Volunteer Roles

If you are interested in any of these roles, now or in the future, send email to our volunteer coordinators at volunteers@DouglasSchoolPTO.org.

Type of job:

Time of day

Can bring siblings?

Open opportunity?

Alumni Reception OPEN+

An informal reception for the current ABRHS seniors who also graduated from Douglas. Held after school on a Thursday in May, two hour commitment.


Provide refreshments (not necessarily homemade) for school and classroom activities as needed by the hospitality committee and/or on the day before Thanksgiving for the teachers.

Birthday Board OPEN+

Each month, get list of names from office of children who have a birthday that month. Make a sign listing their names and put on the lobby Birthday Board.

Book Fair OPEN+

This event is run by the Book Fair Committee. We are seeking co-coordinators to run this popular event. Parents are also needed for setting up the Book Fair, staffing the sale, helping students select their books, and helping take down the Fair. It’s fun, it’s easy, and you can pick up a few books while you’re there.

Calendar and Information Board+

Prior to the beginning of each new month, a parent is needed to transfer information from the office calendar to the lobby calendar and to put current flyers on the information board.

Cultural Enrichment+

Support co-chairs with planning of Douglas Cultural Enrichment events. Assist at occasional school performances. Preview potential performers at other schools as your schedule allows. We are also currently seeking a co-chair to help run this series of events.

Douglas Day OPEN+

Douglas Day is a fun day of field games and other outdoor fun. The children enjoy activities and games and have the opportunity to dunk their favorite principal and enjoy a barbecue picnic lunch with friends and family. Students can purchase lunch using their regular lunch code, and parents are welcome to purchase lunch as well.

We need lots of volunteers to make this day happen.

Coordinators: Volunteers are needed to help in general organization of Douglas Day. This includes distributing informational flyers, organizing parent volunteers and scheduling with the school staff in late April and early May.

Volunteers: Many parent volunteers (or grandparents!) are needed to help run all the games and activities, serve lunch, etc.

Here’s the signup link for 2017!!

Douglas Digest+

Editing team: Parents work with the PTO co-chairs to edit and publish the Douglas Digest, a periodic newsletter about what’s happening around the school.

Distribution team: Help out the editing team by copying and distributing the Digest to the teachers’ mail boxes and office personnel. This task takes an estimated 45 minutes every six weeks, and can be shared so that no one has to distribute every issue.

Douglas Directory+

The Douglas Directory includes contact information for every student at Douglas, plus useful reference information for the Douglas community. This is an invaluable resource for parents, faculty, and staff throughout the year.

In September to early October, the Directory team organizes and formats data from the school system and PTO, collects order forms and customizes family listings, follows up with families where there are questions, and distributes the printed directory.

Douglas International Representative+

Work with the Newcomer Welcoming Committee to make contact with parents of new international students to welcome them to Douglas and encourage them to attend and get involved with the Festival of Cultures and other Douglas events. Meet 2 to 4 times a year with the International Reps of the other four Acton elementary schools.

Douglas Spring Social and Auction+

The chairs of the Douglas Spring Social and Auction are looking for some energetic volunteers to help make this year’s auction a success.

We need people to set up, decorate, check in, check out, and clean up.

Please consider donating your time to one of the following positions:

  • Auction Item Procurement – Contact local and Boston-area businesses to obtain items for the silent and live auction. You may commit to reaching out to as few as five businesses—an easy but important way to contribute to the event. And the best news is, most of these businesses have donated before, so the asking is easy!
  • Business Sponsorship Coordinator – Identify and recruit local businesses to provide sponsorship for the Douglas Spring Social in exchange for promotion of their business.
  • Class Project Coordinator/s – Work with Douglas teachers to coordinate the development of classroom projects to be included in the auction.
  • Printing – We are seeking a business or individual to provide discounted or free printing of our event materials. Examples of materials to be printed include event invitation, raffle tickets, various informational flyers, and event program.
  • On-site Event Support – Assist with set-up, check-in, and/or check-out.
  • Help As Needed – From time to time, we need help with assembling materials, cataloging auction items, and various miscellaneous tasks.

