Parents and PTOs: It’s Give and Take

by Rose Hamilton



Right about now, PTO leaders are getting excited about upcoming programs and events, and they want to get moving on soliciting the volunteers and funds they need to make their plans happen. While it’s good to be gung ho, you also want to avoid starting the year by just asking what parents can do for you. Make sure you let parents know how your group can help them, too. 

In other words, be a resource right out of the gate. Parents, especially those new to your school, need information about the school and community, and your group’s in a good position to lend them a hand. For example, if you are hosting a back-to-school parent coffee or boohoo-yahoo breakfast, be willing to share helpful inside information, like how to avoid traffic at drop-off and pickup times, the location of food pantry collection bins, what clothes work best for kids on gym days, and the best way to communicate with the school secretary. 

Also, new families will appreciate community information, like the locations of local playgrounds, the name of the most helpful person in your town’s recreation department, and any online resources, like virtual community yard sales. 

The more you can do to assist parents in getting their families off to a good start this school year, the more they’ll appreciate your group. This goes a long way toward building a true sense of community at your school. 

We recommend sharing printables, checklists, and articles from our sister site,, to help parents with a variety of home and school issues. 

Here’s a sample of some resources: 

Uncommon Homework Advice

Resolving Student-Teacher Conflicts

Get Ready for School Checklist 

Screen Time Tracker

12 Educational Apps for Kids

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