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Public Speaking: Overcome the Jitters - PTO Today

...Most students, on the other hand, would be more interested in finding out how their classroom could earn an ice-cream party. Keep your remarks brief. Parents and kids alike will get restless if you talk too long. Choose just two or three key points that you want to emphasize. It’s a good idea to write them down on an index card in case you lose track. If you’re worried about forgetting something, print out a copy of your remarks in a large font to make it easier to read. Next, practice your speech a few times in front of a mirror or for family members. The more familiar you are with the speech, the less likely you’ll be to ramble or lose your train of thought. “It might seem kind of goofy when you’re first doing it, but by the end of the school year you won’t have to do it like that anymore because you’ll have more confidence,” says Dianna Flett, immediate past president of the Margaret Brent Elementary PTO in Stafford, Va. Ask a few people for feedback to make sure yo...

The One-Hour Meeting Manager - PTO Today

...When discussing the planned activities for the Polar Express party, don’t allow the discussion to veer off into Family Fun Night. Many meetings get derailed when the board tries to accomplish too much in one session. It’s also important to be mindful of another common hazard that can keep prospective PTO members away from your meetings: insider discussions. I know about this firsthand because when our PTO met, the board would sometimes be guilty of talking about their own experiences. Yes, the cookie dough fundraiser was a challenge when the dough was delivered three hours late and we had to hand-deliver it to families across town, but it is irrelevant. Save the war stories for social settings. Likewise, don’t confuse planning sessions with business meetings. Encourage committees to meet separately from the full PTO. A room full of parents looking for updates on the PTO budget and the principal’s school improvement plan do not need to witness a debate over whether to hire a DJ...

Finding Auction Donations for Your Fundraiser - PTO Today

...There might be a hundred enthusiastic guests at your party, but they’ll go home with money in their pockets if they are not motivated to bid on your items. So what’s the secret to securing a wide variety of high-quality items at every price point? To start with, your auction committee and PTO leadership shouldn’t be the only ones soliciting donations; enlist your entire school community in the effort. Some PTOs insist that every family be responsible for at least one item or experience offered at the annual auction. Staff members and teachers can be asked to secure a donation as well. The best auction items may be the special experiences only a certain teacher or family can offer. For example, Mrs. Brown from 2nd grade may also be a Pampered Chef consultant, while the Martin family might have a vacation cottage they’re willing to offer. The proceeds from your auction will benefit the entire school, so don’t be afraid to encourage everyone to secure a donation. 148 silent auc...

Improve Your Relationship With the Principal - PTO Today

...Often, it is a parent who first hears a negative comment or rumor about a school matter at a ball game or a party. Don’t be afraid to bring this up with the principal. The sharing will allow the principal the opportunity to determine how to deal with the issue and dispel the rumor. This will not only help to clear up misunderstandings, it will also build the trust that is needed between you and the principal. Know the School It is critical for parent leaders to be aware of school goals as well as the vision and mission of the school. This is especially important for the president of the parent group as she directs the goals, expenditures, events, and activities of the organization. Purchasing new playground equipment may sound like a wonderful idea, but if it conflicts with district safety policies, insurance requirements, or long-term planning, it can cause dissent. It is safer to check with the principal before making overt commitments. Understand Policies The student handbook may...

Parent or PTO President—Balancing Your Roles - PTO Today

...” It’s helpful to ask a more impartial party to help you evaluate if your feelings are sound. Everyone has wondered if she’s overreacted or handled something correctly, but second-guessing will keep you up at night—and you need your sleep! Plus Members get discounts, expert guides, personalized support, and more! LEARN MORE Let Others Do More Think about what tasks on your to do list you can give your children, recommends Dawn Woolford, a veteran PTO volunteer for Bedford Public Schools in Temperance, Mich. “My kids are in high school and college now, but when I was volunteering I think we tried to do it all for them,” she says. “Looking back, it was the times the kids did things on their own that increased development and fostered life skills.” If she had it to do over again, Woolford says, she would relax more, give more tasks to her kids, and worry less about them not doing things the right way. “It’s OK for kids to fail,” Woolford says. “If they r...