If interested in one or more of these positions, please contact Paige Johnson and Tiffany Petranto at auction@douglasschoolpto.org.

Douglas Spring Social and Auction Shadows OPEN+

The chairs of the Douglas Spring Social and Auction are looking for some energetic volunteers to help make each year’s auction a success. We are currently in need of auction chairs-in-training to shadow the current chairs through the auction planning and implementing phases. If interested, please contact Paige Johnson and Tiffany Petranto at auction@douglasschoolpto.org.

Eagle Shopping Rewards+

Parents needed to help with the collection, preparation, and submission of Box Tops, Campbell’s labels, Tyson A+ labels, and Donelan’s and Crosby’s receipts. These collections provide Douglas with monetary and school supply contributions.

Faculty/Staff Appreciation Lunch (Spring)+

Every spring, volunteers provide a lovely luncheon for the entire Douglas staff. Volunteers have the opportunity to share in this day in many ways — the more volunteers the better! The following jobs and items ensure a special event:

  • Set up and clean up
  • Serve lunch
  • Print and deliver invitations
  • Provide paper products
  • Provide flower arrangements
  • Coordinate event and secure volunteers

Faculty/Staff Back-to-School Luncheon+

On the day before school starts, the teachers and staff are working, and PTO volunteers welcome them back with a lovely luncheon. This event gives the PTO a chance to show how much they appreciate the Douglas teachers.

One or two PTO members coordinate the event, and all food and supplies are donated by PTO members. In addition, 2-3 volunteers are available the day of the luncheon to set up and clean up. The luncheon is served buffet style in the teachers’ lounge. Tables are set up in the cafeteria so the staff can relax and enjoy lunch with their colleagues. The luncheon is usually served around noon, after Dr. Whitbeck has finished his morning presentation.

The staff is very appreciative of this event, and it is a wonderful way to welcome everyone back to a new year.

The back-to-school luncheon will be held on Tuesday, August 30, which is the day before school begins. If you can donate a food item and/or help set up, serve, or clean up the day of the luncheon, please sign up.

Use this link to see our sign-up on SignUp.com.

  1. Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
  2. Sign up! It’s easy–you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
    Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually: Lisa Jensen-Fellows at lisa@myfanwy.com.

Festival of Cultures+

The Festival of Cultures needs many volunteers on Saturday, April 8 to make the Festival a success! Slots are 45 min and more. Sign-up here. Junior High and High School students earn community hours. We would love to have you represent your country and/or culture at the Festival of Cultures. This event is for families from everywhere in the globe who wish to share the diverse world we have right here in our community.

For more details, see the Festival of Cultures event page.


It’s time for the Annual Fall Clean-Up of the Douglas gardens and grounds. The Garden Committee would love to have anyone with an extra hour or two help us come and trim, rake, sweep, prune, and otherwise prepare the gardens for the first day of school. This year’s clean-up is scheduled for Tuesday, August 25, 10am-noon. (Rain date is Wednesday, August 27, 10am-noon.) Come for an hour or for the whole time!

It’s always nice to have a neat and tidy school entrance and garden areas when the students arrive for the first day of school. Bring work gloves and some basic gardening tools (pruners, rake, shears) if you have them, but don’t worry if you don’t. All kids and especially new kindergarten families are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

No green thumbs required! This is a great way to get to know other Douglas families. Questions? Contact Hayley Reynolds.

Graduation Reception (for 5th grade parents) OPEN+

Fifth grade families host a reception on the last day of school for the sixth grade families. Fifth grade parents are needed to organize the reception.

Grant Writing+

Investigate grant opportunities for many areas such as technology, foreign language, and cultural enrichment in elementary school education.


Assist with setup and clean up of refreshments for miscellaneous social functions.

Ice Cream Social and Cake Walk+

The Douglas Ice Cream Social is a popular and well-loved event for all ages. The event will be held on Friday, October 28. We need 80+ volunteers to run this event safely and smoothly so watch for backpack flyers coming soon with more detailed information. Please plan on bringing a cake for each participating child in your family.

The Ice Cream Social Team needs volunteers to run the pizza room, organize games, and to shadow the kitchen/ice cream coordinator at the event. These are fun jobs that only require a few hours advance planning and your time the night of the event to keep things running smoothly! We are also currently seeking co-chairs for this fun event!

Any questions? Please email Tiffany Prunesti at douglasicecreamsocial@gmail.com.

Kindergarten Screening+

In late spring, all incoming kindergarten students participate in the kindergarten screening process. We need volunteers to help greet parents, provide forms to be filled out, and make sure every kindergartner leaves with a gift. If you’d like to help out, please contact Katherine Lee (kwylee@yahoo.com) or Tracey Zachary (traceyzpto@gmail.com).

Kindergarten Tour Greeters+

Do you remember the excitement (and anxiety) of kindergarten tours? Do you remember how much it helped to see a friendly face in the Douglas lobby? The PTO cochairs are looking for kind Douglas parents to make our kindergarten tours as welcoming and informative as possible. We’d love to have a coordinator: someone who can make sure that all our ducks (coffee, treats, nametags, handouts, and volunteer greeters) are in a row. And we truly need a greeter at each tour on January 19, January 27, February 1, and February 2 (two tours a day, 9:30am and 11am). If you might be able to help out, please email cochairs@douglasschoolpto.org. Thanks!

Welcome parent visitors as they arrive for daytime Kindergarten tours January-March. Meeting Douglas parents is one of the best ways for people to learn what we’re all about. You certainly do not need to know everything there is to know about Douglas–in fact, it’s a great opportunity to learn even more about our school. Dr. Whitbeck will lead each tour, and you and one of the PTO co-chairs will hang toward the back of the group to informally answer questions as you move between classrooms.


Library volunteer training will be Thursday, September 14, 11:45am-12:30pm, and Wednesday, September 20, 2:15-3:00pm in the library. All library volunteers must have a current CORI on file and attend a training session prior to volunteering in the library. Siblings are welcome!

During library classes, parent volunteers help children select, locate, and check out books. Volunteers also shelve and reorganize books, repair books, and participate in special projects. The library is great place to start volunteering — meet other parents and work with children. Volunteers also have borrowing privileges in the library!

Lowell Spinners Night Coordinator+

Coordinate our annual Douglas outing to see the Lowell Spinners in June. All work done via email and spreadsheets on your own schedule. This requires a few hours work in May and June and a few hours in June to organize seating and deposit the money.

Memorial Day Program+

Assist the co-chairs with the Memorial Day Program in May which includes set up, arranging a speaker, and making sure that all runs smoothly that day. Our music teacher, Peter Broggi, works closely with these volunteers to run the program.

Movie Nights+

The Movie Night Coordinators need volunteers to help them plan for the Movie Nights as well as help on the night of the events. Planning includes helping design and copying flyers for each Movie Night, and volunteers are needed on the night of the event to set up, pop and distribute popcorn, and help with cleanup. In past years there have been two movie nights, one for Grades K-2 and one for Grades 3-4.

Nature Walk+

This hands-on parent driven program needs people to lead or shepherd small groups of children on nature walks two to three times during the year for about 40 minutes. Enthusiasm is all that is needed! Training is provided. Contact Nancy Stillman or Karen Pierce (naturewalks@douglasschoolpto.org) to sign up.

Newcomer Orientation+

The Newcomer Orientation, scheduled during the week before school starts, gives new families with children in grades 1-6 their first glimpse of the Douglas community. We need both parent and student volunteers to help welcome our newcomers. Parents will act as greeters, while children will help lead new students on a scavenger hunt around the school. This event is fun for all, and it’s a wonderful and rewarding event that means so much to the families who attend. If you are available, contact Christina West (sistinasistina@gmail.com) or Jakki Eckmann (douglasnewcomers@gmail.com).

Note: All kindergarten classes have their own orientation.

