Livonia PTSA Council Courier

May 2022

Welcome to the Home Stretch!

This year has flown by! Congratulations to all the new incoming PTA/PTSA boards and thank you to the outgoing boards. Your service to your schools and community is so appreciated!

With a month and a half left, I'm sure our units have a lot of wonderful stuff planned like Staff Appreciation Week! Don't forget to submit articles for the next newsletter with all the great stuff your unit did to appreciate your school's staff.

Have a wonderful last month and a half!

Laura Ulaszek

Newsletter Chair

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Click below to register!

2022-2023 Livonia PTSA Council Officers

Congratulations to the following individuals who were voted in as the 2022-2023 Livonia PTSA Council officers at the April 20th meeting!

President: Andrea Malenfant

1st Vice President: Sara Bennett

2nd Vice President: Mandy Gerstenbrand

Treasurer: Debbie Pline

Corresponding Secretary: Mike Testa

Recording Secretary: Kellie Dummer

Thank you to these individuals for leading us next school year, as well as those who served on the 2021-2022 board!

Summer Early Literacy Volunteers (ELVs)

The Livonia PTSA Council is proud to once again offer the Summer Early Literacy Volunteers program! It will run Monday, June 28th through Friday, August 20th at the Livonia Civic Center and Sandburg Libraries. For those not familiar, high school volunteers work individually with children currently in grades K-4 to practice their literacy skills over the summer months. Sessions are 30 minutes Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (sessions end at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays). Schedules are based on volunteer availability.

We will need help from our elementary and high school units to promote participant and volunteer signs up, which will be available mid to late May. Be on the lookout for more information!

If you have any questions about the program, reach out to Chris Chmura or Debbie Pline or email us at

Reflections Awards Ceremony

On April 12, we were excited to welcome our Reflections participants to Franklin HS for our awards ceremony. It was so great to be able to recognize their efforts and celebrate our winners.

This year we had 130 students submit 144 entries inspired by the theme "I Will Change the World By ..." Their interpretation of that theme included ideas like being kind, recycling, adoption, finding the cure for cancer, helping animals, and helping the environment.

Four of our entries received awards from Michigan PTA and two of those advanced to the National PTA judging. Michigan PTA is planning to celebrate the state winners at their convention in July. Stay tuned for details.

The theme for next year is "Show Your Voice." It's sure to be another great year of creativity.

As your units transition over the summer, think about who might be a good fit to lead Reflections at your school next year. We will conduct training for Reflections chairs sometime near the end of the summer. More details to come.

Thank you for supporting the Reflections program!

Debbie Yates & Andrea Malenfant

Livonia PTSA Council Reflections Co-Chairs

PEP – and the winners are ...

The PTA/PTSA Excellence Program (PEP) is now over for the 2021-22 school year and restarting for the 2022-23 school year! A huge CONGRATULATIONS to all of our PTA/PTSA units in Livonia for all of your hard work and dedication this past year!!! Here are your top five PEP ranking units from this year:

Webster 8900 points

Kennedy 7200 points

Franklin 6400 points

Buchanan 5900 points

Hayes 5500 points

Remember, in order to receive PEP points, you must complete the task on time and you must send the required documentation to the PEP email at Also, the ranking order at the end of the PEP year is the order in which units will select their next year's Council liaison.

Everything submitted as of May 1st will be applied toward next year's total PEP points. The PEP year runs from May 1st through April 30th.

Congratulations to all of our 22 PTA/PTSA units for a job well done this year!

Sara Bennett

Livonia PTSA Council PEP Chair

LPS Education Fundraiser to Benefit the Grant Program

Hello PTA/PTSA leaders and school administration!

Please promote this LPS Education Foundation fundraiser with your units, community and schools via social media, emails, Remind, etc. Feel free to use the graphic and copy and paste the text below.

Just in time for Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week 2022, the LPS Education Foundation is pleased to offer a new on-going recognition program called Star Awards!

