Livonia PTSA Council Courier

September 2021

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2021-2022 is Going to be a Great Year!

Hello Everyone!


As we get ready to start this school year, check out this month's newsletter for Council info and great articles from some of our local PTA/PTSA units. Read about some awesome ideas for this school year as well as what worked well last year!


Have a wonderful start to 2021-22!

Laura Ulaszek

Council Newsletter Chair

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The Livonia PTSA Council is so honored and excited to receive the Council of the Year Award for the State of Michigan. This is the first time LPTSAC has earned this from MI PTA. I feel that collectively, we've all been operating under the mindset of nothing is going to stop us from the work we do.


Where some groups might have seen roadblocks, we saw opportunities to be creative and challenge ourselves to think outside the box. Just three days after everything shut down, Debbie Yates launched the "Reflecting Our Diversity" art series, where she kept students engaged, exposed them to the arts, and challenged them to be creative during an uncertain time with weekly challenges and contests.


For the first time, we held several events virtually, including:


  • Meetings
  • School board candidate forum
  • Officer training
  • Reflections
  • Founders' Day
  • YMAD
  • and more!



I would like to thank the units for their continued support, and for everything they accomplished in what was certainly an unprecedented year. This award is a reflection of what we have ALL done in service to the students and families of LPS :)


I would also like to mention Debbie Yates' Shaton Berry Award! Her passion, dedication and work ethic in the areas of Reflections and DEI are unparalleled. We're honored to have her as a part of our #councilfam


Mandy Gerstenbrand

Livonia PTSA Council President

Membership

Now that school is starting soon – schools are having their open houses, school tours, and we're all getting ready to get back in the swing of things – it's time to start figuring out how to implement all those great ideas on how to gain and increase membership. Maybe you have a PTA/PTSA table at Open House with membership forms, possibly with a device ready for members to purchase a membership right there. Maybe you have a QR code to direct members right to your MemberHub Store to purchase a membership on their own device. Maybe you have an incentive to offer members. There are so many options that could be done. The first time families walk into the school is a perfect time to gain those memberships, encourage volunteers, and really get families, students, staff, and everyone excited about this school year!



There are still a few things to remember. Your annual Livonia PTSA Council Membership dues are due no later than October 28th. Please mail or deliver the form to the correct address on the form (see pdf below). Please DO NOT send your dues to Central Office. Also, your unit is to remit their state dues to Michigan PTA by the 28th of every month for all members who were new that month. This information can be found and paid for on MemberHub.


Any questions, please feel free to reach out and email Membership at Membership@livoniaptsacouncil.org.


Sara Bennett

Livonia PTSA Council Membership Chair

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Just a reminder that we will have a meeting of DEI chairs on Tuesday, October 5th to share ideas. Stay tuned for the details.

If you have identified a DEI chair for your unit, please make sure to list them in MemberHub.

Debbie Yates

Livonia PTSA Council Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair

Reflections

We have Reflections volunteers for many of our units now. (Yay! Thank you! Thank you!) If you haven't found one yet, but your unit would like to participate, you still have time to identify a Reflections chair. Let me know who it will be and I will get them up to speed.

If you would like me to speak at your PTA/PTSA meeting to explain the program – either to recruit a chairperson or to just promote the program – let me know. I'm happy to join you.

I'd also like to share that Andrea Malenfant will be my trusty sidekick this year. (Yay! Thank you! Thank you!) I'm excited to have a co-chair and I know she will be a great asset to the program!

Don't forget!
This year's theme is "I Will Change the World By ..."
The deadline for student submissions is November 12, 2021.

Debbie Yates
Livonia PTSA Council Reflections Co-Chair


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PEP is Well Underway!

School hasn't even started yet and those PEP points are already growing! What needs to happen from here? Be sure to upload all of your information into MemberHub to fulfill your Standards of Affiliations. Also, be sure to submit your Advocacy, DEI, and Reflection chairpersons contact information. Please review the PEP Checklist below to verify what information needs to be uploaded and submitted, and when this needs to be done by. To ensure you receive your PEP points on time, please cc PEP@livoniaptsacouncil.org on all submissions.


The current PEP standings are listed below. We're off to a great start!


Sara Bennett

Livonia PTSA Council, PEP Chair

COUNCIL'S UNIT SPOTLIGHT

Franklin High School

If you are looking for an easy way to promote membership, at Franklin, we just ordered these yard signs. We will put them around the entrances and maybe near the football stadium on game day. All people have to do is scan the QR code, it takes them to your MemberHub store, boom they are done!!!

I could see this as a great thing for the elementary schools. You can post them at grade level doors where families line up, “Welcome Back 2nd Graders.” While parents are waiting in line, they can join your PTA!!


