PTO Volunteer Opportunities

Get Involved! Volunteer!

The Hillside PTO is able to offer a wide variety of activities and services to the Hillside community because of our amazing parent and teacher volunteers! We are always looking for new volunteers to help with all of our events and new ideas. If you would like to get involved with any of our events, or if you have an idea for a committee or an event you would like to chair, please contact us!


Click HERE to see list of PTO Events and Services.

Click HERE to see a list of current committee chairs and PTO Executive Board members.


Sincerely Your Co-Presidents,


Fundraising Committees

Book Fair Fall and Spring Love books? Volunteer to help our Media Specialist, Debbie Ubriaco build our wonderful media center and help parents inspire the love of reading at home. Our energetic organizers will work with Debbie and the selected book fair vendor to coordinate set-up, run the book fair, and publicize the book fair.

Art Event (Spring) Although the vendor is yet to be selected for this fundraiser, this is expected to be a wonderful event where students visit the school to create art at a special event with guest art teachers. After the event, the art or items imprinted with the art will be sold online. If you would like to raise money for Hillside and explore your artistic side, please volunteer to help us plan and run this event. Volunteer organizers will coordinate with the vendor, run the event, and publicize the event.

Ashley Brown Photography (Spring) Springtime is a great time for family photos! This is a fundraiser that is sure to make you smile. Help coordinate the date, times and communication to families for one of our most beloved fundraisers.

Passive Fundraisers (All Year) Would you like to help Hillside make money through corporate sponsored fundraisers like: Box Tops for Education; Labels for Education and Price Chopper E Labels for Education; Hannaford Helps Schools; and Price Chopper Tools For Schools. If you are in the volunteer spirit, but you don’t have a lot of time to give, help organize, publicize and make our school lots of money with one of these wonderful corporate sponsors. Organizers will also be asked to get creative and help implement incentives/contests in order to maximize our full fundraising potentials.

Restaurant Night (Fall and Spring) Our wonderful school nights organizers will plan dining nights/days at local restaurants such as Chipotle and Panera. These dining nights are very easy to coordinate, and require a minimal time commitment. The Hillside event held at Chipoltle last year was enjoyed by many families. It’s a great way to build community spirit and benefit Hillside at the same time.


School Social/Events Committees

Newcomer’s Ice Cream Social (Late August / Early September) This event has a coordinator for this year. However, for next year we will be looking for someone to coordinate a meet& greet ice cream social for incoming Kindergarten families and other families new to Hillside. This is a great opportunity where new families and new students can meet their teachers and other classmates, have ice cream and play on the playgroung

Fall Social (September)Hillside parents, faculty and staff socialize with our Hillside community while the children play on the playground. Refreshments, snacks and some fun outdoor games are part of this great laid back event. This year is Hillside’s 50th Birthday, so we also hope to plan some special treats.

Hillside’s Harry Potter Night (October) Coordinate all things Harry Potter! Whether its potion making, crafts in the classroom, Quidditch in the gym or a magic show there will be something for everyone to enjoy! Come dressed in your House colors! We would love to have a great team to get this first time event going and make it a Hillside fall tradition! Also, Pam Ober, a Birchwood mom, and school district volunteer who knows “Everything Harry Potter” will be happy to consult with our Hillside team on how best to approach this very popular social which has run for many years at Rosendale and Birchwood.

Craft Night (December) Develop crafts, coordinate craft stations, set up, clean up and have fun at this well attended event!

Family Movie Night (January) Coordinate a movie, beverages and snacks for our K-5 students and their families to enjoy.

Family Boogie Night (January) Coordinate a DJ, food, decorations, volunteers and activities for this themed dance event which is very popular at Hillside!

Ice Cream Social (June) Contact donors for ice cream, paper products and other suppliers needed and recruit volunteers for this free and fun family social evening

Hillside Backpacker (Weekly) Help the PTO keep parents, teachers, students and staff connected and informed about programs and events with our NEW weekly e-mail newsletter. While the PTO council members are getting the ball rolling and producing the first few issues using Mail Chimp (you can look at the Birchwood archived newsletters for an example), we are already looking for volunteers to keep it going. Do you have any computer skills, graphic art/ art skills, or writing skills to contribute to make a great school newsletter? Please let us know. Volunteers can help on a periodic or seasonal basis, but help for the entire school year is very welcome too.

Hillside Webmaster (Ongoing) Work with PTO council to maintain the PTO website (http://hillside@.niskypto.org) with updated school information on a weekly basis and coordinate with the district PTO webmaster and the volunteers who produce the Hillside Backpacker. If you have good computer skills (it is a Google site), and enjoy writing and being creative, this would be a great position for you. This position can easily be done from home in the evening, and can be shared by two or more volunteers. Are you interested? Please let us know.

