Volunteer or Research at KinderFrogs School
At this time, we cannot accommodate volunteers or outside visitors at the TCU lab schools due to COVID-19 precautions.
- Application to Volunteer or Research at the TCU Laboratory Schools
- Class Project and Research Workflow at the TCU Laboratory Schools
- Class Project and Research Samples and FAQs
Our volunteer program is a thriving and vital resource for supporting our staff, program, and children. We consider volunteers to be full stakeholders in our efforts. The contribution that volunteers make in literally hundreds of ways greatly enhances and expands the overall quality and scope of our programs. KinderFrogs deeply appreciates your gifts of time, expertise, and service.
Here are a few things to know before you begin volunteering:
- Check in at the Front Desk of KinderFrogs School – 2805 Stadium Drive
- Make a nametag for yourself to wear while volunteering if you do not have a TCU nametag.
- Volunteer Hours are 8:00 am to 11:30 am and 2 pm to 3 pm, Monday through Friday.
THINGS TO KNOW:
- There are three class rooms available for volunteering.
- Always wash your hands before you enter the classroom and throughout your shift.
- Please do not pick up the children. This is a licensing and safety policy.
- If you are helping with snacks and/or lunches, you must wear gloves (provided by KinderFrogs)
- Model appropriate behavior. Every interaction teaches a skill, behavior, or language. During your time in our room you may observe inappropriate behaviors. Please help us to build our students’ social skills by refraining from laughing at or encouraging such behaviors. You can tell the student “that is not appropriate” or you can ask a teacher for assistance. Please use appropriate language while in the classroom. Remember, you are a role model for the children. Inappropriate examples would include “this sucks,” “stupid,”“retarded” or any words/gestures that could be considered in poor taste. The majority of the children at KinderFrogs are children with a disability and/or development delay. The disability does not define the child. They are simply wonderful children that require special needs and considerations. Thank you for respecting each of them!
The teachers here are masters at their craft. Feel free to question them about the children or brainstorm with them. The teachers can meet with you at a scheduled time. Ask Vivian, the Administrative Assistant, in the front office for most anything. This school’s mission is to serve as a learning laboratory for TCU students. We want your experience at KinderFrogs to be a rich learning experience. Do not hesitate to ask for help.
The parents who send their children to KinderFrogs are aware that this is a laboratory setting and want our TCU students to learn from your children. To respect the privacy of individuals, please do not discuss particular children by whole name with people who are not in TCU programs. Volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they are exposed, including information pertaining to staff, visitors, other volunteers, and most of all, our students.
INTERACTING WITH STAFF
- Always discuss mutual expectations with the staff before beginning an assignment. This eliminates any assumptions either of you may make.
- Always ask for clarification when you need it – you cannot ask too many questions! If you tell the staff you will do something for them, and then can’t do it or get it done on time, let them know as soon as possible.
- Make suggestions! The staff haven’t thought of everything! You can only add to our programs and facility by making suggestions. Stay in communication. The staff cannot change anything if they do not know something is wrong.
- If you are more comfortable discussing a suggestion or problem with the Administrative Assistant or Director, please feel free to do so!
Volunteers should dress neatly and appropriately – no hats, midriff tops or revealing clothing. Please make sure you are wearing a volunteer name tag.
SMOKING, DRUGS & ALCOHOL
Use or possession of drugs or alcohol is prohibited on the premises. Smoking is prohibited inside the KinderFrogs School. Persons who desire to smoke must do so outdoors. Ash cans have been placed outside the entrances to all campus facilities.
FOOD & DRINKS
No gum, food, or drinks in the classrooms please. You are free to use the refrigerator to store items daily, but we cannot guarantee that there will always be room. Please do not leave items in the refrigerator overnight or between the days that you volunteer; they may be thrown away.
The KinderFrogs School does close in times of inclement weather. As a rule, we follow the same closing decisions as the University. Volunteers should not attempt to come in when they consider the weather conditions hazardous.
Cell phones are not appropriate in our classrooms – they are a distraction for our students and hinder learning opportunities. Please step into the hallway should you need to check messages, send or receive a text or call.
How can I volunteer at KinderFrogs School?
