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PTO Goes Green at School - PTO Today

...“The bins were overflowing, especially around party time,” says Becky Gladstone, PTO recycling committee chairwoman. Since the PTO distributed reusable water bottles, students have been buying and recycling fewer plastic ones. Recycling: The PTO placed bins for paper and plastic in each classroom and collected aluminum, glass, and more from the teachers’ lounge. An outside company picks up the paper, but a parent takes the rest of the recyclables to the town’s transfer station. Educating: In addition to a schoolwide assembly, in which musicians played instruments made from reused or recycled materials, the PTO spread the “go green” message with an evening program for families and talked with students on America Recycles Day, Nov. 15. Collaborating: The Dover PTO coordinates its efforts with the Dover Recycling Committee and set up collection points for cell phones, box tops, and ink-jet cartridges at the market and the Council on Aging. “It’s fun to bring the school an...

School Spirit in the Spotlight - PTO Today

...” The final show is followed by a cookies-and-lemonade cast party, open to all participants and their families. Behind the Scenes The Kennerly Variety Show can only be successful with the efforts of countless parent volunteers. “We have 32 hard-working parents who head 19 different committees, each of whom is dedicated to producing a family-valued performance,” Colona explains. The top organizational tier for the event consists of two PTP cochairs and the music teacher. A theme is chosen late in the school year, songs are selected for the grade acts during the summer, and choreography, decorating, and prop and costume design begin in autumn. Kids start practicing in January and continue until the show in early March. Other key volunteer positions include: Three coordinators per grade who help select music, develop choreography, and teach children their acts during recess. A decorating committee, which coordinates props, costumes, and lobby displays. This group is ideal for parent...

Multicultural Outreach: Enthusiasm Builds Bridges - PTO Today

...“This party felt like the perfect end to a monumental year for us. We had set out to reach our diverse community, increase community spirit, get our families socializing, and realize more PTA volunteers. We succeeded on all counts.” When it came time to elect this year’s PTA officers, several of the newly involved parents stepped forward. Leaders are proud that four different ethnicities are now represented on the board and that all positions were filled well in advance of the new school year. “We’re already working together to implement several new after-school programs,” Biamonte says. “Who knows what amazing things the future holds?” The best PTO advice, ideas, and inspiration delivered weekly. Don’t miss it! Inspiration From the 2017 Category Winners Reading Between the Lines Supporting Healthy Lifestyles A STEM Collaboration Judges' Choice: Risks That Paid Off Ideas You'll Want To Steal for Your Parent Group Comments (1) Comments     # Louis Yanez 2009-02-08 2...

Dad in Charge of the PTO - PTO Today

...A self-described “party guy,” Linden applied the same philosophical approach to the PTA as he did to his events planning business. “I want everyone to have fun,” he says. Not only did Linden want to support the school; he also wanted to make it easier for all kinds of parents and parental figures to become involved with the PTA. As a single parent, he often felt self-conscious sitting alone at school events while most parents came with their spouses. In particular, he wanted other fathers, single parents, grandparents raising their grandchildren, and families for whom English is a second language to feel welcome. “In many [parent groups], there’s a stigma that it is the stay-at-home-mothers club,” Linden says. “I wanted us to give an opportunity for everyone to get involved.” Linden knew that many of these parents wanted to do more at school but faced barriers to greater involvement. He had run into a few of them himself. Although his work schedule is flexible, he ha...

Saying Thanks to PTO and PTA volunteers - PTO Today

...All of you will be doing some of the following events: teacher appreciation celebration, field day, talent show, spring carnival, auction, end-of-year school party, and graduation. Whew! And of course, none of it would be possible without the troops. At year’s end, it’s always worth showing your thanks to the volunteers who helped throughout the year. You’ll find that what really matters to volunteers is how you say thanks. When it is sincere and personal, it has an impact. So don’t worry if the budget is slim or you used up all your creativity dazzling the staff during teacher appreciation week. There are simple ways to let volunteers know they make a difference. Here are a few suggestions: Remember the details: Thank volunteers with a handwritten note and include a specific detail about something they did. Make it public: Create a volunteer tribute on a bulletin board at school. Post public thanks to volunteers and make mention of specific projects they worked on. Photos are...

