The Big Girl Chronicles: Parenting and Public Schools Performance Improvement Plan (pt 3)
Among the most effective of ways to enhance your child’s academic experience is in joining your child’s school PTO. Trying to find an active part can seem a little intimidating at first, but after joining you can review the projects and discuss with the members where you think your help would be most effective. If your child’s school PTO is wanting to beef up their projects, some activities that could be helpful include the following:
1) During Nutrition Week when children learn about healthy living and eating habits, suggest that the school nutritionist consider allowing a day or week where the kids can plan the school menu. This is a great way for kids to integrate what they’ve learned into everyday life.
2) As a fundraiser for things like school beautification and other interests not entirely funded by the education budget, suggest that parents and kids lend their talents to donate and host a sale or auction. Whether it’s a coupon for a free or discounted activity such as hairstyling or even babysitting, every little bit can be helpful. You can make a “family night” of it by providing brown bag goodies and inviting families out for inexpensive games and activities.
3) If your school is stumped as to how they can improve participation and increase funds, it could be a good idea to connect with a PTO that has a solid membership and history of successful fundraising and project completion for suggestions. It might even be helpful to shadow their meetings and activities for a short time to bring fresh ideas to your school district.
4) Take advantage of all that social media has to offer and establish a twitter, facebook or other page to stay connected and network with not only your school district participants but others as well. That’s the easiest way to stay with trends and share ideas.
5) Don’t shy from programs that offer educational incentives like BoxTops for Education and others. The rewards that they provide simply for being more conscious of what products you purchase can only add to resources your child’s school PTO can use to make improvements. You could find that most of your members use these brands already.
Participating in your child’s education is among the most memorable of experiences you will have. Keeping things fun and minimizing stress makes it less of a chore and more like something to look forward to. Although the suggestions above aren’t original, they could be tweaked or newly integrated into your child’s current school district to regain interest and improve membership in school parent organizations. Keep it fun. But most of all, keep the focus on creating an environment for your child that is conducive to learning and building character.