~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism
- Training Volunteers: To Touch or Not to Touch
- Is it Effect or Affect?
- Taking Your Newsletter Online
Training Volunteers: To Touch or
Not to Touch
|Many volunteers work with children or vulnerable adults. The urge to hug
or reassure with a friendly arm around the shoulder is almost irresistible
for volunteers. Many training programs for volunteers forbid touching. This
seems to be unrealistic and unlikely. A better solution is to train volunteers
(including practice sessions during training) on the appropriate forms of
touch. Here are some hints to train volunteers on the "touchy"
- Physical contact in which a parent might engage, tickling,
horseplay of a physical nature, is not appropriate for volunteers.
- Adults should avoid being alone with a child or vulnerable
adult. If a soccer coach wants to talk one-on-one they need to
retreat away from the rest of the team (out of earshot), but
in full view of children and other parents.
- Any private counseling with children is done in a room with
door open and in a highly traveled area.
- Children who take a long time in bathrooms or locker rooms,
can be urged to hurry by sending a couple of other children to
fetch them, or two adults going to get them.
- Use high-five's, hand slaps, or handshakes to let children
know physically that what they have done is good. No hugs!
- Avoid touching children unless they are injured, and then
only if others are present.
- Do not take children alone in a car. Chaperones for dances
or sponsors of school clubs often must wait with children for
tardy parents. Do this in a public place where the volunteer
and child can be seen by others.
- Never make sexual jokes or exchange personal information
in front of children.
- Check with a school in your area to see what policies they
have. Use those to guide the establishment of guidelines for
volunteers in your program.
Is it Effect or Affect?
Busy volunteer offices are often in need of a good dictionary
and the one on the shelf was printed in 1959! There is help online.
The Oxford English Dictionary (surely the English language's best!) is now
available at http://www.oed.com. This is a twenty-volume tome! The dictionary
is in the middle of a revision (its second in 116 years). The revision is expected
to double the words. It will be complete in ten years.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th edition) is available at http://www.m-w.com.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (third edition) is
available at http://www.dictionary.com.
The Oxford Dictionary has a steep price for subscribers, the
other two sites are free.
Taking Your Newsletter Online
Many organizations have plans (or have) produced an online
version of their printed newsletter. There are several things
you need to consider before producing that online publication.
Here are a few:
- Create a home page that is less like the cover of the publication
and more like a map that welcomes and guides visitors around
- Edit articles to be half the size they are in print. For
an example of this, visit the New York Times online site, and
buy the newspaper the same day. The articles are the same, but
much, much shorter.
- Be sure instructions to move around are clear and easy. Tell
people they must point and click to open a different page. Do
not assume all readers know how to do this.
- Print newsletters or magazines need graphics to break up
text. Graphics on a Web site can slow the downloading time. Keep
graphics to a minimum and given them a vertical alignment to
fit with most Web browsers.
- Offer things at the online site not available in the print
version. This could include such things as e-mail or Web links
to sites mentioned in articles, chat rooms, an archive of issues
from the past, or links to related sites. This makes reading
the print and online site a "must do" for volunteers.
- Be sure the online version is a complement of the print version
and not just a copy!
WSU ONLINE CERTIFICATE IN VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
Washington State University offers a Volunteer Management Certification
Program through the Internet. Individuals around the world can
earn a certificate in managing or coordinating volunteers, without
For more information, visit Volunteer Today's Portal site. Internet Sites You'll
Love. Look for the Washington State University listing. There is a hot link
to their Web sites.
ASSOCIATION FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT VOLUNTEER MANAGERS
The National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government
(NAVPLG) is an association of administrators, coordinators and
directors of volunteer programs in local government. Its purpose
is to strengthen volunteer programs in local government through
leadership, advocacy, networking and information exchange. NAAVPLG
is an affiliate of the National Association of Counties and is
seeking affiliate status with the National League of Cities.
Cost is $20 for individuals and $75 for group local government
membership. An affiliate membership is $25 and is intended for
those who are not local government members but may have an interest
in the group. There is a quarterly newsletter, national network,
and access to NACo's Volunteerism Project.
For more information contact Glenis Chapin, who is a member of the Executive
Committee. She can be reached by phone at 503-588-7990. Be sure to mention you
read about this in Volunteer Today.
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Copyright by Nancy Macduff.
Some images on this site are licensed from Web.Pix
Copyright 1996 DiAMAR Interactive Corporation, all rights reserved.