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.
Westlane Hallway Heroes
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!!
Who can be a Westlane Hallway Hero?
Any adult, age 21 and older, who wishes to positively impact students’ lives.
What do Hallway Heroes do?
Volunteers a portion of their time to assist in the hallway throughout the school day.
Positive activities that include, but are not limited to, greetings at student arrival, assisting during lunch, monitoring hallways, and various positive interaction with staff and students during the school day.
What are the requirements to become a Hallway Hero?
Complete and pass required district background checks.
Follow district and building level-policies and procedures, as well as demonstrate professional conduct at all times.
Attend an orientation training.
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 is a married mother of identical twin boys. As an Indiana native, she attended school in two Indianapolis school districts; she attended Indianapolis Public Schools for two years and completed her education in Lawrence Township Schools. Her sons entered kindergarten during the 2016-2017 school year, so she not only navigates Indianapolis schools from the educator's perspective but also ...