Beyond Bake Sales: PTA’s and the Question of Civic Participation

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Beyond the PTA and Fundraising is Community Involvement

PTA participation.  It’s hard work being a parent. Every parent wants to raise considerate, competent children that turn into contributing members of society. Don’t they? So, it’s time for parents to set that example. The Parent Teacher Association has been known for organizing bake sales and catalog fundraisers. Both of these are amazing for reaching immediate financial goals. They tend to generate a lot of money quickly, and can be very beneficial for the present. However, for long term benefit, civic engagement shows children how to stay connected to the world around them. Community service could change a students life forever.

 

PTA participation tip #1 : Focus on things that improve schools.

Put your energy into turning the classroom into an environment that nurtures confidence. To do this, parents and teachers need to spend more time together. In some school districts, this concept is already taking off.

 

  • Teachers are making home visits to parents in some states. Parents learn that the teachers are invested in the student’s learning even while away from school.
  • Parents are getting more active by participating in classroom instruction. Your children will learn more when YOU are involved in the classroom..
  • Curriculum’s are changing from testing-focused to project-focused learning. This way students can experience learning in an integrated way.

 

The George Lucas Educational foundation created a list of points about improving schools. It says that project-based and integrated learning helps students make connections between topics that broaden their world view. It’s easy to get distracted by committee obligations and the school sports and events schedule. However, focusing on an interactive learning environment that embraces all learning styles, is even more valuable to the students.

How to Improve your Community

Do you want to improve your local community? Then find ways to get involved in your community.

PTA participation tip #2 : Vote in local elections and attend board meetings regularly.

Do you know who your local superintendent is? Do you know when your state’s funding formula is getting its next adjustment? Understanding these could mean whether your school receives enough state funding, or not. The school board decides where the funding needs to be applied. Furthermore, the superintendent is responsible for implementing those requests. Some ways to stay in the know are:

 

  • Review your community calendar. Learn when Board of Director’s and focus group meetings are discussing school matters.
  • Vote during elections. Don’t wait until they’re over to make demands on a delegate you didn’t vote for.
  • Schedule meetings with board members. It’s obvious that they are very busy. However, meeting them face to face might help your PTA goals in the long run.

 

Do you want to be properly represented and have a say in how funds are distributed? Then you have to make sure that your chosen delegates understand the PTA’s needs. Try these helpful tips because they could make a world of difference for your child’s future.

 

PTA participation tip #3: Eliminate PTA barriers including elitism.

Sometimes it’s the parent with the loudest mouth, other times it’s the parent with the most money. Parents have often complained that it’s difficult for them to adjust to PTA politics.  Can you see why it’s important to nominate representatives based on their ideas for developing the school and its students? If necessary, host discussions that encourage tolerance and inclusion. This way all parents can contribute in their unique ways.

Ideas on how to Organize your Community

You can make a difference.

PTA participation tip #4: Organize community service events.

Did you know recent studies show that students who share in community service develop empathy and gratitude? Serving others helps them to learn kindness and compassion. It also portrays the PTA as community leaders. It tells the community that the PTA is willing to offer time and attention without always asking for money in return. Some ways to get out there are:

 

  • Partner with community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank, women’s shelters, and more. Find out their needs and how the PTA can help them reach their goals.
  • Furthermore, organize trips to introduce students to local business owners, artists, scientists, doctors, plumbers, etc. This will allow children to understand how their community works, who the members are, and where they fit in the larger picture.
  • Finally, have students volunteer to read everywhere including senior citizen centers, libraries, community centers, and more.

 

The new PTA power pack is a crew of fundraising geniuses and civic heroes. They are teaching children every day the value of serving others and generating the necessary resources to make that happen. Traditional fundraising activities continue to show children the value of hard work & persistence. Additionally, community engagement gives parents, teachers, and students an opportunity to serve the people who support them.

 

In conclusion, if you need assistance in setting up a brochure fundraiser we are here to assist you.  Finally, you can reach us at 800.645.6550.  Thank you.