Outstanding Group at a Small School

Riverdale Elementary PTO, Dedham, Mass.
Annual budget $20,000, 186 students

Despite being at a small school, the Riverdale Elementary PTO organizes an impressive number of events, including a winter dance (top), a pizza party on the playground, an ice cream social, a meeting for 1st grade parents, a rummage sale, and a spring carnival.


Outstanding Academics & Enrichment

Mount Hebron Middle School PTA, Montclair, N.J.
Annual budget $7,000 to $10,000, 640 students

The STEM magnet school pushed students to get creative with a Poetry Slam. A poet-in-residence taught the entire school about the history of poetry and the tradition of poetry slams, and each student wrote poems in class.

  • 45-minute assemblies for each classroom on poetry and poetry readings
  • 3 workshops where students worked on their performances
  • 40-plus student poets giving spoken-word performances
  • 16 prizes awarded by a panel of judges

Outstanding Outreach to a Diverse School Community

Thomas Edison Language Institute PTA, Sacramento, Calif.
Annual budget $25,000, 850 students

About half of Edison students are from refugee or first-generation immigrant families from places like Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East. The PTA’s International Fair celebrated many cultures. Programs were printed in English, Spanish, and Arabic. The fair included:

  • Performances by Ballet Folkloric, the student folk dance group
  • Native American storytelling
  • Craft projects from around the world
  • Support from more than 100 volunteers
  • A chance to create care packages & write letters to new refugees arriving in the city
  • More than 500 attendees

Outstanding Family Event

Niji-Iro Elementary PTA, Livonia, Mich.
Annual budget $5,000, 185 students

Niji-Iro Elementary PTA’s Games With Grownups had oversize fun for little effort, with self-directed activities and an inexpensive dinner for families.


Outstanding Major Project or Program

Powell Valley Elementary PTC, Gresham, Ore.
Annual budget $40,000, 475 students

The PTC organized a maker fair and opened a Maker Space in the school, which includes robotics, a 3-D printer, sewing supplies, and much more. Classes will visit the Maker Space throughout the school year, allowing students to learn through hands-on projects.

THE MAKER FAIR featured:

  • 12 student TED Talk speeches
  • Student film festival
  • 65-plus science and technology projects
  • 10 classroom art exhibits
  • 15 classroom science projects
  • 10 student artist booths
  • Free dinner for 700 attendees
  • $1,200 raised for materials in online campaign