5 Really Last-Minute Valentine's Day Ideas for PTOs and PTAs - PTO Today

...If you’re helping out at a classroom party, go to our sister site, HomeroomMom.com . You’ll find ideas for crafts and activities that work well for groups . They are quick to put together and require only basic materials like paint, pipe cleaners, and pom-poms. The selection of Valentine’s Day ideas includes thumbprint heart bookmarks, a handprint heart tree, and popsicle stick picture frames. 3. If you don’t want to do crafts, there’s still time to do a simple Valentine’s Day project to support the community . Our article “7 Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas” has good suggestions, including valentines for seniors. Ask teachers whether you and a few volunteers could host a group of older students during a recess period this week to make the cards. Then deliver them to a local senior center. 4. Want to make sure teachers and staff get a little nod on Valentine’s Day ? You can’t go wrong with love notes. Ask students to write a quick note about a teacher or staff member. Y...

Magazines: Focus on Renewals, Discount Prices - PTO Today

...The Logan-Rogersville PTA holds a party after the sale where each grade plays games like the limbo or a bungee run. It takes two days for everybody to attend—and that means everybody, even those who didn’t sell anything. “The PTA takes a cut in profits because of that, but we’d rather it be fun for all the kids,” says magazine sales chairwoman Shannon Kennedy. On the other hand, says Rene Ulloa, a Richmond, Va.-based regional manager for Great American Opportunities, including everybody can bring complaints from families that sold subscriptions. Ulloa prefers setting the minimum participation level low enough—such as four subscriptions—that all students who put forth some effort can take part. Dos and Don’ts Don’t try to sell new magazine subscriptions first. Instead, tell students to first ask potential customers if they have any magazines in their home, advises J.C. Smith, general manager for American Publishers. Then ask if they would like to renew subscriptions f...

Social Media 101 for PTOs and PTAs - PTO Today

...Set up a series of boards using categories that reflect what your group does—for example, welcome-back party, fall festival, community service, etc. Then upload photos (again, check on photo usage issues) and populate your boards. Also create boards that can be resources for parents. These could include important educational, parenting, and social topics. Spend time in your Pinterest feed to find pins from others that you can repin to your boards. Also plug in relevant terms into the search field to find pins for repinning. Instagram www.instagram.com Instagram is a popular photo- and video-driven channel that would be a great way for your group to share images from events and program. Think of Instagram as a truly mobile channel. While you can view Instagram on your desktop or laptop, it needs to be managed from your mobile device. A rule of thumb: It’s best to share photos and video that capture a moment rather than share general information in an image format. In other words, g...

6 Ways To Shake Things Up in Your Group - PTO Today

...For example, consider live-streaming your meetings or holding a Twitter party while parents are waiting in the pickup line. Change Your Big Event Planning a new marquee event is a sure way to get people talking and to generate excitement. You can think big (like a winterfest) or outlandish (like the gym teacher in a dunk tank). Reward Good Effort Let your parents know you care about their hard work by taking the time to acknowledge them. Perhaps you could select several “volunteers of the month” to profile on your website or bulletin board. Hold Outings With a Purpose Planning some periodic outings for your board to bond will give everyone a chance to discuss what’s working and what isn’t, in a relaxed and informal setting. Actively Seek Input Let members know that your group is always looking for fresh input. Repeat this message frequently and through different mediums (your newsletter, Facebook page, etc.). Change Your Meetings Some simple changes can both increase meeting a...

6 Ways To Add Fun and Energy to Your PTO Events - PTO Today

...If your group prefers a broader approach, feel-good themes like beach party, superheroes, or sports teams can work for events ranging from teacher appreciation luncheons to larger outdoor events. Get Trendy (or Techy) Activities influenced by technology or pop culture can really get kids excited about an event. The Batesville (Ind.) Intermediate School had a big hit at its indoor winter carnival with an activity based on an app called Escape the Room, which required teamwork, problem-solving, and sleuthing to complete. The Lincoln Elementary PTA in Lakewood, Ohio, decided to swap out its carnival in favor of Lincoln MINES, an event with interactive workshops on the game Minecraft, online gaming, coding, and other tech topics. Combine Elements of Different Events Bringing parts of separate events together can yield some interesting and fun results. Saint Anne Elementary in Bismarck, N.D., combined a holiday event with an international art night where each grade studied a country and...

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