Ah, “yes” -- such a light, happy word. Last week, I talked about when you should say no. Now, the flip side: three times when you should definitely say yes.

1. When a new volunteer offers to help. Your first answer here should always be “Yes, of course!” And then find that new person a role where she can find value (so she’ll return again). “No, we’re all set” should not be in your volunteer vocabulary.

2. Whenever there’s a chance to make your group more fun. There are way too many requests that make your group more work or more bureaucratic or more drama-filled. That’s why it’s so important to look for and say yes to opportunities for fun. The post-meeting social. The goofiest sweater contest. The embarrassing pictures in the newsletter. Fun is good.

3. When asked if a volunteer deserves recognition. When in doubt, thank your volunteers. I’m not a big fan of minimum commitments or levels of appreciation, but I know that the right answer whenever there’s a question is to appreciate more. You can do far more damage by missing a volunteer in your appreciation efforts than you can ever do by thanking someone too much.


P.S. There’s tons of research on the great results that occur when parent involvement connects with academic goals. That’s why we love our fun Family Science Night program, and the free planning kit available to help your group put one on at your school. Check it out.