Are you looking for a unique way to thank a Livonia Public Schools staff member? A Star Award honors any LPS employee who has made a difference in a student’s, family’s or fellow staffer’s life. For a $25 donation to the Foundation, a personalized, color certificate will be presented to your honoree, and they will receive recognition on the Foundation's website and social media platforms as well as the district's social media platforms. The certificate will be personalized with your praise to show this LPS employee how much they mean to you!

Please click on the link below to send a Star Award to an awesome LPS staff member!

Donations received will be used to help fund the Foundation’s Grant Program so all funds will be going back into the schools to provide programs and supplies for our students and staff.

Thank you for your support!

If you have any questions, please email


Can you believe it's already May!?! What an exciting time of year! By now you have at least presented your slate, if not already voted in next year's PTA/PTSA board members. It's never too early to start thinking about next year and what it could bring. While everyone is getting ready for the end of the year celebrations, now is also the time to start planting the seed in family, staff, and community members' minds on why it's so important to become a PTA/PTSA member. How can you gain even more members? Does anyone have any ideas for any incentives for next year? When and how will you start your membership drive? How will you acquire 100% staff membership? The possibilities are endless! Let's see how many more members you can gain next year compared to this year!

Sara Bennett

Livonia PTSA Council Membership Chair

What's Due:

1.) Input your board members for the 2022-2023 school year in MemberHub – due June 1st.

2.) Monthly membership dues to MI PTA are due by the 28th of every month. How do you remit? The easiest way is to use MemberHub. Use the Admin Console>PTA>State Payment and send it digitally right now! Or by check sent to MI PTA.

*If you have any outstanding memberships that need to be paid, PLEASE do so now!

3.) NEW DATE ~ Remit $40 unit renewal dues to MI PTA by December 1, 2022. There are two ways to pay Unit Renewal Dues. You can either go to the Michigan PTA store in MemberHub and use a credit or debit card, or you can mail a check (be sure to include your unit's ID number on the check) payable to Michigan PTA:

Michigan PTA

P.O. Box 510535

Livonia, MI 48151

From Michigan PTA

Michigan PTA Annual Convention

The Michigan PTA board is excited to announce that the date and location for the convention have been finalized. We will be at the Best Western Premier Detroit Southfield Hotel on Friday, July 22, and Saturday, July 23. No member will pay more than $100 for registration, which includes 2 days of sessions and all meals. There will be something for everyone from youth members (middle school and up) to unit leaders to parents and guardians, and even council leaders. Get a group together to save on registration and get the most information possible.

Click here for more information:


Franklin High School

You don't always have to reinvent the wheel.

Finishing up my 15th year as a PTA member and officer in Livonia, I was thinking back to when I first started. My son started kindergarten at Grant and I went to the first PTA meeting and somehow I left that meeting as the membership chairperson. I had no idea what I was doing. I had volunteered a couple of times for Jackson Center events but that was about it. My mom wasn't a PTA volunteer, no one in my family was a PTA volunteer, I don't even know if any of the schools I attended growing up had a PTA. Needless to say, I was clueless. I think I was given a binder with past membership information and I was told to check out the Michigan PTA website or the National PTA website. Those three resources, along with lots of googling of "PTA membership contests" made the task of creating a membership campaign a little easier. I came up with a theme, ran it past the executive board, and off I went. Trying to figure out who at the school had to approve flyers, how to get those flyers into the hands of students, how do I get my membership campaign in the newsletter (cue Laura Ulaszek, Gator Tales editor, thank you!). Once parents started signing up there was a lot of writing people's names & addresses on forms, submitting money to the treasurer, printing membership cards, trying to get said membership cards to the right students, and hoping they take them home to their parents. All that being said, it was a lot of work, but all worth it when membership numbers started going up. Each year, more parents would join and the support of the our PTA and our school would grow.

