Volunteering at The Marram School
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at The Marram School! We are so happy that you would like to spend time with our students and we warmly welcome you to our community.
Volunteers play an integral role in our school to build community and connect students with resources. Through our volunteer program, we seek to expose students to a variety of skills, ideas and expertise as well as build meaningful relationships with adults. We welcome parents, retired teachers and community members to volunteer at our school.
It is very important that our volunteers understand the core beliefs and structure of The Marram School in order to preserve the integrity of our school and mission. One of the key aspects to recognize in volunteering at our school is that it is a self-directed learning environment for the students. Therefore, volunteers serve as resources for the students, helping and teaching them when asked, but do not direct their learning endeavors or inhibit them from pursuing their interests. Please read through our website and feel free to ask us any questions you may have about the school before volunteering. We also highly recommend that you read through our resources page.
Steps to Volunteer
1. Read through our website and familiarize yourself with our school philosophy and approach.
2. Read through the volunteer opportunities listed below and decide how you would like to help.
3. Fill out the volunteer form, noting your preferences and background.
4. Fill out the criminal background check form. The Chesterton First United Methodist Church (our lessor) requires that all staff and volunteers at The Marram School have a criminal background check. They handle the processing of the checks. There is a fee of $9.00. Please make checks payable to Chesterton First United Methodist Church.
5. Submit the volunteer form, criminal background check form and a check for $9 to:
The Marram School
c/o Mary May
423 S. 3rd Street
Chesterton, IN 46304
6. Once your application is received and your background check comes back, we will contact you to further discuss your interests. If you will be volunteering on a weekly basis, we will arrange the time then. If you will be volunteering on an as needed basis, we will contact you when needs arise or when students are interested in connecting with you.
We seek to offer a variety of volunteer opportunities to accommodate different interests and involvement levels. Many of these opportunities will run together. You may teach a class and then stay for the rest of the morning to help and talk with the students. Or you may spend a day at the school each week and a mentor relationship with a student will arise out of that experience. However you decide to help out, we are deeply appreciative of your time and talent and we hope that you are able to develop genuine relationships with the students that form in an organic way.
1. Drive and Chaperone for Field Trips and Service Opportunities
We will need many volunteers to help drive and chaperone students for field trips and service opportunities. These opportunities will occur several times a month. We will send out emails and post information on Facebook with details as the trips are organized, so if you would like to help out, please respond to those messages in a timely manner.
2. Be a Guest Speaker
Potential guest speakers will note their professional background and interests that they are willing to talk about on the volunteer form. Their information will be added to our list of community connections which students can peruse when they are looking for experts in a field they are interested in. We will contact you to set up a time to speak upon student requests.
3. Teach a Class
Volunteers can propose a class to the students in a topic of their choice, or they can teach a class that the students have requested. Please note that since we do not have mandatory class requirements at our school, students only enroll in a class if they are interested in it. This means many classes may be proposed, but not taught. Teaching a class would be a weekly commitment.
4. Spend Time with Our Community
Volunteers can spend several hours or a full day at our school on a weekly basis. What they do each week would vary, just as it does for the students. They would be able to help students with independent work and research and connect them with resources to pursue spontaneous interests. They would expose the students to different perspectives and engage in critical thinking through conversations and discussions. They might help with writing research papers, check student work, play games, assist with experiments or read to and with younger students.
5. Be a Mentor
Volunteers can become a mentor to one or several students. These students would seek to have a mentor relationship and we would match the interests of the students with the areas of expertise of the mentor. We ask that mentors make a weekly commitment to the students they work with.
6. Be Available as a Resource
If you are willing to answer questions about your profession, interests or experiences, you can be a community resource. Your interests and talents would be recorded and if a student has specific questions in your areas of expertise, they would contact you to ask questions or perhaps set up a time to meet occasionally.
7. Help with the Organizational Side of the School
Volunteers are welcome to help with the organizational side of the school as well. Would you like to organize field trips or service learning experiences? Are you interested in helping students organize newly formed subcommittees or carrying out other motions passed by the School Meeting? Do you have connections to many interesting guest speakers that you would like to offer to contact and bring in? Would you like to help with the organization and training in the work program? These are just a few ideas of the many ways you would be able to help with the organizational aspects of our school.
8. Job Shadowing, Mentoring or Internships
Job shadowing would mean that a student would shadow you at your place of work for a day (or a few) in order to learn more about your profession. Job mentoring would mean that you would develop an ongoing relationship with a student who is greatly interested in pursuing a career in your field. You may teach them a few basic skills, recommend resources or classes to take, and serve as a mentor and trusted adult that they can rely upon as a guide. An internship would mean that the student would make a commitment to you to contribute meaningfully at your place of work. They would learn more about your profession and you would teach them the necessary skills for them to be successful at the tasks you have made them responsible for. Terms for internships would be decided on a case-by-case basis and involve the student, parents and school in the decisions.
Please feel free to suggest other ways you would like to help our school!