Family Health Services

Volunteer Training

Volunteers should be provided with name tags, program materials and their tote bag kits at the training. Schools can also customize a “Training Manual” for volunteers. Suggested components of this manual include:

/health/isbp/index.shtml School Contact Information [Word 146kb]
/health/isbp/index.shtml School Calendar
/health/isbp/index.shtml The Intergenerational School Breakfast Program Fact Sheet [pdf 109kb]
/health/isbp/index.shtml Volunteer Job Description
/health/isbp/index.shtml Tips for Volunteers
/health/isbp/index.shtml Nutrition Topics Training Materials
/health/isbp/index.shtml 100 Ways To Praise A Child
/health/isbp/index.shtml Sample Sign-In Sheet [Word 36kb]

These components can be modified for schools that plan to utilize volunteers at other times of the school day rather than during the breakfast program.

Sample Volunteer Job Description


To act as a mentor and role model to young children while encouraging good eating habits early in life and promoting good nutrition.


Volunteers in this program read books to children that support the nutrition topic of the month. They help the children understand the importance of eating healthy and what that means. Volunteers encourage the children to eat their breakfast every day.


Volunteers must:

  • Genuinely enjoy being around young children and reading to them.
  • Understand that the children rely on their participation and contact the school if there is a problem with attendance.
  • Provided feedback to the ISBP Coordinator or school if they have any problems or concerns.


  1. Attend a training session and an on-site orientation at the school.
  2. Commit to a schedule.
  3. Sign in and wear a name tag each time you visit the school.
  4. Be familiar with and utilize program materials as specified.
  5. Complete an evaluation at the end of the year.

Tips for Volunteers

Try to keep the conversation focused on the nutrition topic of the month, healthy eating or physical activity. While conversations are likely to veer off in all directions, and that is fine, the goal is to promote increased awareness about the importance of good health and the role that healthy eating and physical activity play.

  • Interact with small groups of children at a time.
  • Read the book of the month or additional books provided by the school.
  • Discuss the book with the children and ask them to restate the main points.
  • Discuss how the book relates to them.
  • Ask open ended questions. Instead of "Do you like fruit?" ask "What's your favorite fruit?"
  • Listen and respond to what the child is saying. Invite the child to tell you more about a topic that interests him or her.
  • If a child gives an incorrect answer to a question say "That's a great try!" and tell the correct answer. Always be positive.
  • Save handouts or incentives till the end of the period.

100 Ways to Praise a Child

A few kind words can lift a child's spirit and make a real difference in their lives. Be sure to include praise in your communication with the children. It's as easy as saying:

Wow! Way to go Super You're special Outstanding Great Excellent Good Neat Well done Remarkable I knew you could do it. I'm proud of you Fantastic Super Star Nice work Looking good You're on top of it Beautiful Now you're flying! Wonderful You're catching on Now you've got it You're incredible Bravo You're fantastic Hurray for you! You're on target You're on your way How nice How smart Good job That's incredible Hot dog! Dynamite That's beautiful You're unique Nothing can stop you now Good for you I like you You're a winner Remarkable job Beautiful work Spectacular You're darling You're precious Great discovery Thank's for the hard work You've discovered the secret You figured it out Fantastic job Hip, hip hooray! I can depend on you Magnificent Marvelous Terrific You're important Phenomenal You're sensational Super work Creative job Super job Fantastic job You amaze me Exceptional performance You're a real trooper You are responsible You are exciting You learned it right What an imagination What a good listener You are fun You're growing up You tried hard You care Beautiful sharing Outstanding performance You're a good friend I trust you You mean a lot to me You make me happy That's great You belong You've got a friend You make me laugh You mean the world to me That's correct You're a joy You're a treasure You're wonderful You're perfect Awesome! A+ job You're a-okay You made my day That's the best Cool! You're my friend Thanks for doing your best!

Who Should be Recruited

Active adults, retired or semi-retired seniors, or students in service clubs or educational programs requiring community service, are best suited for the ISBP. Each age group will be motivated to serve for different reasons. Young people will want direct service opportunities to enhance their skills and experience. Adults will want challenging assignments in which they feel they are "making a difference" in their communities and making their leisure time more meaningful. Seniors will want opportunities that offer greater flexibility due to their increased involvement with other activities.

