Letters from the Director
Parents Make It Happen
by Jane Friedman, Director of Berkwood Hedge School
Parent participation and involvement at Berkwood Hedge has been a long-standing tradition. I have distinct memories of the summer of 1975, when a caravan of cars and trucks driven by parents helped to move furniture and boxes of books and school supplies from the Hedge School campus in north Berkeley to the Berkwood School campus on Bancroft Way.
In those early years of Berkwood Hedge, parents helped us paint, scrub, mend, and set up classrooms each summer. And it is safe to say that our school has been nurtured and supported by the thousands and thousands of hours of participation that parents have given ever since.
Volunteer opportunities at Berkwood Hedge abound! Sometimes parents start small with a project that takes just a few hours - driving on a field trip, helping in open art during lunchtime, repairing a broken chair. Parent volunteers participate in admissions tours and events, sharing their perspectives on the school with prospective families seeing the school for the first time.
Parents interested in leadership roles chair committees and serve on the Board of Directors. Most of the school's fundraising and development efforts are led by parent volunteers. Parents who are not available during the school day help with jobs that can be completed at home or on weekends.
Volunteering is one way to gain a deeper understanding of your child's school life. Participating in the daily rhythms of the school, getting to know teachers and staff, and experiencing the school culture first-hand provide common experiences for parents and children to share.
Volunteering at Berkwood Hedge is also a way to help teachers and school leaders understand you and your family in a fuller way. When parents are present around the campus, we get a chance to work together on shared projects, reflect on the children in our care, solve problems and laugh together.
Each family at Berkwood Hedge brings a unique life experience to our school, and we all benefit when we can come together to support the school community.