April 23-29, 2017 is National Volunteer Week and the time of year when most schools recognize their volunteers for their commitment of time, energy and talent to work with students, teachers and staff at your school.

Here are three ways to recognize the contributions of your school volunteers:

#1 Get Kids Involved

Face it. A large segment of volunteers in public schools are there because either their children, grand-children or family members attend the school, or because they had been involved in education sometime in their career. Even if that doesn’t describe your most outstanding volunteers, chances are they are there for the kids.

So as a way to reinforce how important their contribution is, ask your students to take the lead in recognizing the school’s volunteers. Something as simple as a Thank You Poster, or a Student-Produced Video can go a long way in showing your volunteers they are appreciated. Be sure to take pictures or videos and add them to your school website so the rest of your community knows and will appreciate their efforts too.

#2 Be Specific

While every school has numerous volunteers and they all bring value to your campus, pointing to specific ways they contribute helps focus attention. So whether you have an individual volunteer or program for which you can create a story, start there.

Use words and pictures to explain the impact that they made on the school, staff or students. Talk about their dedication and energy. Consider interviewing them and learning about their story and what motivates them to volunteer. Be sure you get pictures not just of the volunteer but the outcomes of their efforts. Put it all together in an article that you can post on your school or district website and add to your school’s social media sites.

#3 Go Social

National Volunteer Week is sponsored, in part by the Points Of Light Institute, a national volunteer and services organization. As part of National Volunteer Week they have several social channels to help reinforce and amplify your stories.

TWITTER – Use hashtag #NVM for any posts related to your volunteer recognition activities this week.

FACEBOOK – During National Volunteer Week you can nominate a volunteer at your school for national recognition by using bit.ly/DPOLnom

To see other ways to use social media as part of your volunteer recognition efforts go to the Points of Light webpage (https://ww2.pointsoflight.org/nvw-toolkit)

By whatever means you choose to recognize your volunteers remember that you have lots of data to draw from in your EZVolunteer database. You can track total hours your volunteers work, as well who participates in high impact programs. Don’t let this week go by without making an effort to show your school volunteers how much they mean to everyone in your school and district.