Livonia PTSA Council Courier

February 2022

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PTSA Council Loves Our Livonia Units!

We hope all our units are having a great start to 2022! Fun things planned? Spreading the love this month? We can't wait to hear about everything. Don't forget to submit articles for the unit spotlight (and CC PEP for points!).


Laura Ulaszek

Council Newsletter Chair

Nominations for Your 2022-23 Executive Board

Believe it or not, it's time to start thinking about the 2022-23 school year. Please check your bylaws regarding nominations::


  • When does your committee needs to form? In many cases, it may be now.
  • How many people need to be on the committee?
  • Who is eligible to be nominated (do they need to be a current member)?
  • Usually the slate needs to be posted for 30 days. Check your bylaws to see the timeframe needed.
  • When do elections need to happen?

Founders' Day Info

As you know we postponed Founder's Day. The new date is Thursday, March 24th at St. Mary's Cultural Center, same time.


We appreciate everyone being patient with us as we try and make this event safe for everyone. During the event, we will be following the school masking rules of having your mask on when you enter the building, walking around, sitting at your table but they can be removed while we eat. On the plus side, your unit now has more time to create some great centerpieces and include photos from any winter events you may be having. The new RSVP date is March 7th. If you are mailing your RSVP please make sure to give USPS enough time to deliver before the 7th. Alternatively, you can drop it off at my house. If you have questions please email me at kdummer@sbcglobal.net


Thanks!

Kellie Dummer

LAST CHANCE TO GET OUT TO YOUR KINDERGARTEN PARENTS. DEADLINE IS TODAY! LPS Education Foundation Competitive Edge Program

Elementary school PTAs,


Please remind parents of current kindergartners to sign up for the Competitive Edge program. If parents have any questions, they can visit the foundation website: lpsfoundation.org

The Livonia PTSA Council Clothing Depot

Over 50 years ago, two dedicated PTA members, Gloria Root and Pat Renwick, founded the Livonia Clothing Depot in the old Newburgh School. Over the years, the location of this free thrift store has moved several times, finally settling into its current location at Livonia Franklin High School. Today, the Clothing Depot serves approximately 300 customers a year, focusing on Livonia Public School children and their immediate families.


How to Access the Clothing Depot

Clothing Depot consumers are generally those facing financial challenges, or have recently experienced other unfortunate events. Consumers are recommended by school staff, such as ESAPs, SAP, ESTs, school psychologist, social workers and other school professionals.

To make an appointment, please contact Franklin High School at 734-744-2655 ext. 79691. School staff will assist in setting an appointment during regular Clothing Depot hours (Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.). Staff will also accompany families to the Clothing Depot to assist in selections.


The Clothing Depot Thrives on Donations

Currently, the Clothing Depot does not need any clothing donations but they always appreciate cash donations. Cash donations are used to purchase new underwear and socks. If your PTA budget allows, you can make a donation each year by writing a check to The Livonia PTSA Council Clothing Depot – 15125 Farmington Rd. Livonia, MI 48154.



Like & Share our Facebook page at Livonia PTSA Council Clothing Depot

Reflections

We were excited to announce our Reflections winners earlier this month. We had a total of 144 entries representing 17 schools this year. We had 47 entries from 15 schools who won either an Award of Excellence or an Award of Merit. Those entries have been submitted to Michigan PTA for state judging.


We hope to have an in-person awards ceremony in March. Please stay tuned for more details.


Thank you to all of the volunteers who served as Reflections chairs this year! We are so grateful for the support and cooperation, so that we can continue to provide our students with the opportunity to participate in this wonderful program.


Debbie Yates and Andrea Malenfant

Livonia PTSA Council Reflections Co-Chairs

PEP ~ Only 3 More Months to Get Points

Happy February!


Can you believe there are only three more months of the PEP season left?! That's correct, you can keep earning PEP points through April. There is still plenty of time to earn more points. How, you may ask? Simple! Before your next PTA/PTSA meeting, invite your liaison to your meeting, CC PEP. Attending Founders' Day? That's PEP points per attendee. Making a centerpiece for Founders' Day? That's more points! Submitting your YMAD entries earns 200 points. Don't forget that submitting newsletter articles (and CCing PEP), attending Livonia PTSA Council meetings, and having at least as many members as you did last year all earn PEP points. The PEP year isn't over yet! Let's keep earning more points!


For those units who were having an issue uploading your current year's insurance documentation into Memberhub, there is now a solution! I have sent out an email to all presidents and treasurers who are a part of the known issue with directions. Even if you have already uploaded these documents into Memberhub this year, you will need to go in one more time and complete the steps listed below. As of this moment, Michigan PTA cannot view or approve your current insurance information therefore you are not in compliance.

Steps to submit your insurance information for approval by Michigan PTA:


  • Archive the previous insurance submission
  • Confirm you want it archived
  • If it does not refresh, please refresh manually
  • Upload your current insurance information


Once these steps are completed and your current year's insurance information is uploaded into Memberhub, please send PEP, PEP@livoniaptsacouncil.org, an email verifying whether this process worked for you, or didn't work.


Thank you for your patience as this issue gets corrected.


