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Celebrating National Parent Involvement Day 2023

A photo collage of Puyallup School District Parent Volunteers

National Parental Involvement Day occurs annually on the third Thursday in November, celebrating and highlighting the contributions of parents and guardians in schools.

The Importance of Volunteering in Schools

When schools, families, and communities collaborate, it creates an environment benefiting student development, providing a partnership for everyone to work together towards a common goal—enhancing student learning experience. From volunteering in school PTAs and booster clubs to supporting student extracurricular activities, the Puyallup School District has hundreds of parent and guardian volunteers who spend hours making a difference.

PSD Parent Volunteers

Meet some of our parent volunteers across the district and learn why they get involved.

Barret Carpenter

photo of PSD Parent Volunteer Barret Carpenter
  • Waller Road Elementary PTO and school garden volunteer 

  • Parent of Waller Road Kindergarten Student Hannah Dunnean and Aylen JH Students Noah Dunnean (7th grade) and Emily Dunnean (9th grade) 

Q: Why is it important for parents/guardians to be involved in school-affiliated volunteer organizations?

A: "When parents come together and help support our schools, we create a more positive atmosphere for students. We are building community and helping our children take pride in their education."

Q: What volunteer accomplishments are you most proud of? 

A: "It took hard work, community involvement and dedicated parent volunteers to create the Waller Road Elementary School Garden. Now, we are growing, learning and planning fun events for the school. It feels good to be a part of something positive to the school and help our next generation learn to care for the earth." 

Julie Hrivnak

photo of PSD Parent Volunteer Julie Hrivnak
  • Emerald Ridge High (ERHS) Jag Tunes Music Booster Club and Drama Productions 

  • Parent of Emerald Ridge Junior Sophia Hrivnak 

Q: What has your volunteer experience taught you about public education? 

A: "Our educators are pulled in so many directions. By volunteering, we can take some of the burden off of them so they can focus on teaching."

Q: What volunteer accomplishments are you most proud of?

A: "Raising money for the music programs within Emerald Ridge High School. Our musicians are present in so many aspects of the school year, and they need to see that parents are showing up for them and praising their accomplishments."

Rebecca Lowe

photo of PSD Parent Volunteer Rebecca Lowe
  • Volunteers with Meeker Elementary Art Docent 

  • Parent of Meeker Students Daniel Lowe (2nd Grade) and Harrison Lowe (4th grade) 

Q: What positive impact have you made on your children by volunteering? 

A: "My kids see that I am interested in what they do at school. They see me talking to their teachers and classmates. I learn their friends' names and see how my kids act away from home. We have more to talk about and a common activity to look forward to." 

Q: Why is it important for parents/guardians to be involved in school-affiliated volunteer organizations?

A: "It is so important because it’s meaningful activities that benefit all the students. The teachers can’t do everything! Our school provides all the supplies, but by volunteering my time, the kids get to do a project with fun messy supplies and learn about art. It’s so rewarding for me and the students."

Amanda Osburn

headshot of PSD Parent Volunteer Amanda Osburn
  • Aylen Booster Club and Fruitland Elementary PTA

  • Parent of Fruitland Elementary 3rd Grade Student Lizzie Osburn, Aylen Junior High 7th grade Student Samantha Osburn, and Puyallup High Sophomore Jason Osburn 

Q: What has your volunteer experience taught you about public education? 

A: "It truly takes a village to be successful. It can’t be done just by admin, parents, or teachers—but it takes everyone working together for the benefit of the kids."

Q:  What volunteer accomplishments are you most proud of?

A: "I am most proud of the people I have brought together to make an event or program successful. There was a group of us moms that organized the 9th grade dance at Aylen last year. Most of our kids were in elementary school together and we all had different skills which made the event incredible and memorable."

Jeremiah Rodgers

photo of PSD Parent volunteer Jeremiah Rodgers
  • General Volunteering at Edgemont Junior High (in-class assistance, lunch) 

  • Parent of Edgemont 8th Grade Student Elijah Rodgers 

Q: Why is it important for parents/guardians to be involved in school-affiliated volunteer organizations? 

A: "I feel like we will only have a small window in life to make the most of raising our children. Volunteering in their schools lets them know that we care and are there for them and their peers as they grow." 

Q: What positive impact have you made on your child by volunteering?

A: "I have volunteered since my son was in kindergarten. I think the kindness I show his peers and other grade levels reflects back in how they treat him. Where most children hit an age that they get embarrassed by us parents, luckily, he is still excited hearing about how my days of volunteering go."

Jennifer Tumelson

photo of PSD Parent Volunteer Jennifer Tumelson

Q: What has your volunteer experience taught you about public education?

A: Public education is not only extremely important, but can be very difficult at times. Volunteering has increased my perspective and appreciation of the daily efforts that are put forth by school staff." 

Q: What would you tell a parent who is interested in volunteering in their child's school on why they should get involved? 

A: "Getting involved in your child's school is very rewarding, and you will receive a front-row seat to see the joy on all the children’s faces while making a positive impact on the community. Parent involvement is critical for many school events, and you will be making a difference in the culture of their school."

Interested in Making a Difference?

Learn how you can get involved in volunteering in the district, and thank you to all of our parent and guardian volunteers across the district who continue to make a positive impact in our schools!