Planning a PTO Community Service Project - PTO Today

...Students and parents contributed in a variety of ways, from a classroom change drive to a Halloween party. Even the kindergartners joined in by hosting a bake sale. Parents were involved at every step of the process, Curran says. Perhaps most remarkably, the HSA donated 10 percent of its own fundraising profits to the cause. Curran said her school’s parents didn’t balk at the prospect of sending some of their own  school’s money to help others. “I’ve had parents just come in and give me a check, asking ‘How can I help?’” she recalls. In early 2010, Annunciation reached its goal and Los Haitises was scheduled to begin construction on its new home. Good Causes and Ideas Abound The parents of Annunciation Catholic and Winslow Township are remarkable, but they are hardly alone. PTOs across the nation are helping communities both close to home and far away in a variety of creative ways (see “Numbers That Count” , below). If your parent group is thinking of taking on a...

How Parent Groups Support Academics - PTO Today

...“We just want to support our kids’ good reading habits,” Lombardo says, adding that the program includes a competition among classes, with the winning class receiving an ice cream party. “Those calendars are posted on a lot of refrigerators.” The parent group also sponsors a family reading night, which includes a book swap and a visit from a local author. At Winding Ridge Elementary School of Inquiry and Performing Arts in Indianapolis, the parent group turned its attention to literacy after 3rd graders did not perform as well on a high-stakes reading test as parents and teachers had hoped they would. The parent group worked with administrators and teachers to figure out what parents could do to help prepare students for the 2013 assessment. “Through many planning and brainstorming meetings, the principal came up with the idea of holding Saturday study sessions,” says Toni Welch, president of the Winding Ridge Family Association. Parents and other community members staff...

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Themes and Ideas - PTO Today

...Or leave them right-side up and pile the party favors around the brim. Fiesta-theme flyer Fiesta-theme invitation Fiesta-theme table tent Fiesta-theme letter Italian Serve deep-dish pizza, stuffed shells, lasagna, and eggplant parmigiana. Serve on red-and-white-checked tablecloths and play music by Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. Asian Buffet An Asian-inspired buffet is a tasty and easy way to say thanks. Decorate with paper lanterns or folded origami and serve food from local Asian restaurant, or ask volunteers to donate a variety of stir-fried dishes. Offer wooden chopsticks with the meal, and decorate the tables with red and gold tablecloths, paper plates, and napkins. 50+ teacher appreciation ideas, plus planning tools, flyers, and more GET FREE IDEAS A Little Pampering Spa Luncheon Ask a local spa to come in and do mini massages. You could coordinate goody bags with small, inexpensive items that would make your teachers feel pampered. For lunch, provide a salad bar or deli trays. S...

How To Work With a New Principal - PTO Today

...Organize a “get to know the new principal” event at individuals’ homes, the school, or a third-party location. Share school-specific lessons learned in an upbeat fashion. Ask what PTO members can do to help ease the transition; the response may be surprising. Get Personal After finding out about the new principal’s affiliations, hobbies, personality style, family, and volunteer interests, the next order of business should be to make sure the new principal knows similar information about PTO executive board members. As parent group leaders, be proactive about sharing professional achievements, personal interests, and school-specific accomplishments; this lets a new principal know that a prepared and ready PTO team is in place. “I’ve always believed that parents are the first teachers, and I value the input that parents are willing to give about their own children,” says Deborah Brandt, an administrator who just became the leader of LaSalle Springs Middle School in Wildwoo...

Vendor Directory - PTO Today

...Register | Login Forgot Password? Hop N Party Contact Info: www.hopnparty.biz info@hopnparty.biz 512-745-0201 9311 FM 620 North #118 Austin, Austin, TX Write a Review Product Fundraisers Batteries & Light Bulbs Calendars & Organization Candles Car/Auto Products Catalogs Decorative & Garden Flowers & Bulbs Games Gift Wrap Green/Eco-friendly Greeting Cards & Stationery Health & Safety Products Jewelry Kitchen, Bath, & Household Magazines Miscellaneous Pet Supplies School Supplies Seasonal & Holiday Playgrounds and Recreation Playground Equipment Playground Surfacing Recreational Equipment Shade Products Fundraising Events A-thons Auctions Book Fairs & Reading Carnivals & Fairs Digital Applications & Crowd Fundraising Health & Educational Fundraising Events Holiday Shops Collection Fundraisers Box Tops, Labels, UPC Clothing & Shoe Drives Coin Drives & Direct Donation Programs Recycling Programs Food Fundraisers Candy & Chocolate Coffee & Drinks Cookie Dough & Cookies Desserts Healthy Foo...