Kellie Dummer, Franklin PTSA President

Hayes Elementary

There is no doubt that the last school year was a trying year for many, but one positive thing that came out of it was the creativity. PTA units everywhere really had to dig deep and think of new and creative ways to support students and staff and really keep everyone engaged, even if it was done mostly from outside of the school building.


At Hayes, the wonderful office staff really helped us keep the momentum going throughout the school year, especially during the colder months when outdoor activities were not possible. They delivered Candy Grams to our students, set up the staff lounge for different appreciation events, and countless other things that PTA volunteers could not be in the building to help with.


Because we could not be in the building, we had to shift away from some of our usual fundraisers and events and come up with new ideas. We had to put a pause on some of our favorites, like our annual Color Run, but we were able to try new things that went really well, like our Flower Fundraiser. We ended up selling 533 flats, hanging pots, and other plants, and got some great feedback on the new idea.


For staff appreciation, we created an Amazon wish list that went out to our Hayes families and were blown away by the donations we received to show the teachers and staff how much we appreciate them.


Our principal, Mr. Grezak, hosted a Field Day at the end of the school year that was different than in years past, but a really great time for the kids. He asked for PTA support in providing food for the whole school, on the condition that he would grill all of the hot dogs. Four hundred plus hot dogs later, any Hayes student will tell you that Mr. Grezak is "the best cook ever" and parents everywhere are wondering if he will come over and convince their kids to eat as well at home as they did at school that day.


What all of us learned over the past year is that different is not always worse, and that we can always choose to come together to create fun experiences for students and staff. We are excited to see where the 2021-2022 school year takes us, and we are confident that things will keep getting better and better!


Amanda Enriquez, Hayes Elementary, PTA Vice President

Kennedy Elementary

Over the summer the Kennedy PTA arranged two “Popsicles on the Playground” events to connect students and families before the new school year begins. Each grade level was encouraged to wear a specific color shirt so the kids, especially our incoming kindergartners and new students, could find their classmates easily. The events had a great turnout and fun was had by all! The kids were excited to see and play with friends while parents chatted and watched from the blacktop. These events really helped everyone get pumped up for the new school year!


Kennedy Elementary PTA Board

My name is Debi Foshag, and I am the newest board member of the Kennedy Elementary PTA. I’ve been involved as a parent volunteer for a few years. I tried to make it to meetings when my schedule allowed and help out where it was needed. I decided it was time to throw my hat into the ring and run for a position this year. I’ve only been involved in the role for two months, but I’m really enjoying being part of the planning process to make this year a great one for all of the students in the school. I am most excited to be a co-chair for our DEI committee! I’m looking forward to a wonderful school year!


Debi Foshag, Kennedy Elementary PTA Secretary

Randolph Elementary

We are so very excited to kick off the new school year! Our PTA will be at open house motivating our families to join the PTA. We will be using a raffle entry to win a gift card as an extra incentive. In addition, we will set up our giving tree to help staff get donations for a successful year. Each staff member fills out up to three leaves to go on our tree and parents pick a leaf and shop for the supplies. Our first fundraiser will be at Eats and Sweets featuring a milkshake made just for Randolph! We will also be following that with our biggest fundraiser, the Color Run!

Webster Elementary

The 2021-2022 Webster PTA is gearing up and excited for the upcoming school year. Our board consists of many new members so we enjoy hearing from others as to what has worked well in the past. We hosted three successful playdates this summer with outstanding turnouts. We noticed that families seem to be really interested in finding out ways they can be involved in the school, something they were not easily able to do last year.


We are now preparing for open house as well as the first day of school. As we try to recruit members, we are focusing on educating our families on what activities they support when they join the PTA and the different ways they can show their support. Maybe it's a simple one time $8 membership fee, volunteering to bring a case of water for a fall festival, or maybe they would like to join the board themselves next year. Our first day of school plans include chalking the walk to encourage and excite the students and staff as well as holding a morning mingle for the adults after drop off to dry the tears or celebrate (whatever they feel is appropriate).


Webster PTA

DATES FOR 2021-2022! 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.


2021

9/15 - LPTSA Council Executive Board and General Meeting | 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. | TBD (Please note time change)

TBD - Council Meet & Greet | TBD | TBD

11/17 - LPTSA Council Executive Board Meeting | 6 - 7 p.m. | TBD

11/17 - LPTSA Council Workshop | 7 - 8 p.m. | TBD


2022

1/15 - LPTSA Council Chili Cook Off | TBD | TBD

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

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

TBD - Reflections Celebration | TBD | TBD

2/16 - Founders' Day Celebration | 6:00 pm | Vista Tech Center

TBD - Bus Driver Appreciation Event

3/16 - LPTSA Council Executive Board Meeting | 6 - 7 p.m. | TBD

3/16 - LPTSA Council Workshop | 7 - 8 p.m. | TBD

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