Are you taking up your parents and supporters on their offers to help your group? Every parent group says it wants new blood, but tons of parents complain that parent groups are cliques -- so something isn't connecting. My column on cliques has more about this dilemma.

I bet sometime last fall you formally (using an interest survey form) or informally (like at Open House) asked parents whether they'd like to help. And I bet that lots of parents said yes. They checked off some boxes on your form or told you to call if you needed someone to help out.

My question for you: Have you reached out to them personally and purposefully since then? Have you used those forms to recruit your new volunteers? Or have you fallen into the easy habit of counting on your regulars and your friends because you're so busy and it's just so much easier to rely on those familiar faces?

That's how clique reputations are earned. You don't mean to seem closed, but that's the impression you can give off. What you don't want to happen is to get to May or June and have parents saying "I told them I'd help, but they never asked or called." Ouch.

This is the time of year to take those forms back out and dust off the email lists and reach out to every parent who has expressed interest. Find them a job -- hopefully a fun, energizing job -- and make this an involvement-growing year. It's worth it.