Which is why I'm glad that the time has finally come when PTOs can go green in communications, remain effective in their work and save bucks.  If I can get my environmentalist badge and grow involvement and help the budget at the same time,  I'm in.

That was the theme of my January magazine column on the Green PTO.  And it's definitely the theme of this interesting set of case studies from the Chicago Tribune of local school districts going electronic with their backpack expresses

It's also why we're so excited about our newest (real new -- like 2 days old new!) free tool for PTOs and PTAs.  We call it "Parent Express Email", and it finally makes sending professional looking email announcements and newsletters to your families simple.  Check out the Parent Express Email tool here.

The point of my column was that -- while email has always been attractive option -- schools and PTOs have been in a funny spot when it comes to email.  We're not businesses that can choose (if the economics make it wise) to ignore certain customers.  Instead PTOs and schools have to send announcements to all.  So, even when half of parents had email... a PTO couldn't go all electronic.  Adding email was more work (because we still had to do lots of printing), not less.

But today, the statistics tell us that 90%+ of parents have access to email in some fashion.  Email is now both a money saver (lots less paper and ink) and a time saver.  Even if we need to make hard-copies for a few families, the time saved on stuffing 300 backpacks and getting right numbers to right homerooms for entire school outweighs the now-small amount of time needed to reach the few remaining e-holdouts.  Now it's a real no-brainer win.

We'll talk about this a good deal more, but -- for now -- give our new Parent Express Email tool a whirl.  It's going to make your PTO life much simpler. And you can't beat the price. :-)