PIP (Parent Involvement Project)+

Acton PIP STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) is a group of volunteers who support and promote parent involvement in children’s math and science education. Volunteer jobs include:

  • Help with the General Implementation of activities to enrich and encourage family involvement in math, science and technology.
  • 3rd Grade Market Math at Roche Bros: Help with the implementation of this activity in early spring to enrich and encourage family involvement in math, science and technology.
  • 4th Grade Star Party: Help with the implementation of this activity in late winter/early spring. This event is sponsored by the amateur Telescope Makers of Boston, Acton Public Schools, and Acton PIP.
  • 5th Grade Market Math at Roche Bros: Help with the implementation of this activity in early spring to enrich and encourage family involvement in math, science and technology.

Playground Maintenance+

Manage annual PTO allocation to keep Douglas playgrounds stocked with toys and games for recess.


Contact newspapers to get coverage for school events. Be willing to take pictures of school events and submit them to the local papers. Publicity is an important way to enhance Douglas’ image. This volunteer would work closely with the office and Dr. Whitbeck via email to publish events unique to Douglas.

Purposeful Change+

The Purposeful Change drive is held around the time of the Ice Cream Social and is an event where coins are collected from individual students and each donation is then counted and/or weighed. The collections are then spent according to the results of a student survey; sometimes the children vote to purchase something for the benefit of the Douglas community and sometimes the children vote to contribute to a charity or a combination thereof. The Purposeful Change Coordinator needs help collecting and counting the change.

Read Aloud Day+

At the beginning of March, the PTO manages “Read Aloud Day,” a day during which each class has a special guest visit and read the book of their choice. This event is well-established, in that there are several local celebs who are invited back each year (such as the Superintendent, police officers, fire fighters, etc.).

Managing this event entails:

  • Scheduling readers
  • Coordinating reading times with the teachers
  • Coordinating with the library staff to have a few recommended books for each grade level ready (in case the readers come in without their own selection).
  • Lining up a few parent volunteers to:
    • Greet the readers
    • Escort them to their classrooms,
    • Confirm they have no other needs.

Reading Challenge+

Assist the co-chairs and Douglas librarians in January and February to prepare for the March Reading Challenge, in which the Douglas students are challenged to reach a reading goal.

Room Parent+

One or two parents from each classroom volunteer to serve as room parents. Room parent roles vary according to the teacher’s preferences, but generally involve facilitating communication between the teacher and classroom parents, coordinating and serving at classroom celebrations (usually Halloween, Winter Holidays (before December break), Valentine’s Day, and End of Year), and coordinating gifts for teachers and assistants for special occasions.

Safe Arrival+

Can you spare 30 minutes once or twice a month? The Safe Arrival program ensures that all students are accounted for and are safe. Volunteers collect messages from the Safe Arrival voice mail and online reports, compare them to teachers’ attendance sheets, and investigate any discrepancies. Volunteers are needed to make this program the success that it has been for many years!

Do you have little ones at home, but would like to volunteer at Douglas? Afraid to make a huge commitment, but would like to help out? Consider Safe Arrival — it’s an easy volunteer opportunity with very little time commitment, and you can bring siblings with you. It can even ease the transition to kindergarten for those little ones, as they’ll be familiar with Douglas. If you’re interested in volunteering, or just want some more information about how it works, please email Cydney Cotter at cydney@cotter.org.

School Picture Day Volunteers+

We are requesting volunteers to help children prepare for their photos and to assist the photographers with forms at the upcoming photo day on October 14, 2016. Please contact the picture day coordinator, Megan Kivela, at megankivela@gmail.com with your availability. Prior to volunteering, please ensure your CORI form is current.

School Store (for 4th grade parents)+

The store is part of the 4th grade curriculum and the students act as the storekeepers. Parents are needed to oversee the running of the store, help order new supplies, and train the students. The store is typically open two mornings a week, during bus arrival time. Parents of students in all grades are invited to participate.

