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August 1, 2019
Education, curriculum, report cards… Think of that as the meat and potatoes of a school. The teachers and staff are all over this.
Muffins with Mom, fundraisers, Spirit Nights… Think of that as the dessert. They’re awesome extras that make school magical, but the school’s staff members are all busy making those meat and potatoes.
The PTA is the one who serves up all that delicious, magical dessert!
Michelle Spiess is the president of the Parent Teacher Association at Collins Elementary School in Riverview. She went to her first meeting eight years ago when her oldest was in kindergarten. Immediately, she knew it was an important place for her to be.
“I just wanted to be active in my child’s school,” Spiess said. “I think it’s a good way to know what’s going on in the school, meet friends and get to know the teachers and the staff. I like being able to be there for the kids and help the teachers.”
Spiess admits that being president of the PTA, or even serving on the board, may not be for everyone. As president, she is at Collins constantly, and when she’s not there, she’s usually working on a PTA project from home. She compares it to a really rewarding full-time job.
But it doesn’t have to be that way—for volunteers, there is zero commitment. Some parents simply collect box tops for fundraising, others volunteer during conference nights and others will help get sponsors for the school’s big events.
Regardless of involvement, the benefits of belonging to the PTA are plenty.
First and foremost, you are on the ground floor of your child’s education. You know what’s going on at the school, and, even more importantly, you have a say.
You are also in a position to HELP your child’s school. Fundraisers are a crucial part of the PTA’s mission.
Spiess is very proud of the improvements the PTA’s fundraisers have brought to Collins. Thanks to the PTA (at some schools, it’s called the PTSA), Collins has sun shades for its playgrounds, new testing computers for the media center, $10,000 worth of library books and overhead projectors in every classroom!
But this final benefit may be the key.
According to the National Parent Teacher Association, no matter their income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, have better social skills and adapt better to school.
And, as Spiess says, being part of the PTA can be a lot of fun!
“I hear women saying they have a hard time making friends at this age because they are consumed in their house, family and jobs. Joining the PTA lets you meet other parents that have kids around your child’s age and who share the same mindset as you—of wanting to do what they can to improve their child’s school!”
Reach out to your child’s school to learn more about joining the PTA!