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Lets get started!

20 years 11 months ago #69734 by dabzymom
Replied by dabzymom on topic RE: Lets get started!
I've seen where everyone has said to have fun, and get the school behind your group, which is important. But do you have By-laws and a list of committees and what the committees do?
21 years 2 weeks ago #69733 by mykidsmom
Replied by mykidsmom on topic RE: Lets get started!
laurib forgot to include the Principle in her step 1 [img]smile.gif[/img] . This person can be you biggest asset or worst.....we won't go there.
21 years 2 weeks ago #69732 by Mark's Mom
Replied by Mark's Mom on topic RE: Lets get started!
I write a letter to a local "fun" but expensive business ie. bowling alley/game room or water park, etc. Telling them who we are what our goal is this year etc. and ask for a donation of a pair of tickets for membership drive. It's amazing how many more people sign up with a coveted raffle involved. When they sign up they mark down their interests, talents, etc. and I contact them all over the summer to see how involved they plan to be and how to best use their talents...if you give them a specific task and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up it is amazing how many parents will become involved!!! Most really do want to help, they just have to be given the right task. For example, I have one woman who spends a lot of time on the phone for her job, she is my go to for collecting names of businesses we want to solicit, she just fits it in with her job and doesn't mind a bit. She is very busy and not someone to ask to bake a cake. I have another parent who is shy and would rather die then make calls, she also works days, but has no problem clipping boxtops at night in her down time as she watches TV. You get the picture. Both say, oh I hardly do anything, I just do the easy stuff. If I switched their tasks they would not think what they do for the PTA is "easy stuff". Good Luck!
21 years 2 weeks ago #69731 by laurib
Replied by laurib on topic RE: Lets get started!
Step 1. Get the teachers and staff on the same page as your group.
If the teachers are not behind you and encouraging the students to participate in your events it just isn't going to be a good year. We always start off our year by hosting a welcome back luncheon for the staff. We do this the day before school actually starts for the kids and we let the teachers and staff know what we have planned for the coming year.
Step 2- Do something fun for the families.
The first Friday night after school starts we hold a Back To School BBQ for families. Lots of work, but great fun. We invite the entire staff and offer them free dinner(part of Step 1). The kids love to introduce their parents to the teachers and lunch ladies. Keep it light and fun. Last year we had a local square dance group come their band and teach everyone to dance. We keep the cost of dinners at our cost. This is not a money maker.
Step 3- Let the parents know who you are. As a parent club, we have a table set up at the BBQ with sign up sheets and posters with pictures of past events and a list of events and fundraisers we plan to host during the year. Let the parents know what you've done, what you plan to do and that you will need them to pull it all off. Talk about why you are planning fundraisers this year, what are you raising funds for. We also have our superintendent introduce the board and we say a few words. Luckily our super and principals are 100% with us and they do most of the talking for us. Mentioning all the things we did for the school last year and how they are looking forward to this years events.
Step 4 Make it personal
Wear name tags and try to remember the names of people you meet. Have a board member call the new people and not so new faces and personally invite anyone who asked any questions or had comments about the club to the first meeting.
Step 5 Have fun
If you are having fun being in the club and working of events and activities, you make it look like something they might want to jump into.

Hope this helps, we are still looking for ways to improve things and get more involvment from families, but this has been a great way for us to start the year.

Lauri
21 years 2 weeks ago #69730 by learning the ropes
Hi,

Good Luck!!

First you will need a membership drive - the dues at our school are very inexpensive. Set your first meeting and publicize, publicize, publicize. You might want to sponsor a contest to see which class can get the most parents to join - (ice cream party for winning class?) Try to get 1 or 2 faculty liasons, who will attend meetings and help with suggestions, requests from staff. Of course, the more faculty you can get the better, but we have not been that successful. Ask the principal if you can have some time on Back to School Night to make parents aware of your efforts to get an organization going. If you have a school newspaper, have an article written about your Parent Faculty group. You will need a couple of fundraisers to start - I would suggest Sally Foster or Innisbrook - they are easy and can be make you some good seed money. You can do a fundraiser/activity also - a Halloween dance or a Multi-Cultural event in December for example. Then I would try to plan a strictly educational event also - like a Literacy Night. That should cover the first month - JUST KIDDING. Don't burn out - get as many people involved as you can. There are so many great ideas out there - I wish I had more time to do them all

Good luck, keep reading here - I've found so many great ideas here.
21 years 2 weeks ago #69729 by Publisher
Replied by Publisher on topic RE: Lets get started!
Welcome, mykidzmom!!! And good luck.

What a great opportunity you have to start the reputationa nd practices of your group from scratch. There's no doubt in my mind as to what I'd do. I'd focus on creating fun, family events/traditions first.

Not only is parental involvement supremely important for great schools (and the family events are a great way to build involvement!), but you'll actually have a much easier time with your other efforts (fundrasiisng, for example) if you've done a good job connecting first.

On that note, we have www.schoolfamilynights.com for you. College Funding Night continues, and.... Keep an eye out for "Family Movie Night" coming in August.

Biggest mistake I think you could make would be to lead with fundraisers.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

Tim
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