Sara Bennett

Livonia PTSA Council PEP Chair

pep@livoniaptsacouncil.org

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Membership

Can you believe it's February already?! Don't think you can't continue to gain more members. There's still a lot of the school year left to plan events and do some amazing things for your students and staff. Members can help with these ideas, planning events, decorating, organizing, and so much more! Maybe it's time for a Membership Challenge of some sort at your school. Is someone new interested in joining the Executive Board next year? Make sure they're a member this year and eligible to be on your slate. There are still so many options on what can be done before the end of the school year.


Remember, for all new members, please remit your Michigan PTA dues by the 28th of every month.

Council Advocacy Report

THE ROLE OF AN ADVOCACY CHAIR:

This year the Livonia PTSA Council suggested to local units to create an Advocacy Chair if they didn’t already have this role. We have received several questions about what the role of an Advocacy Chair is. Since this was also a Michigan PTA Goal, we worked with them to create a document to help explain and standardize this important role.


For more information:

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/c035063d-73fc-4604-940f-a2ccbd4af5ca/Michigan%20PTA%20Local%20Advocacy%20Chair%20Role%20(2).pdf



DECLINE TO SIGN:

Recently you may have seen Let MI Kids Learn pop up on social media – this is related to a petition drive that is starting up. The Michigan PTA recommends that our members Decline to Sign the Let MI Kids Learn petition. The goal of this petition is to create a backdoor voucher system that would let donors receive tax credits from the School Aid Fund for up to $500 million dollars per year. This would not only violate the Michigan State Constitution, it would also take taxpayer dollars out of the School Aid Fund and give them to wealthy donors in the form of a tax credit for donations to nonprofits that benefit private schools.


The Michigan PTA has created a document to share with your membership on why this would hurt Michigan public school students, an explanation of their history and some talking points.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mR03jhCYC0jFOUNHdx1sPdrOC3aJKG6W/view?usp=sharing


If you have any questions or comments about this petition drive, please contact Michigan PTA at info@michiganpta.org, or call Michigan PTA 734.975.9500.



PTA PRIORITIES:

The National PTA has announced their Public Policy Priorities for the 117th Congress. Kick off your 2022 PTA advocacy year by familiarizing yourself with these priorities. National PTA uses these priorities to leverage the voices of families in the national discussion and ensure that every child has access to a fair and equitable education. For the 117th Congress, the focus is on the following topics:

● Promoting Safe, Supportive and Inclusive Practices in Schools for All Students

● Increasing Federal Investment in Public Education

● Federal Investments in School Infrastructure

● Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act

● Supporting Sensible Solutions to Gun Violence


For more information:

https://www.pta.org/home/advocacy/federal-legislation/Public-Policy-Platform?utm_source=Informz&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=PTA&_zs=fxDkc&_zl=ug4u2&fbclid=IwAR3K18JG4yCrkWif4d2Qvm6C3ihUGyDL_WXItbKNeJP44h5Cl7oqdG2U88Q



NEWTOWN ALLIANCE:

Michigan PTA is proud to announce that we have joined Newtown Action Alliance's Keep Kids Safe Coalition, and added our collective voices to 40 other organizations across the country. This Nationwide Coalition exists to push the President and Congress to pass H.R. 748, Ethan's Law, to require gun owners to safely secure their guns when kids are around. As of 1/26, Ethan’s law now has 190 sponsors.


For more information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eiQQayW8PbPiq6xlyZzVxB7xIJr7zuCJjq35xGQOHLM/edit?fbclid=IwAR2m4W1eThJXsinojg_KCU6iRBoaaj8WKpRcp0sM-rHbgGHfInJImSs4us0



WEBINAR ON COVID RELIEF FUNDS:

On December 9th, the Michigan PTA hosted a webinar with Dr. Jacqueline Gardner and Mr. Tyler Thur from Michigan State University's Office of K-12 Outreach. This was an opportunity for members to ask questions about their Covid Relief Dollars Process Guide and why it is so important to Michigan's schools and students.


Activating Family Engagement and Covid Relief Funds was recorded – the video is available on-demand:

https://vimeo.com/655519267/f35bb4f955



MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES:

How Do You Prioritize Mental Health? It’s important to support the mental health of all children—before, during and after challenges arise — and to support parents' and caregivers' mental health too!

National PTA has developed the PTA Healthy Minds Program to empower families to make mental health an everyday priority.


For informational and activity resources directly for families and resources to help PTAs run PTA Healthy Minds programming visit:

pta.org/home/programs/Healthy-Lifestyles/mental-health



CALL TO ACTION – SUPPORT SEIZURE SAFE SCHOOLS IN MICHIGAN:

Michigan PTA supports the Take Action alert from the Epilepsy Foundation. Michigan has introduced legislation, HB 4970, which would improve the care of students with epilepsy and seizure disorders in schools. The bill passed through the House and will now make its way through the Senate. Contact your state elected officials and urge them to support this crucial legislation to help move it forward! We strongly encourage you to share your own personal experience as a member of the epilepsy community.