Prospective volunteers should have a positive outlook and a love of children. Candidates that fit this description can be found in a variety of places, including:

  • Senior centers
  • Retirement communities
  • Churches and synagogues
  • Social and civic groups
  • The Small Business Administration's Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
  • Volunteer centers
  • Local colleges
  • High schools with service clubs
  • Housing developments and adult communities
  • Labor unions
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Cultural/ethnic centers, clubs and agencies
  • Service clubs
  • Community centers

Why People Volunteer

It is important to understand that there are many reasons a person will volunteer. The ISBP Coordinator should become familiar with as many of these reasons as possible. By becoming familiar with even a few of these reasons, the Coordinator will be better prepared to motivate and reward volunteers:

  1. Feel needed, important
  2. Enjoy a challenge
  3. Opportunity to be creative
  4. Explore career change
  5. Gratitude for service received
  6. Develop skills and experience
  7. Update skills and experience
  8. To share a skill
  9. To teach a skill
  10. Get used to working again after illness
  11. Power
  12. To learn about community
  13. Because a child wants them to
  14. Network
  15. Social contacts
  16. Help a friend or relative
  17. Release guilt
  18. Increase skills to add to resume
  19. School credit
  20. Public relations for employer
  21. Cure loneliness and boredom
  22. Be part of a particular group
  23. Self-improvement
  24. Excitement
  25. Use existing skills and experience
  26. Prepare for retirement
  27. To demonstrate commitment to a cause
  28. To do a civic duty
  29. Location, location, location!
  30. To become an “insider”
  31. To be able to criticize others
  32. To be part of a team
  33. To test yourself
  34. To be a watchdog
  35. As therapy
  36. To assure progress is made
  37. Because of a personal illness
  38. To stand up and be counted
  39. Because of a personal problem
  40. To test personal limits
  41. Escape
  42. Status
  1. Have fun
  2. New ideas
  3. New friends
  4. Bring about a social change
  5. Bring about an organizational change
  6. Identify with a cause
  7. Be close to the action
  8. To be a resource
  9. Find a mentor
  10. Be a mentor
  11. Topic of conversation
  12. Establish peer relationships
  13. Look for a significant relationship
  14. Fulfill a court order (community service)
  15. Peer pressure
  16. Potential future job
  17. To get to know a community
  18. To repay a debt
  19. Religious / faith-based beliefs
  20. To gain leadership skills
  21. To act out a fantasy
  22. Pressure from friend / relative
  23. To gain free admission
  24. To get give-aways / freebies
  25. To get something you can’t buy
  26. To be recognized for a talent or skill
  27. Non-verbal expression
  28. To instigate
  29. To report back to someone (spy)
  30. As a family project
  31. Because it’s kid-oriented
  32. To get a day off from work
  33. To get exercise


Ways To Recruit Volunteers

  1. Place a newspaper ad.
  2. Create a public service announcement for radio or television.
  3. Schedule your volunteers to appear on broadcast talk shows.
  4. Contact area newspapers to write about the program.
  5. Hold volunteer recruitment parties at the school office.
  6. Have open lunches or bag lunches.
  7. Hold invitational lunches.
  8. Give presentations to community groups.
  9. Be on the emergency speaker's list of local community groups.
  10. Share program needs before the local community board.
  11. Send out flyers.
  12. Put flyers on "key posting areas" around town (bulletin boards in public areas).
  13. Put flyers in appropriate shops.
  14. Post ads or flyers where likely volunteers congregate:
    • Supermarkets
    • Community and senior centers
    • Churches and synagogues
    • Unemployment offices
    • Libraries
    • Tenant associations
  15. Encourage active volunteers to recruit friends.
  16. Prepare a film or slide show about the school and the program.
  17. Start a speaker's bureau (volunteers trained to give presentations for the program).
  18. Pass out recruitment brochures.
  19. Put ads in membership newsletters.
  20. Contact local service and professional organization chapters:
  21. Ask for referrals from local politicians.
  22. Set up recruitment booths at local schools and street fairs.
  23. Hold telethons.
  24. Recruit with personal letters from active volunteers to prospective volunteers.
  25. Recruit through telephone outreach.
  26. Contact local unions.
  27. Reach out to public relations or corporate communications people at local companies about including a call for volunteers in their newsletter.
  28. Contact local corporations about "donated" executives and "release time" for employees who volunteer.
  29. Create and send email to everyone in the school's address book.
  30. Ask other organizations how they recruit volunteers and follow their examples.
  31. Host a volunteer fair with other nonprofit agencies in the area.
  32. Ask grocery stores to stuff information about the program in grocery bags.
  33. Ask local companies to include information about the program with their invoices.
  34. Contact local service business owners and ask them if they have a pro bono program (work done for free for a good cause).
  35. Speak to local cable stations about doing a program on the ISBP.
  36. Contact local Web-based businesses and ask them to post banner ads.
  37. Post volunteer needs on Internet sites listing volunteer opportunities.
  38. Create a volunteer section on the school's Web site.

