Question: Parent involvement

I am interested in some strategies and techniques in getting more parent involved in the PTO. We are having some challenges in getting more parents to participate in fundraising and activities.

Asked by shaunw255



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi shaunw255!
If you are having some challenges, you aren't alone. Building parent involvement is something most groups struggle with from time to time. Fro starters, look at this as an ongoing process that you work on throughout the school year and tackle on different fronts.

1. Get the word out about your group on multiple channels (emails, Facebook, Instagram). Post photos from events to convey the excitement and fun your group is having. This helps create an overall positive feeling about your group and parents will be more interested in getting involved in something positive.

2. Let parents also know about your accomplishments -- what your group has been able to do for your school (programs, field trips, etc.) -- so they better understand how important your group is to the school.

3. Reach out to parents one at a time. Do you have a list of folks who signed up to volunteer at the beginning of the year? Check in with them. Let them know about upcoming events and activities you have on the calendar. Is there a specific job they might be interested in?

4. We have many resources to help groups with parent involvement, including this list we just posted of 17 ideas to build involvement that come from PTO leaders. You'll definitely find some good nuggets in this one:

Hope this helps and stay in touch!
Rose C.

Community Advice

kitkat_137 writes:
Find out what parents are good at and seek them out specifically! I am the Beautification Committee Chair for one of my PTOs and when we elected to help redo the staff lounge, I sought out a parent with an interior design company for advice and direction (then asked her if she knew of other parents with the expertise or desire to help).

To remove a dead tree in the school yard, I found a dad at a lawn care company to help. I let them know I'm willing to help, but need their guidance (I have a black thumb)...and they never let me down.

Not only are they helping their child's school, they also have resume builders (and we offer free advertising/shout outs via our Facebook page and newsletters also).

Parents are more likely to help if they feel that their specific abilities and skills are being appreciated and utilized. Involvement isn't about asking for help to accomplish a goal, it's about inspiring someone to give their time and talents because they are part of the community.

Also, keep in mind the greater community. High school students who once attended your elementary school, local organizations/businesses, grandparents, friends, and neighbors. Anyone who would benefit from a better, well-connected community :)

Best of luck.

Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi kitkat_137!
I love what you said about an important part of parent involvement: "Inspiring someone to their time and talents because they are part of the community.'' That's really awesome!


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