Why am I telling you all this?? I am telling you this because even though being the membership chairperson is much less paperwork, money counting, and card printing because of MemberHub, what is the same, is the campaign to gain PTA support. PTA membership is bigger and more important than just your school community. PTA helps students throughout the US and has been advocating for students for 125 years. Use the resources provided on the National PTA website (, the Michigan PTA website (, and our council site ( to help you. This advice is good for all board members and chairpersons, you don't always have to reinvent the wheel. Use these resources along with many google searches and you can find ideas to help make your PTA the best. Sometimes you might want to create something new for your PTA and that is great, but don't feel the pressure to always have too. The summer is a great time to use these resources and start planning. Good Luck!!

Kellie Dummer

Franklin PTSA President

Livonia PTSA Council 2nd VP

Hayes Elementary

Staff Appreciation Week

Hayes has a great week planned for Staff Appreciation Week. We plan to have a meal catered for the staff every day of the week, including breakfast one of the days. We had someone from Carrabba’s Italian Grill reach out to us and offer a discounted rate on a catered lunch in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, so we took them up on their offer and are providing a delicious Italian meal one of the days.

We also created an Amazon wish list for our families to participate. The wish list is made up of items that can be used to stock the teacher’s lounge – candy, snacks, beverages, etc. For families that don’t want to purchase from the wish list, we set up a member hub donation link for monetary donations that we will use to purchase items for the lounge. This is usually a really popular event for Hayes families because we love to celebrate our staff!

Hayes PTA

Webster Elementary

April/May is a very busy month for the Webster PTA. We kicked off Ability Awareness month, which we have actually begun to call Ability Acceptance month. We would like to move beyond awareness and into acceptance. We have been educating our Wildcats on the many celebrities in the world who have brains that are different and how those differently wired brains have actually helped them to be so successful in life. We also invited some of our RISE teachers to our April PTA meeting to collaborate with us on educating our families about awareness vs acceptance. Many tears were shed during this meeting when families from both the RISE and ACAT programs shared how our buddy programs are touching their lives and how the students are forming true friendships. So many stories were shared and it became clear that acceptance benefits both parties in more ways than one. We are ending our Acceptance celebration this month with an in school parade honoring our RISE Wildcats. Here is an article that our Principal, Mrs. Boka, found that summarizes what we are trying to do.

Last week was the culmination of many months of hard work as we had our annual Science Fair. After two years of modified science fairs, we were back in business. We had over 130 science fair projects turned in and over 70 of those were judged. This event is put on by the PTA and takes a lot of time behind the scenes starting way back in January with recruiting judges, organizing project displays, optimal times to have the students meet with the judge, catering the breakfast and lunch, and passing out the ribbons and certificates, etc. It was wonderful to see so many bright scientists excited to show off their projects.

We are gearing up for Staff Appreciation Week as well as our STEAM fair. Lots of activities are happening in the coming weeks.

Sarah Pelletier


Please note that these dates and times could be subject to change due to any change in COVID-19 regulations. We will inform all units of any updates or changes as soon as possible.


5/18 - LPTSA Council Officers Training | 6 - 8 p.m. | Franklin High School LMC

6/8 - LPTSA Council Executive Board Meeting | 6 - 7 p.m. | Central Office

7/20 - LPTSA Council Audit Party | 6 - 8 p.m. | Central Office

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Livonia PTSA Council Officers Forum Facebook Group

If you are a PTA/PTSA officer or committee chair, please make sure to join our group for important information, discussions, and more! A lot of great information is shared on this closed group page. It's also a great way to network with other units, share ideas, and ask for help.

Getting Connected to Michigan PTA and National PTA

Michigan PTA Website:

Michigan PTA Facebook Page:

National PTA Website:

National PTA Facebook Page:

National PTA Blog:

About us...

The Livonia PTSA Council is a group of 22 local PTA/PTSA Units within the Livonia Public Schools District. The Council is organized under the authority of the Michigan PTA for the purpose of promoting conferences, communications, leadership development and coordination of the efforts of the local units.

Interested in joining Council? There are chair opportunities available! Contact President Mandy Gerstenbrand at