We all know how hectic back-to-school time can be. Parents are hearing from schools, sports organizations, and other extracurricular programs, all of which need paperwork filled out and documents read. It’s hard to be heard in that hubbub.
So if you want your PTO or PTA to get noticed, be creative and introduce your group in memorable and fun ways. Here are five tips:
1. Do a welcome packet. Assemble key documents, like your 2014-15 meeting schedule and a list of officers, committees, and contact information. Bundle them into colorful folders. If it’s useful, parents will refer to this packet throughout the year. We have a new video on welcome packets that will help you put yours together.
2. Use a school bulletin board. Ask the principal if you can use one at the school entrance. Design a welcome back theme with vivid colors and include contact information about your group. Parents frequenting the school during the first week will notice if the bulletin board pops. We have examples on our PTO Bulletin Boards and Signs board on Pinterest that will inspire you.
3. Make your case. Tell parents why joining the PTO is good for them and their kids. Send out a creative flyer using our school community word cloud to convey the spirit of unity. Or download our free flyers in English and Spanish that concisely explain why parent involvement matters. Another option: Show our short, animated video on parent involvement (also in both English and Spanish) at a back-to-school event.
4. Distribute a newsletter. Send it during the first month of school and highlight the fun activities your group is planning. For help with newsletters, read our article, Newsletter Communication Tips, which explains what should (and shouldn’t) be included.
5. Greet parents at pickup and drop-off times. An in-person introduction (“Hi, I’m the new president of the PTO and we’d love to have you join us”) goes a long way. Or you and a few parent recruits can hold handmade PTO signs and wave to parents as they go through the drop-off and pickup lines. Either way, you’ll make an impression.