To minimize risk to our students, anyone who works with children in any capacity (volunteer or research) must complete a brief training course focused on recognizing and reporting abuse and neglect, and must pass a background check. Persons (students or otherwise) may not have contact with children at either school until these requirements are met.
How do I go about completing the required training and background checks?
If you are a TCU student enrolled in a course that requires all students to complete field hours at one of the laboratory schools, you will complete the application on the other side of this form and turn it in to Vivian Unger at the TCU Laboratory Schools. Concurrently, your professor will submit your course information to the university, and you will receive an email invitation to complete the online training “Protecting Youth.” As you are doing that, the TCU Police Department will complete a background check. If there is anything unclear in the background check, you will be contacted by the TCU Police for further information before a final determination is made. Once you have completed the online training, return the certificate of completion to Vivian Unger at the Laboratory Schools. We will notify you when you have cleared both portions of the requirements. Approval is good for one calendar year.
If you are a TCU student who is NOT enrolled in a course that requires all students to complete field hours, or you are a TCU student who simply wishes to volunteer at one or both of the laboratory schools, you will complete the application on the other side of this form and turn it in to Vivian Unger at the TCU Laboratory Schools. On the first of each month, the lab schools will submit names and emails of volunteer/research applicants to TCU administration, who will issue an invitation for you to complete the online training “Protecting Youth.” As you are doing that, the TCU Police Department will complete a background check. If there is anything unclear in the background check, you will be contacted by the TCU Police for further information before a final determination is made. Once you have completed the online training, return the certificate of completion to Vivian Unger at the Laboratory Schools. We will notify you when you have cleared both portions of the requirements. Approval is good for one calendar year. (Please note—we submit a roster of persons for training at the start of each month; if you do not want to wait for the next round of training enrollment, you may opt to complete the Alliance for Children “Stewards of Children” training—at a cost to you of $10—in lieu of the “Protecting Youth” course.
If you are a TCU faculty member or staff—whether you want to volunteer or conduct research—complete the application form and attach a copy of your “Protecting Youth” certificate (available via the Training link in my.tcu.edu) The TCU Police Department will complete a background check. If there is anything unclear in the background check, you will be contacted by the TCU Police for further information before a final determination is made.
If you are a community member who simply wishes to volunteer at one or both lab schools, or a faculty member or staff from another institution wanting to conduct research, you will complete the application form complete the Alliance for Children “Stewards of Children” training—which will cost you $10—and submit the certification of completion to The TCU Police Department will complete a background check. If there is anything unclear in the background check, you will be contacted by the TCU Police for further information before a final determination is made.
Where can I find out more about the Alliance for Children Stewards of Children training?
What if I’m a faculty member and want to bring my class to one of the laboratory schools for field experiences or a tour?
If you’re simply wanting a tour, we have an ID-scanning system that will suffice; please set up a tour through LaJean Sturman (Starpoint) or Vivian Unger (KinderFrogs) 817-257-7141 and ensure that on the day of the visit, all of your students bring a state-issued ID.
If you are TCU faculty member who wants your students to complete field-based hours, you will need to do two things, preferably 3-4 weeks (or more) prior to when you want the students to begin: (1) have students complete the Volunteer/Researcher application and submit these—as a bundle—to Vivian Unger at the Laboratory Schools; and (2) send your course information (course name and unique number) to Vivian Unger (via email) for submission to university officials/subsequent enrollment in the “Protecting Youth” online training module. Upon receiving your course information, Ms. Unger will process the request, and your students will receive an email invitation for—and should complete—the online training. Collect the certificates of completion for your students and submit as a bundle to Vivian Unger. She will pair these with our clearances on background checks; if any student’s background check does not return as “clear,” the TCU Police Department will contact the student for further information to rectify the situation. Students must have both a satisfactory completed background check AND evidence of successful completion of the “Protecting Youth” training before they may interact with students at the Laboratory Schools.
What if my fraternity/sorority or other group wants to volunteer?
Follow the directions for TCU Students. However, in cases of groups of volunteers, the group leader may also opt to seek out a group “Stewards of Children” training from the Alliance for Children, rather than moving through the process of enrollment and completion of the “Protecting Youth” online course.