To support:

https://www.epilepsy.com/about-us/advocacy/get-involved-advocacy/take-action?vvsrc=%2fCampaigns%2f81036%2fRespond%3fvvsn%3dBGuIRAC-ACMyTAbcNeZ7BAA



CALL TO ACTION – TELL CONGRESS TO SUPPORT SENSIBLE SOLUTIONSTO GUN VIOLENCE AND GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION:

Michigan PTA recommends that you add your voice to urge Congress to address the critical gun and school safety issues we are facing as a country. National PTA recognizes the recent school shootings and events due to gun violence. No parent should have to fear for the safety of their child once they leave home. Unfortunately, lives are continuously being lost or changed forever due to a lack of gun violence prevention laws. PTA calls on Congress and the Administration to immediately address the many factors that contribute to the rampant gun violence in the United States.


To support:

https://www.pta.org/home/advocacy/take-action?vvsrc=%2Fcampaigns%2F89033%2Frespond&fbclid=IwAR25nDZRTsvwc8U0NVZoFJ6T76d8A5Gvj4IEz9XXHQVIP80seqEpWof1Pow



UPCOMING MICHIGAN PTA LEGISLATIVE EVENTS:

Advocacy Summit – Saturday, March 19. 2022

Meeting with Legislators – March 25 – April 11, 2022

Michigan PTA Advocacy Round-up – April 13, 2022

*These events will be held virtually.


To register:

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MmbTQnvRQqKVqO_Gz7DWbg


If you have any questions, please reach out.

Mike Testa, Advocacy Chair

advocacy@livoniaptsacouncil.org

Photos needed for Founders' Day!

Founders' Day Photo Gallery Link

It's not too early to start uploading pictures for Founders' Day 2022! Below is the link for the album. Please make sure when you upload photos, they need to include your UNIT NAME and a short DESCRIPTION of the photo.

COUNCIL'S UNIT SPOTLIGHT

Frost Middle School

We are so proud to announce that our Frost RoboFalcon Robotics are MICHIGAN STATE CHAMPIONS! This is the first time a Livonia Middle School Robotics team has won the State Tournament. The RoboFalcons are heading to Houston, TX in April to compete in the Robotics World Championships. We are so proud of our Frost Falcons!


The Frost PTSA is honored to celebrate these students by donating toward their fundraising efforts. The team has spent many hours developing, building, training and practicing for the competitions. It has been a wonderful learning experience for them all. Congratulations!


Please share this donations link with your units, families and friends: https://www.schoolpay.com/pay/for/Frost-Middle-School--Robotics-Donations/SejcOf1

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Kennedy Elementary

Spreading Love at Kennedy


Kennedy PTA wants to spread kindness and love this February. We have a team of volunteers who are making hearts to be taped to all students' lockers and given to all teachers/staff. Since they will be taped to the lockers, students will be reminded daily that we are thinking of them.


For Valentine's Day, instead of doing candy grams like we've done in years past, we are gifting all students a fidget bracelet. We are not selling anything, but just giving all students one item. To go with the fidgets, we have giant Valentine hearts for each class that a parent has made.


Lastly, we are stocking the staff lounge with treats, like popcorn and trail mix (staff favorites), to let staff know that we appreciate them too!

Webster Elementary

January has been a month of planning and prepping for the Webster PTA. After a couple of months of only one to two people showing up in person to the in-person and streamed PTA meeting, we decided to host it purely virtually and we had the highest attendance of a meeting this year. We have been promoting Youth Making a Difference and our Science Fair while also preparing for March is Reading Month and our special Valentine's Day gift to the Webster community.


Sarah Pelletier, Webster PTA

DATES FOR 2022! PUT THESE ON YOUR CALENDAR!

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.


2022

1/19 - LPTSA Council Executive Board Meeting | 6 - 7 p.m. | TBD

1/19 - LPTSA Council General Meeting | 7 - 8 p.m. | TBD

2/16 - LPTSA Council Executive Board Meeting | 6 - 7 p.m. | TBD

2/16 - LPTSA Council Workshop | 7 - 8 p.m. | TBD

TBD - Reflections Celebration | TBD | TBD

March - Bus Driver Appreciation Event

3/24 - Founders' Day Celebration | 6 p.m. | St. Mary's Cultural Center

4/20 - LPTSA Council Executive Board Meeting | 6 - 7 p.m. | TBD

4/20 - LPTSA Council General Meeting (Elections) | 7 - 8 p.m. | TBD

TBD - YMAD Celebration | TBD | TBD

5/18 - LPTSA Council Officer's Training | 6 - 8 p.m. | TBD

6/15 - LPTSA Council Executive Board Meeting | 6 - 7 p.m. | TBD

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

Have You Joined Us On Facebook?

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.


https://www.facebook.com/groups/541318689333449/


Also, like our Livonia PTSA Council Page: https://www.facebook.com/LivoniaPTSACouncil

Getting Connected to Michigan PTA and National PTA

Michigan PTA Website : https://www.michiganpta.org/

Michigan PTA Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/everychildonevoice


National PTA Website : https://www.pta.org/

National PTA Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/ParentTeacherAssociation

National PTA Blog: https://onevoice.pta.org/

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 mandy.gerstenbrand@livoniaptsacouncil.org