There are four roles that need to be filled every year, in addition to the need for parent supervisors and volunteers: Coordinator, Treasurer, Purchaser and Scheduler. These jobs can mostly be done from home. If you would like to help with the school store, please contact the volunteers coordinators at volunteers@DouglasSchoolPTO.org.

School Store Coordinator: Organizes & trains parent volunteers and coordinates store activities. This job is busy at the beginning of the school year but slows down after the store is up and running. Parent volunteers serve as Store Supervisors for 2 week shifts and run the store a total of 4 days. The Coordinator does not need to be present every day.

Purchaser: Places orders for store merchandise every month or two, sets prices for items and displays items for sale.

Treasurer: Pays for store purchases, collects cash from box every other week, makes bank deposits and tracks overall cash flow.

Scheduler: Schedules all students and their parents for working at the store and reminds them of their turn the week before their shift. Also schedules one parent Supervisor to work during each shift.

This is a great activity that is well organized and easy to run! If you prefer, it would be easy to share a position with another parent for half a year each. Please consider volunteering your time at the Eagle’s Nest – it’s a modest commitment with big rewards! All the profits are used to defray a portion of the 4th grade class trip and for making a donation to a charity of the students’ choosing.

School Supplies+

This role involves communicating with teachers about the supplies their students will need during the next school year, working with a merchandiser to select and price the supplies for each class, sending an order form out to parents and collecting orders and money, ordering the supplies, and distributing them to teachers prior to school starting next fall.

Science Kits+

Parents are needed to work with a coordinator to help procure and replenish our Science Kits. (Expenses are reimbursed.) Parents are also needed to work with a coordinator to develop new kits for Family Science Bags.

Scrip Gift Cards+

The Scrip gift card program coordinators plan a few Scrip drives a year, which involves distributing order forms, collecting and placing orders, and distributing the Scrip gift cards via backpack. Interested? Contact volunteers@douglasschoolpto.org.

Snack Cart Program+

The Snack Cart is open every Thursday morning (early release and full day Thursdays) between between 9:30–10:45am on the early schedule and between 10:15–11:30am on the late schedule. Teams of parent volunteers oversee the snack sale. The work rotation is based on the number of available volunteers, but it usually works out to be once every 5 or 6 weeks. Snack Cart is a lot of fun for the kids, and the money raised is used for Cultural Enrichment programs. Younger siblings are welcome. Please contact Janice Yee, Tiffany Prunesti, or Tina Leonard if you are interested in helping.

Spiritwear Sales+

Help assist the sale of Douglas School T-shirts and sweatshirts, submitting orders to the vendors and distributing the incoming materials. Sales begin mid-October with distribution in the beginning of December.

Talent Shows+

The Douglas Talent Shows need some volunteers to help with the grades K-2, 3-4, 5-6 talent shows in the spring. Contact Sangeeta Annangi for more information.

Technology Secretary+

Assemble and broadcast weekly emails. Work with PTO Co-chairs to collect and organize timely information to communicate with the Douglas community. Technology secretary role may be shared between content manager and formatting/mailing list manager.


Bilingual people needed for occasional translation of notices going home to international families. Chinese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, French, and other languages are needed. Please contact volunteer coordinators Anna McHargue or Jason Fitzgerald if you may be occasionally available to assist with translation.

Veterans Day Celebration+

This annual event takes place near Veterans Day in November. Students’ relatives who have served in the Armed Forces visit our school and are honored during Community Meeting, share in a light reception, and visit in individual classrooms. Parents are needed for many areas of this program.

Volunteer Coordinator+

Facilitates involvement in Douglas PTO activities and volunteerism by Douglas families. Coordinates volunteers for ongoing PTO activities and social functions which support our schools; helps fill vacant positions throughout year and at end of year; checks in on committees before their events regarding their volunteer needs. Collects data from volunteer survey and confirms CORI status. Role may be split between technical (survey data management) and liaison.


Maintains PTO web site. Works with PTO Co-chairs to modify existing pages or create new pages as needed to highlight upcoming events and provide communications to Douglas community. Webmaster role may be shared between content manager and technical expert.