads, grandfathers and big brothers to join in.
- Parents keep coming back because they experience a positive school environment and a welcoming staff, and see the child’s delight at seeing them in the school.
- Communication between school and family increases.
- You can operate events and programmes more efficiently with more volunteers/parent help.
- Teachers feel more valued by parents.
- Parents are more willing to say “yes” when you ask them to help with something specific.
- Volunteering will be measured, showing statistics that the community and school will appreciate.
- The programme is easy to start and run, with sample forms and guidelines provided. The start-up costs are minimal; primarily printing.
- It becomes easier to manage volunteer needs as the database grows, calling upon new people to do specific tasks and matching assignments with parents’ availability.
- Parents will understand the impact of involvement beyond attending a meeting, and may become more involved in the PTA.
- Give Me Five helps build a stronger school community as volunteers take ownership and become proud school supporters.
- Businesses and community organisations will assist your efforts to increase parent involvement (offering sponsorships, partnerships, employee participation, visibility, and recognition).
- Parent/whanau involvement becomes more inclusive. When working parents, single parents, and parents who did not eagerly volunteer see this opportunity, they will realise that it is manageable for them.
- You build future volunteers as children see the example of their families volunteering.