With back-to-school season in full-swing, many parents are focused on getting their children ready by shopping for clothes and supplies. The sad fact is that not all families can afford basic school necessities. This can then place pressure on schools—or teachers, more specifically—which already lack funding. To this end, community members can help by donating supplies to their local schools. Below are other ways you can help schools in your area.


Raise Funds

Donating supplies is one way to help local schools, but it’s sometimes difficult to know what is needed the most. This is where cash donations can help. Fundraising not only helps schools get the supplies their students need, but the money can also help schools buy computers, tablets, furniture, playground equipment, and more. Local businesses are also likely to want to participate, so it’s worth asking as many entities for help as possible.


Help Out in the Classroom

In some cases, time can be as valuable an asset as money for local schools. Contact teachers or school boards and ask if they’re in need of volunteers. Some possible volunteer opportunities include reading groups, math tutoring, getting paperwork together, and organizing student materials. There are other ways to volunteer at schools outside of the actual classroom as well, including providing help in the library, cafeteria, and car/bus lines to make sure students stay safe.


Connect With Key Members

It can be overwhelming to think about how you can help out local schools. One way to break through the confusion is to simply ask what schools need by contacting them directly. Family members with children enrolled in a school can even tell teachers what they need most, whether it’s supplies, volunteer time, or administrative tasks. Another way to keep in the loop is to attend monthly school board meetings or PTA/PTO gatherings to get an idea of what community schools need most.


Consider Helping A Local Charity

Some students need help with other aspects of getting ready for school, including tutoring and mentoring. Consider calling around to local charities, such as Big Brother/Big Sister groups, the YMCA, and others who help underprivileged children with homework, sports, and mentoring. What happens outside of school hours can impact a child’s success in school.


Regardless of your financial status or your availability, there are ways you can help out the schools in your area. Start by researching organizations in your area that provide services or materials to schools or school children, and also make an effort to contact local schools to see how you can help.