Questions
1)  Why does VIPS need me?
2)  I'm retired. Can I still volunteer?
3)  Can students be VIPS too?
4)  Are there any VIPS benefits?
5)  Why is logging hours important?
 
Answers
1)  Q Why does VIPS need me?
A

The Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD has a long history of volunteerism, and during the 2001-2002 school year, the District and the HEB Council of PTAs created VIPS, a formal program for recruiting and maintaining volunteers to offer hands-on assistance in our schools. Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds. They may be members of a group that has adopted a school; parents or grandparents of children in school; or individuals who want to give back to the community.

The objective of VIPS is to positively impact student achievement. Volunteers can read to students, tutor in a particular subject area, work in the library, or assist with special events. There is almost no end to opportunities in VIPS.

Here's why we need you:

  • 57 percent of HEB youth say they don't have non-parent adult support in their lives - you can change that
  • 75 percent of our youth say they don't have adults who can model positive behavior for them - but you can
  • 74 percent of our youth say that they don't believe the community values youth - you can show you care
  • 82 percent of our youth don't read for pleasure - you can demonstrate your love of reading

(Data from Developmental Assets: A Profile of Your Youth , for the HEB Independent School District, May 2000)

2)  Q I'm retired. Can I still volunteer?
A

"I want to give something back."
"I learn something new every day."
"I want to be active."

These are just some of the reasons many people spend their retirement years as volunteers for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD. After spending years in the workforce and raising their families, many retirees have chosen to be a part of Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS), a program that brings volunteers together with children in HEB schools. Whether you represent a church group, civic group, or if you just want to donate some personal time, you can help us provide a quality education for nearly 20,000 students. You can make a difference in the lives of children, because they still need you.

Be Part of Their "Safety Net"

National research shows that it is important for our youth to have at least three non-parent adults whom they can trust. We surveyed our own HEB youth, and 57 percent said they do not have this type of adult support system. Without this adult support, young people are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors. With your help, our young people can overcome adversity, succeed in school, and become community leaders.

How Do I Get Started?

If you already know you want to volunteer at a particular school, you can join VIPS right away by following these steps:

  • Contact the school and match your skills with what the school needs
  • Fill out a background check form - this is done to ensure safety of all students
  • Attend a volunteer orientation and training session

You will work with a school VIPS Coordinator and a PTA Volunteer Chair, and they will ensure a smooth transition into volunteering.

Who made a difference in your life? Can you do the same for a child in HEB?

3)  Q Can students be VIPS too?
A

Yes!

We have all people we admire. Many of the people we look up to are older than us, and we can learn a lot from them.


Think of the young people who could look up to you and ask for advice, if you volunteered to help them. The Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD needs youth volunteers who can help make a difference in another person's life.

We invite you to join Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) and become a youth volunteer. Remember how you looked up to older kids when you were younger? Now, you have the chance to be a partner in education in a unique way, in a role only you can fill.

Youth volunteers can be any age. No one is too young to help another person. By beginning volunteer service at an early age, you can make a difference right away. You will become a community leader and make the HEB community a better place.
Why Should I Volunteer?

There are many reasons to volunteer. Some may be personal and help you fulfill something just for you. Other reasons to volunteer include:

  • To make a difference in the life of another and make the world a better place
  • To fulfill requirements for awards competition, like the HEB Council of PTAs Heart of Gold Award for Youth Volunteers
  • To fulfill a community service requirement for a class or an organization, such as International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, or National Honor Society
  • To fulfill a community service requirement for college admittance or scholarships
  • To develop interpersonal skills that are required in the workplace
How Do I Get Started?

High School and Junior High

  • Ask your favorite elementary teacher if you can read or tutor one of his/her students
  • Help with after school activities at an elementary school
  • If you have an early release, use that time to volunteer with younger students
  • Ask your assistant principal about clubs like PALS, TAFE, or create your own volunteer organization
  • Show off what you know by teaching someone else

Elementary

  • Ask a teacher if you can read to younger students
  • Ask your teacher if your entire class can organize a volunteer project

Any Age

  • Ask your campus PTA leaders how you can help with school projects
  • Volunteer your time on national Make A Difference Day, the last Saturday of October each year
  • Help with Christmas Providers, NEED, or a nursing home

4)  Q Are there any VIPS benefits?
A
We know you volunteer for your own reasons, but as part of VIPS, we want to recognize your hard work, and we offer the following:

  • Awards luncheon every spring
  • Name badges for volunteers who donate 100+ hours in a single year
  • Red, silver and gold apple service pins for badge wearers who serve above and beyond 100 hours after earning a badge

If you already know you want to volunteer at a particular school, you can join VIPS right away by following these steps:

  • Contact the school and match your skills with what the school needs
  • Fill out a background check form - this is done to ensure safety of all students
  • Attend a volunteer orientation and training session

You will work with a school VIPS Coordinator and a PTA Volunteer Chair, and they will ensure a smooth transition into volunteering.

Not sure where to begin? Contact the HEB ISD Communications Department.

Who made a difference in your life? Can you do the same for a child in HEB?

5)  Q Why is logging hours important?
A

Each year, the Superintendent of Schools sets a goal for the number of volunteer hours logged in a single year. For 2011-2012, that figure is 625,000. Many campuses compete against each other for awards, and while friendly competition is always fun, there are more important reasons to log volunteer hours.

Logging volunteer hours shows the public how much you believe in our public schools. When so many people today say negative things about our schools and our students, you prove them wrong by showing up every day to volunteer and then documenting that information to provide us with data.

The logged hours are also a form of feedback. It tells us that we have reached you and that we are doing our job. Core Message #3 in HEB ISD is "Parents and patrons are vital partners in the educational process." The documentation of volunteer hours is evidence of that partnership and it tells us we are on track.

There are times when a campus or a club may need data for an award application. In 2009, our Blue Ribbon Schools needed to provide volunteer data on their application and because of our VIPS program and the hours logged, they had years of trend data at their disposal.

You are a voice in favor of public education. When we can say that our school volunteers log thousands of hours, it speaks volumes about the positive things going on in public schools today. The evidence is in the data. So, when we ask you to log your hours, it is because that illustrates your support for HEB ISD and for public education today.