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Volunteers « West Ottawa Public Schools


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Cultivating a Climate for Success

West Ottawa Schools are committed to parent and community involvement, a key factor in excellent schools. Participation is strongly encouraged, from tutoring to supervising popcorn days. We strive to channel the rich human resources of our community into a dependable volunteer and partnership program.

Volunteers Support Instruction

Volunteers are our partners in teaching and learning. They are caring individuals of all ages, from all walks of life. They supply what tax dollars can’t buy in time, talent, energy, and ideas, as well as funding, materials, services, and facilities to support and enhance the educational experiences of our students.

Volunteers translate their concern for children and quality education into involvement in numerous capacities. Students reap the rewards of individual attention, positive role models, and a greater motivation to learn that volunteers provide. Volunteers assist teachers and administrators, creating opportunities for them to increase their effectiveness. Virtually every West Ottawa child and teacher has benefited from these necessary partnerships.

Volunteers also strengthen school-community relations by increasing communication and knowledge of school programs and educational efforts.

Participation in School Improvement Efforts

Hundreds of community members, parents, staff, and students provide insight and expertise serving on school improvement and advisory committees.

Volunteer Now!

Register to be a Volunteer – English

Register to be a Volunteer – Spanish

Bernadette Watts
District Volunteer Coordinator
(616) 738-5700

Volunteer/Partnerships Make a Difference

The West Ottawa Public Schools volunteer program strives to mobilize and channel the rich human resources of the community into a program of dependable volunteer services. Volunteers are caring individuals who share their time and talents with students and staff. They are people from every walk of life who are interested in young people. Volunteers translate their concern for quality education into action, serving in numerous capacities to assist students and staff, enriching and enhancing the learning process.

Our schools are greatly enhanced through a broad range of activities provided by the involvement of parents, guardians, grandparents, students, community members, businesses, and civic organizations who have become our partners in teaching and learning. Our “partners” staff publishing centers, work with students and computers, coach Odyssey of the Mind (OM) teams, enrich science curricula, help in language programs for non-English speaking children, tutor individual students, conduct Project CHARLIE training, assist in library-media centers, act as room parents, serve as boosters, and help with field trips, fund-raisers and PTA/PTO/PTC activities and assemblies. Hundreds of community members, parents and students are involved yearly on school improvement teams, advisory committees and district task forces. Partners also provide funding to enhance the educational experience of our students through activities, programs, books, and equipment.

The lives of virtually every West Ottawa student and teacher are in some way touched by the helping hand of a community partner. Our district is dedicated to community involvement, a key factor in excellent schools. Volunteers bring to our students the rewards of individual attention, positive role models, curriculum enrichment, and additional motivation to learn. They bring support to teachers and administrators and opportunities to increase their effectiveness and efficiency. Volunteers provide services tax dollars can’t buy.

Many Community Partners in Education link our schools and community, providing experiences such as Career Shadowing Day, Excellence in Education Day, Classroom in the Mall, community service-learning opportunities (a 20-hour graduation requirement), Summer Institute externships for teaching staff, resource speakers, and staff training. Partnerships exist with Castex, JCI, Trendway, Brooks Beverage, Westshore Mall, and the Holland City Mission. A volunteer program, Kids Hope USA, was piloted at Pine Creek and Glerum Elementary Schools in 1995, which continues to pair church members with students. Volunteers strengthen school-community relations by increasing the opportunity for communication, learning more about school programs and educational efforts. School-business partnerships also provide outside funding sources.

Each year, more volunteers sign the Volunteer Registers. The documentation of volunteer hours is just one measure of the vast pool of community resources benefiting students.

Through volunteer service, new residents may find an opportunity for establishing community ties and active participation in their child’s education. No special skills are required. All concerned, willing people are invited and encouraged to join our team. There is a volunteer coordinator and staff room in every building.

Register to be a Volunteer

Parent involvement is very important here at West Ottawa! Our volunteer program strives to include everyone who is available and willing to serve in the classroom, in extracurricular activities, and with PTA/PTO/PTC programs. There are volunteer coordinators at each building who help facilitate the parent and community volunteers.

Please complete our Volunteer Registration Form and Profile which indicates your interest and availability. Once the form is completed and turned in at your building’s office, a background check will be made according to the Volunteer Pledge, and your name will go into the volunteer database. You will be contacted by the teacher or chairperson of the event to schedule your participation. Please check with your building coordinator for further information, or call Bernadette Watts, the District Volunteer Coordinator, at (616) 738-5700.

Want to become a volunteer?

Click Here to register to be a volunteer – English

Click Here to register to be a volunteer – Spanish

Complete the Volunteer Profile form and return it to the appropriate school’s office.

Volunteer Impact Over The Years

Volunteer Impact

Year Volunteers Hours
86-87 300 6,000
88-89 492 13,041
92-93 988 40,471
96-97 1,763 47,174
99-00 1,900 60,640
00-01 2,479 48,863
01-02 1,836 46,101
02-03 1,956 49,237
03-04 1,803 44,879
04-05 2,081 45,550
05-06 1,947 34,765
06-07 2,221 36,624
07-08 1,877 34,572
08-09 1,956 39,872
09-10 1,865 31,265
10-11 1,687 29,792
11-12 1,745 28,670
12-13 1,590 26,591