SNACS Family Volunteer Philosophy
SNACS is known for its motto: Bringing the Small School Community Back to the Neighborhood. Establishing and maintaining a thriving small school community involves families and staff working together participating in many activities, events, and celebrations throughout the school year. The small school community network is the foundation to student achievement and life-long learning.
School community is promoted through collaborative learning where younger students work with and learn from the older students and parents work as partners in their child’s educational experiences. At SNACS, parent volunteers are vital to help facilitate daily activities and participate in events. SNACS families are embraced as important stakeholders who have a voice.
SNACS promotes an environment where parents are welcomed to volunteer in and out of the classroom in a meaningful way. SNACS relies heavily on volunteers and requests that each family volunteer 10 hours per month. Volunteers play an important role and contribute valuable time towards helping our small school community. We are grateful to our volunteers and want to ensure volunteerism is a pleasurable experience for everyone. There are several basic guidelines and procedures to help keep our volunteer program effective and efficient with safety and student learning as the driving forces.
SNACS has a list available for suggested ways to fulfill family volunteer expectations. However, SNACS encourages each family to use its unique talents and interests in volunteering at school. The school will benefit the most when volunteerism is conducted with school spirit and passion for learning.
Family members who are interested in starting a new event or helping in a way that will enhance the student learning environment should talk to their child’s teacher and/or the front office.
Events and Celebrations are opportunities for families to contribute to the school community. Family volunteers and community organizations are vital to help facilitate activities and participate in events. Please see your child’s teacher to plan, organize and participate in events!
Daily Classroom Activities– SNACS implements a unique model where differentiated instruction is the core of classroom activities. Family members who are able to participate in the classroom are always welcomed and encouraged. Everyday is a celebration at SNACS!
Arts Celebration Days—SNACS students participate in celebrating the arts with organizations such as the Nevada Museum of Art and Tahoe Players to involve students in art studio, history, theater, music, and dance. Families are welcome to attend and participate in these events!
Author’s Book Publishing—Every student publishes a hard cover book. Students create their own stories and fully engage in the writing process as they write, edit, design, and illustrate their work. The world of writing books leaves an open ended opportunity for creativity. The event is culminated at Barnes and Noble where SNACS hosts an Author’s Signing Event. Each student has the official unveiling of their publication as they sign the first copy of their book in front of their family and friends.
Outdoor Lab Experiences—Bringing the classroom studies to the real world is an exciting way to engage students in expeditionary learning. Teachers instruct and engage students in classroom activities on habitats, environmental science, art, culture, history, astronomy, and leadership skills and then allow students opportunities to apply their knowledge in real world settings. Families participate in canoeing, kayaking, fishing, flower, fauna, and tree identifying, animal observing, hiking, biking, ranger activities, orienteering, rock climbing, and swimming. The SNACS Community has traveled to places such as Mt. Lasson, Davis Creek, Washoe Lake, Boca Stampede, Mt. Mammoth, Fort Churchill, Fallen Leaf Lake, Point Reyes and Yosemite National Park.
School Dances—Students and families participate in various school and grade level dances.
Fire Prevention and Safety—Onsite visit from local firemen who teach children fire safety and stop, drop, and roll through interactive activities. Students test their abilities to hold the hose and explore the inside of the fire engine. Parents are encouraged to attend and learn about fire prevention.
Nevada Ranch and Farm Days— Parents support this event by helping set up and run various activities including: onsite pumpkin patch, square dancing, petting zoo, roping and saddling, horseback riding presentation, pioneer experiences via baking and mining activities. Local square dance callers and ranchers come onsite to work with children. Families are welcome!
Lattinberry Farms– This is a family day trip to explore the farm, fruit & vegetable picking, pumpkin patch, farm animal tour, and scarecrow making. The event culminates with the SNACS Great Corn Maze Race!
Harvest Festival—Onsite carnival activities where every classroom is a fun filled carnival game area – complete with a student created haunted house. Families and friends are welcome!
SNACSgiving Festival – SNACS students and families participate in creating baskets of goodies for the local family shelter in Reno. Then, they participate in their own Thanksgiving Festival where all students gathered to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast.
SNACS Multicultural Celebration of Children Around the World—Every classroom focuses on the life of children in a different country. As a culminating event, classrooms are designed and set up as a different country. Students dress up, like the children in the country they are studying, and participate in activities that are representative of their country including food, activities, dance, etc.
Winter Celebration—SNACS students and families participate in making various winter crafts in each classroom including ornaments, candles, wreaths, pins, and gingerbread houses which culminate with a caroling gathering in our circle.
Scientific Inquiry – Students explore the scientific process and experience a science fair creation through guided and supported activities in an inquiry based, hands-on approach. Families help children conduct various experiments.
Math Game Family Night—Students and their families come to celebrate learning about mathematics concepts, problem solving through playing games in all of the classrooms. Each room has a different theme or focus through gaming. Children and families learn a love of mathematics!
