How can my school get a Hallway Heroes program?
After I posted about my husband and I volunteering for one to two hours each Friday at our twin son’s middle school as a hallway hero, many people have asked how they can get a similar program.
Honestly, this idea is not new, although there have been several names and structures in schools across the US. One program like this that has been featured by many news outlets is Dads on Duty. Fathers started volunteering at a school in Louisana to help school staff maintain a positive and safe environment. Even though I loved all the coverage about this program, I like the program designed by Mr. Allen, the dean at my sons’ middle school.
Anyone who passes a background check, attends training, and can commit to volunteering can be a Hallway Hero. You do not have to be a parent at the school. This opens up the options for grandparents and community members to get involved. Below, I have included part of a recruitment email Mr. Allen sent to parents.
The Wildcat family is looking for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and family members of students who would like to be a Westlane Hallway Hero and help our staff and students continue to get better every day! If you are willing to give a friendly smile, encourage students, and ensure they get to class promptly, then this opportunity is for YOU! If you can assist us in any way, please read below, complete the survey, and provide the criminal background information. After doing this, you will be contacted for orientation and how you can get started! Thank you in advance!!
To start a program like this, you need parents and school staff onboard. I recently spoke to a parent from Pennsylvania who is organizing parents to present a Hallway Hero initiative to a local school in her area. Once people are organized, have passed background checks, and receive training, all that is left is making a schedule. Parents only need to commit to one hour a week. If you get enough parents, it might only be one hour a month.
As parents, we can’t put all the responsibility in the school’s lap. We also have to roll up our sleeves and pitch in too. If you are interested in setting up a program like this, please let me know. I would love to help you get started.
Shawnta (Shawn-tay) S. Barnes, also known as Educator Barnes, is a married mother of identical twin boys. She navigates education from not only the educator’s perspective but also the parent’s perspective. She has been an educator for nearly two decades. Shawnta works with K-12 schools, universities, & education adjacent organizations through her education consulting business Blazing Brilliance. She is an adjunct college professor, supervises student teachers, Indy Kids Winning Editor-in-Chief, Brave Brothers Books Co-founder, & CEO, and Brazen Education Podcast host. She holds five education licenses: English/language arts 5-12, English to speakers of other languages P-12, library/media P-12, reading P-12, and school administration P-12, and she has held a job in every licensed area. Previously, she has served as a school administrator, English teacher, English learners teacher, literacy coach, and librarian. She won the 2019 Indiana Black Expo Excellence in Education Journalism Award. In 2023, she completed her doctorate in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education with a minor in Learning Sciences. She is an urban gardener in her spare time and writes about her harvest-to-table journey at gardenershicole.com. To learn more about Shawnta, visit educatorbarnes.com.
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