A story we've just added to ptotoday.com, ''Communication Tips for Better Involvement,'' has an idea that I really like. One creative group took their volunteer signup sheet and made it into a giant bulletin board in the school lobby. If you want to run a game at the spring carnival or read to kids at the Family Reading Night or cook spaghetti at the annual pasta feed, just put your name down in the appropriate place on the bulletin board. Everybody can see at all times which activities are planned, what volunteers are needed, and who has signed up. If you change your mind, you just erase your name.

The reason I like this so much is that it sends a strong message that PTO is about every parent in the school. Running these events is something that we all do together, not something planned and run by a few officers who you may not even know.

The way you communicate says so much about your group. In fact, many parents may only know you by your communications. You'll improve your image if you keep things upbeat; emphasize that PTO is about everybody, not just the officers; don't send so much home that people start to ignore it; and, of course, always check carefully for errors before you send anything out. You'll also find great tips for improving your newsletter, website, flyers, and more on ptotoday.com.