Lady Gaga Make a Difference With summer under way, it’s a great time to think about what your group wants to accomplish next year. Often, it’s hard to know just what to focus on because there are so many things your group would like to do. But, what if your group just focused on a handful of things and really had an impact?

A good starting point would be to survey parents and teachers and ask them what they think the PTO should do next year. You don’t have to implement all suggestions, but you can set priorities from their feedback.

We have several survey templates you can download from our File Exchange that you can customize for your group, including:

Another approach is to select a key area as a pet project of sorts, and create programs and events throughout the year to support it. Here are three ideas:

1. Academic boost: Consider creating a club or running a family night that supports core academic programs. Our School Family Nights offer step-by-step guides to host educational events. Also, consider theses resources to support academic programs:

2. Teacher support: Come up with a teacher appreciation plan that supports teachers in small ways throughout the year. You will truly make a difference in their lives. Here are a few resources to get you on your way:

3. Parent involvement: In addition to recruiting new volunteers, focus on getting the word out about why involvement is important. We have a great video in both English and Spanish that explains how parent involvement makes a difference for kids. You can stream Parent Involvement Matters! and show it at meetings or events as well as link to it on your website and offer it as a resource to your community.

In addition, we have articles and File Exchange documents that will help you promote parent involvement, including:

Finally, here are two articles that will provide additional ideas for the next school year: