Volunteer Info & Policies



Background Checks

Because our first obligation is the health & safety of our students, a background check is required for all individuals working at elementary schools during school hours or in the presence of the elementary-age students. 

The background check must be completed by The University of Alabama’s Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility. See the CESR website for more information on screening details. The cost is approximately $14. To initiate this process, contact Megan Bailey at megan.bailey@ua.edu. Be sure to tell her you’re volunteering for Schoolyard Roots!



Attire & Dress Code

In the Garden: For your safety, when working in the gardens, wear garments that can get dirty, but that are respectable and appropriate in a school atmosphere and to the community. Closed-toe shoes are required. Long pants and shirts are suggested.

Out of the Garden: For most other events, ‘Relaxed Business-Casual’ attire is appropriate. An email containing more details will be sent prior to an event. 

Prohibited Attire at any Schoolyard Roots event (for both men & women) include, but are not limited to: Dirty, torn, excessively worn, faded or tattered clothing; flip flops or thong-type sandals; shorts, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, or other pants above the knee; cargo, stirrup, lounge, pajama, sweat, or stretch pants; midriff, tank, or ‘spaghetti-strap’ tops; shirts with a low neckline or extreme immodest, tight fitting, or revealing attire; anklets, tongue, nose or eyebrow jewelry. Tattoos should be covered by clothing and should not be seen with any movement such as bending or reaching. 



Suggested Personal Items

For Outside Events: For volunteers working in a garden or at any event that primarily takes place outside, it’s crucial to stay hydrated and protect your skin. Especially during the warmest months the year, you are highly encouraged to bring your own: water and water bottle, sunscreen, and hat.

On School Grounds: If you’re volunteering at a school during normal hours of operation (8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday – Friday), make sure to bring a valid PHOTO ID. Upon arrival, you will be required to show it as you sign in at the front desk.



Accommodations & Considerations

Allergies & Disabilities: If exposure to a certain allergen or environmental trigger will cause you reaction or pain, please take measures to appropriately prepare and protect yourself (by wearing long clothes, carry an epi-pen, etc.). If you have a condition that may prevent you from performing certain tasks, please let us know ahead of time at volunteer@schoolyardroots.org.

Natural Repellant: Our gardens are maintained uses organic gardening practices — this means no herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers. If at all possible, please use all-natural bug spray when working in the garden or performing garden maintenance. 


Weather Issues & Cancellations

If it becomes necessary to cancel, postpone, or alter scheduling details of any Volunteer Event, you will be notified by the phone number and email address you provided when signing up for the event. However, most events, including those held outside/in a garden, carry on ‘rain or shine,’ unless inclement weather poses immediate danger.

Questions Not Covered Here?

If you are having issues receiving emails from us, or if have additional questions, email us at volunteer@schoolyardroots.org.

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