Invention Convention – Student collaboratively worked to build inventions out of everyday items such as a pair of glasses & spaghetti bridges/structures. Families support by assisting students in completing invention projects.
Celebrating Young Children through Picture Books – The NAEYC Week of the Young Child is held during the month of April.Various activities will be held all week and will culminate with students dressing up as their favorite book character or children’s book author. Parents come dressed as book characters and read to children promoting a love of literacy.
Celebrating Nevada Charter Schools – National Charter School Week is celebrated across the county. SNACS will hold activities throughout the week to celebrate students, families, educators, and the community.
SNACS Fun Run & Earth Day Celebration— Students participate in creating earth awareness artifacts and establish displays to teach other students about earth day. Simultaneously students participate in the annual fun run where they run laps around the school campus to raise awareness on physical education, health, and nutrition. Parents are vital to tally laps and provide support.
SNACS Spring Fling – Students participate in outdoor carnival activities in a family filled event that includes bounce house, dunk tank and various other games. Parents help in managing games and booths at carnival-like event.
Cinco de Mayo—SNACS students participate in Cinco de Mayo celebrations with various activities including food, dance, dress, and other celebratory customs. Families and children enjoy music and dance when our guest Mariachi band performs.
SNACS Field Day—Students participate in a fun filled outdoor lab of various games and activities such as a three legged race, water races, tug of war, long jump, relay races, board races, hula hoop contest, etc. Parents help coach field games.
SNACS Talent Show-SNACS staff and students participate in a talent show where the students (and families) compete against one another for the SNACS Idol winners.
SNACS Family Breakfasts SNACS staff members sponsor monthly themed pancake breakfasts where students and their families come to school early to enjoy a home-cooked breakfast. These events are themed in attire and celebrations.
SNACS Fundraisers and Book fairs—Several SNACS fundraisers and book fairs are vital to the SNACS community and helping children succeed. Parents are encouraged to participate in these events.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Crosswalk and Safety Patrol: Home to school transitions can be complex as nearly 300 students are dismissed in 15 minutes via walking, front office pick-up and the carpool line. Trained adult volunteers during this time are vital to student and school safety. Several years ago, two SNACS parent volunteers developed our afternoon Safety Patrol and Crosswalk program. Volunteers in this program are trained to promote student safety each day as they leave SNACS school grounds. Many volunteers are necessary to make this important part of our day a success. We accept parents willing to volunteer on a normal basis or to support our normal volunteers on an occasional basis. We would have enough support for the entire year of dismissal if every parent volunteered at least one day per year. Additional volunteers are necessary during arrival each morning.
Kitchen Support for Breakfast and Lunch: Healthy breakfast and lunches are vital to student learning. There are more than 100 student breakfast and lunches are served every day. Volunteers can assist in packing lunches, delivery, classroom assistance, and clean-up after breakfast or lunch.
School Store: The student store is one opportunity where students are rewarded for great behavior. Volunteers are trained to help operate the store before school, during recess times, and after school.
AR Case: The AR case is one opportunity where students are rewarded for reading achievement. Volunteers are trained to help operate the AR case, which is open on Fridays.
Landscaping: Landscaping projects include activities that support school community through the art of landscape. Any volunteer with that special niche is invited and encouraged to apply.
Grounds & Maintenance: Living in northern Nevada can cause debris to be blown on and around our school grounds. In addition, we acquire debris left behind. We take pride in our school and want to portray a safe, neat, and clean grounds at all times. Contact the front office if you are interested in helping us keep our school clean on the outside.
Playground Improvement: Outdoor learning fosters academic achievement. It is important for students to have daily access to opportunities for free-play and using gross motor skills. Keeping our playground clean and up to date is imperative for students. We have a Playground Improvement Plan that will require the work of many hands and supporting donations. The plan involves outdoor labs, landscaping, building a new stage and amphitheater, a recycled greenhouse, acquiring and installing groundcover, relocating current equipment, murals and garden boxes, etc.. We need every family willing to help to contact the Education and/or Executive Director.
Front Office Reception: The front office is an information and traffic highway that is vital to the entire school. We are looking for a few volunteers who have light office experience, a friendly smile, and a passion about SNACS to help answer phones, light filing, copying, and most importantly greet all students and visitors with kindness. Please contact the front office if you are interested to apply.
Do you have an idea for volunteering? Submit your ideas for volunteer opportunities to the Education and/or Executive Director.
Family Volunteer Policies, Training Tools, and Application
Please click to read the Volunteer Policy, view the Family Engagement Training for Family Volunteers, and to complete you SNACS Volunteer Application. Family volunteers will need to complete a fingerprint card and a background check. The forms are available in the front office and will be provided when the SNACS Volunteer Application 2015-2016 is completed and turned in. Fingerprints and background checks are completed at the Washoe County School District Police Department and cost $55. Scholarships are available through the front office.