Interviewing Volunteers

Finding the right type of volunteer is important to the success of your program. A potential volunteer should fill out a volunteer application and be interviewed. The interviewer must be very knowledgeable about the school's plan for the program. During the interview they should:

  • Assess the volunteer's interest in working with young children.
  • Provide information about the school.
  • Provide detailed information about the program and be able to answer all the volunteer's questions.
NOTE: If a volunteer is accepted into the program, the period of time between the original interview and the start of the volunteer service should be as short as possible.

Sample Volunteer Application

Click here for Sample Volunteer Application [Word 26k].

Placing Volunteers

Once the volunteer has been placed in the school, a welcome letter confirming the assignment should be sent to the volunteer. Pertinent information such as start date, classroom assignment (if applicable) and time to report should be indicated in this letter.

Volunteers should be invited to the school for a walk-through prior to their start day. If this is not possible, the ISBP Coordinator should meet each volunteer on his or her first day and orient them to the school.

Creating Personnel Files for Volunteers

A volunteer personnel file should include the job description, the volunteer’s application, a resume if available, interview notes, and copies of all correspondence with the volunteer. If the school requires a background check or medical clearance, these documents should also be placed in the file. A file card with emergency contacts should also be maintained for easy reference.

Recording Volunteer Hours of Service

A simple sign-in sheet should be accessible for the volunteer's use at the school. Information on volunteer attendance can be useful for:

  • Recognition of volunteer service by hours, months or years of service.
  • To help school staff plan for future volunteer activities.
  • Data can used in obtaining matching financial and in-kind support for the volunteer program.

Volunteer Retention

The working conditions of the school are very important for volunteer retention Volunteers will respond positively to:

  • Well-organized operations.
  • Good planning.
  • Pleasant physical surroundings.
  • Clear volunteer and staff job responsibilities.
  • A positive attitude towards volunteers.

The Importance of Recognition

Volunteers need to be recognized, and recognition should be more than an annual event. Volunteer recognition can be wide-ranging and include statements about volunteers that the coordinator presents in the initial interview, words of inspiration at training, the name badge worn by the volunteer, the greetings by school staff when volunteers arrive, the periodic "thank you," special treats at holidays, a suggestion box, and/or a parking space.

Tips for Recognizing Volunteers

Some creative ways to recognize volunteers might include:

  • Certificates of appreciation.
  • Municipal proclamations to thank volunteers.
  • Invitations to and recognition at assemblies.
  • Encouraging students to write thank you letters to their Breakfast Buddies.
  • Sending birthday and occasion cards.
  • Posting a Volunteer Honor Roll or other recognition in a highly visible area of the school, such as near the main office.
  • Greeting the volunteers by name.
  • Refreshments for volunteers.
  • Awarding plaques or other mementos to the volunteer.
  • Recognizing volunteers in the school newsletter or send a news release about a volunteer to the media, with the volunteer's permission.
  • Color-coding volunteer nametags to indicate achievements (hours, months, or years of service, etc.)
  • Including volunteers in school events.

The Intergenerational School Breakfast Program is administered by New Jersey WIC Services. For more information log on to or call (609) 292-9560.

Department of Health

P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Our Locations
Privacy policy, terms of use and contact form links State Privacy Notice legal statement DOH Feedback Page New Jersey Home

OPRA- Open Public RecordAct
department: njdoh home | index by topic | programs/services
statewide:njhome | services A to Z  | Departments/Agencies | FAQs
Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-

Last Modified: Friday, 26-Apr-13 12:33:07