Creative Mind
Child Development Center
A REGGIO INSPIRED EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

Flexible program options for Infant, Toddler, Preschool

Family Involvement

Building a high-quality experience for our children truly does “take a village,” and our village is only as strong as our families. As part of our school community, each family is required to contribute 8 hours of volunteer time per year. (Scroll down for volunteer hour FAQs.)

Here is a list of projects that would help our program. If you have an idea for a project that isn’t listed, please speak up! We’re very open to ideas. The goal of this requirement is to help every family find a meaningful way to engage with our school so we can all benefit from each other’s gifts and talents.

Some of these projects are quick and some can fulfill your whole 8-hour requirement all at once. Some are things you can do at school and some would be done from home on your own time. Please take a look at the options and see what interests you the most, then talk to Jennifer or Richa about details and materials. Thank you SO MUCH for your help!

Handyman (or Handywoman) List

We have an ongoing “honey-do” list at school. These tend to be quick projects (roughly 1-2 hours or less) that address ongoing maintenance needs, such as replacing miniblinds, assembling IKEA furniture, or fixing a broken faucet. Please check with Jennifer or Richa for our current list.

Outdoor Projects

  • Build a magnetic “ball run” on our fence using gutters or PVC pipes and strong magnets.
  • Convert half of the backyard’s sandbox to a deck for the playhouse.
  • Create a “sensory/texture path” in the back yard for infants and toddlers.
  • Build some very short wooden balance beams for the toddler yard.
  • Build or find us a sturdy “wobble bridge” for the toddler playground.
  • Enclose the firetruck’s hood/engine area.
  • Install MagnaLatches on the gates between the yards.
  • Build/install new fences between the playgrounds (see Jennifer for plans).
  • Refinish (sand/seal) some of our wooden playground pieces.
  • Help troubleshoot our sprinklers and drips: map which station number controls which sprinklers, and note which lines or heads may need repairs.

Indoor Projects

  • Make felt/flannel board stories to go with some of our favorite books and songs.
  • Build four rolling “sensory bin” tables at age-appropriate heights (one per classroom) with space for interchangeable tubs.
  • Sand/adjust all cabinet doors so they close neatly.
  • Help us source new countertops or countertop edges for the kitchen and staff room.
  • Replace all the cabinet knobs with new matching (and durable) knobs.
  • Help us find and install more durable faucets for the preschool bathroom sinks.
  • Help us source new flooring material for the classrooms.
  • Make us new playdough for Blue Room every other week. (Purple and Rose Rooms already have parents doing this. Please see Jennifer if interested.)

Ongoing Opportunities & Ideas

  • Fix things on our ongoing “honey-do list.”
  • Chaperone a field trip. You can earn 2 hours (regardless of the field trip) if you’re willing to chaperone and either drive other children or walk with us on a walking trip. (Bringing just your own family is always okay but doesn’t count for volunteer hours.)
  • Take over our fish tank maintenance.
  • Help gather photos & assemble our school yearbook through Shutterfly.
  • Green Room: help assemble art project samples into scrapbooks for each child.
  • Preschool: help bind Pre-K worksheets into workbooks for each child.
  • Serve on a planning committee for playground design or recruitment/interviews, when applicable.
  • Come read a special book to the class at circle time and lead a project/activity related to the story. For example, read, “Don’t Push the Button” and then let all the children make their own Larry monsters with collage materials.
  • Come introduce a new kind of blocks or other materials, or show us a new way to expand on familiar materials in our classroom. For example, sit with the preschoolers for a while to build new and different kinds of structures with the Kapla blocks.
  • Come share a special book, craft, or other activity around a holiday or tradition your family celebrates. For example, help us organize and lead the Holi color celebration in the spring.
  • Come talk about your career or demonstrate your favorite hobby. For example, bring a musical instrument to perform at circle time.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many hours does my family need to volunteer?
A: Each family, regardless of schedule or number of children enrolled, is expected to complete eight (8) hours of volunteering per year.

Q: How often do I need to volunteer?
A: That’s up to you. You can fulfill all 8 hours with a single big project, or you can contribute smaller bits of time here and there throughout the year, depending on what’s best for your family’s schedule. We’re flexible.

Q: What is the deadline? When does the year start?
A: To keep it fair because we enroll year-round, your family’s “year” is calculated based on your enrollment anniversary. If your child started here in April, for example, then you would have until next April to volunteer eight hours.

Q: What if I don’t finish all my hours?
A: Families who choose not to participate will be charged $100/hour for incomplete hours.

Q: Who can volunteer for my family?
A: We respect that all family structures, talents, and resources are different. Your family’s hours can be fulfilled by parents, step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, adult siblings, or any other family members who want to contribute.

Q: Can I do something that’s not on the list?
A: Yes! If you have an idea for a project or activity that would help our program, we are all ears! Talk to Richa or Jennifer to make it happen.

Q: Can multiple families work together on a project?
A: Yes! Especially for some of the larger projects (such as playground painting or building), working with another family makes a lot of sense. Feel free to coordinate with another family on your own, or ask us for help in finding someone else who wants to help you. You would each get credit for the time you contribute.

Q: Who pays for the materials for these projects? How do we get them?
A: We can pay for the materials; your contribution is your time and skills. We welcome your expertise on which materials to buy, but please let us buy them or at least approve the materials before purchasing. There are certain safety considerations we have to observe for any projects on school grounds.

Thank you!