Homeroom Parent Coordinators (Summer and Ongoing) Coordinate communications between HR Parents and Parents re: class dues, class parties, general reminders, and the 5th grade moving up ceremony. Liaison with the PTO board regarding district and school board communications, especially around budget voting time.

Library Volunteers (Ongoing) Coordinate parent volunteers to help check books in and out as well as shelve books and assist students in finding materials. Katie will be looking for library volunteers once school is back in session and is usually at the time your children have library hour.

Picture Day (Fall) Coordination of picture day (October) and retake day (November) with school, teachers, photographer and parents as necessary. Help children to and from their classrooms and help to make sure the students are looking picture ready! Coordinate a school wide picture in the Spring with our vendor. Liaise with the PTO board and Hillside school office with any contracts that need to be reviewed and signed.

Photography (Ongoing) Take pictures at school events for the yearbook, our archives, the PTO web page, our newsletter, and the bulletin board. A great way to showcase Hillside’s wonderful school community!

Spirit Wear / Apparel (Fall & Spring) The apparel sale is run under the auspices of the Ways and Means committee, but it is more of a service for the Hillside community than a Fundraiser. Organizers will work with vendors to produce high-quality Hillside and Niskayuna items, set-up an efficient order system, help parents with orders, and facilitate distribution of apparel. Communicate and liaise with the PTO board and Principal.

5th Grade Yearbook Production (Ongoing throughout the 5th grade year) A group of 5th grade parent volunteers who are responsible for organizing, planning, collecting pictures, laying out the yearbook and ultimately the distribution of the yearbook at the end of the school year. Ongoing communication with the 5th grade parents and 5th grade teachers. This committee will also liaise with the PTO board regarding the vendor and pricing.

NEW - Gardening Committee (Ongoing) Support Hillside’s learning environment through beautification and education synergies. Through coordination with our teachers we will provide hands on learning spaces that will support their biology and nature lessons. Students will be able to observe the natural growing cycle for plants and how the different parts of nature interact. The wildlife space will also serve to beautify the surroundings of Hillside and potentially as a community garden. Volunteers needed for fall and spring clean up each year.


Academic Committees

ASEP –After School Enrichment Program (Fall and Spring) A team of 4 volunteers develop classes / programs to be offered to students after the end of the school day starting at 2:20 and ending at 3:20. We have veteran volunteers already signed up to recruit instructors, set schedules, and recruit and oversee parent volunteers during each session, but we need a new volunteer to produce the program brochures, and a new volunteer to register students and collect fees. Please note that the registrar and the brochure volunteer need not be in attendance at the classes- these jobs can be done from home. This is a very popular Hillside school program!

1000 Book Kid Program (Year long) This committee coordinates its kick off program in the fall, maintains files and the familiar “bags” of books. It also recognizes children who achieve 250, 500, 750& 1000 book milestones.

Assemblies (Spring & Fall) Plan and coordinate enriching educational programs that are taught by educational specialists outside of our school, for all grades with input from our principal, faculty and PTO board.

Book Awards ( Spring) Coordinate student voting for their favorite books, make arrangements for a storyteller, and coordinate the awards with the 1000 Book Kid Chairperson.

Learning Fair (March) Promote, coordinate, and oversee the set-up of a school-wide display of independent student projects. This event is held in the school gym as well as the cafeteria. It is open to all students at Hillside and is a very popular and highly participated in event.

PARP – Parents As Reading Partners (Ongoing) Coordinate the distribution of PARP reading reward checklists. Responsible for the PARP participation calendars and distributing monthly rewards, which are coupons for a personal pizza from Pizza Hut or a Hillside pencil!

Pre-School Story Hour (Winter) Coordinate, communicate and supervise the library and gym time for preschoolers who will be coming to Hillside for Kindergarten in the fall.

School Banking (Every Friday During the School Year) Hillside school banking is a program sponsored by First NY Federal Credit Union. It allows students to make weekly deposits right at school; only requiring a minimum of $0.25. Students are eligible for prizes after every 3rd deposit which they receive in school. After making 15 deposits, the student is eligible for a movie ticket. The program takes place every Friday morning in the lobby.

Visiting Author, Artist or Musician Once a year plan and coordinate an author, artist or musician visit. You will work alongside our Hillside principal, faculty and the PTO board. This year we will be having a visiting artist and the children will work on a school wide tile project!


Community Liaison Committees

School Board Liaisons (SBL) Attend regularly scheduled school board meetings (usually monthly) and report information back to our PTO. This is probably our most important community liaison volunteer position(s). Even if you can only make one meeting but are willing to report back to the PTO it would be greatly appreciated!

Shared Decision Making - SDM Attend regularly scheduled committee meetings, made up of teachers, parents, support staff, administration and a non-parent community member as a PTO liaison and report information to our PTO.