Ben Franklin Academy requires all families to perform 30 approved hours (15 hours for single parents) of volunteer service. More information can be found in the Volunteer and Visitor Policy. Volunteer hours are approved by the principal and tracked by the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) using HelpCounter, a software system that allows you to register for volunteer opportunities and track your volunteer service. All volunteer service must be logged into HelpCounter within 48 hours of performing the service or the hours will be deemed unearned. If you are volunteering inside the building, you should record your hours by signing in and out using the computer in the office. If you are volunteering from home, you also may come into the building and log your hours, or you can send an email to our volunteer coordinator who will log your hours. If you choose to email the volunteer coordinator, please include your name, hours/minutes to log, and a detailed description of your work. It is recommended that each parent/guardian make a separate account to track their volunteer hours. Your hours will be linked to your Family Number (the number on your carpool tag) so we can tally volunteer hours per family.   

Volunteer Instructions

Returning Families

Please log into HelpCounter each school year and do the following:

  • Click on ‘Update Profile Information’ to make changes to your profile and record your student’s grade/classroom.
  • Click on ‘Check for Upcoming Opportunities’ to sign up for lunch or carpool.
  • Click on ‘Update your Volunteer Interest Form’ to indicate what types of volunteer opportunities interest you.
  • Bookmark it! Don’t miss out on volunteer hours because you failed to log your time–be sure to bookmark the HelpCounter link.
  • If you are a single parent family, please email Michelle Bynum so she can update your volunteer quota. If you have questions about HelpCounter or logging hours, email our volunteer coordinator.
New Families

NEW FAMILIES

Please do the following:

  • If you are new to BFA, you can go to http://Helpcounter.net/volunteer to request access to the system. The system will help you find BFA and ask for your email address. Next, add your personal information and submit. Once you are an approved volunteer, you can start adding hours.
  • Once you are in the system, please specify the areas you are interested in volunteering for–this does not commit you, rather it allows the coordinator see who is interested in specific opportunities.
  • Click on ‘Check for Upcoming Opportunities’ to sign up for lunch or carpool.
  • If you are a single parent family, please email Michelle Bynum so she can update your volunteer quota. If you have questions about HelpCounter or logging hours, email our volunteer coordinator.

Volunteering Ideas at BFA

  • Help with Lunch – Ben Franklin’s lunchroom couldn’t run efficiently without our wonderful parent volunteers. Our volunteers assist our lunch aides with setting up the lunchroom tables, help students open food and drink containers, monitor student safety and activity, clean tabletops between lunch sessions, and assist with final cleanup after all students have eaten. Our volunteer sessions last from 10:50 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. You are welcome to show up to volunteer or sign up via Helpcounter (log into HelpCounter first to be directly linked). Please note, younger siblings are not allowed in the lunch room during volunteer shifts. 
  • Volunteer for Carpool – Parent participation in carpool is essential as it helps ensure the safety of our kids, other volunteers and BFA staff. You may show up and ask the front office if you can assist for a shift, or sign up via HelpCounter (log in first). Please arrive by 7:30 a.m. for the morning shift, or 3:15 p.m. for afternoon carpool.
  • Come help out in the Art Room – Mrs. Hinkle is always in need of volunteers in the art room! You can sign up to volunteer in your student’s art class (full-day Kindie through fifth grade), or any time slot that works for you. 
  • Sign up to Volunteer in the Library – The library needs volunteers, so please sign up today! The January-May sign up is here. This is a popular volunteer opportunity, so please sign up for a few shifts, then give others the opportunity to sign up. You can check back in a week or two and add additional slots. If you sign up, but are unable to show up, please delete your shift. If you would like to volunteer during your student’s classroom time, please check with their teacher for their library schedule.
  • Volunteer in the Science Lab – You don’t have to be a scientist to help Mrs. Ward in the lab! Just click on this sign up and look for opportunities to volunteer in K-5 classes. 
  • Look for Teacher Sign-ups – Many of our teachers send out sign-ups to help with reading, science lab, Thursday folders, etc. Please watch for these and sign up to help your student’s class.
  • Committees – BFA has many committees that work to support the mission and vision of the school. Many of these committees have opportunities to volunteer that fall outside of traditional school hours. To learn more about the committees and how to contact them, check out each committee’s web page.