Livonia PTSA Council Courier
News for November 2017
November PTSA Council Meeting
Stevenson High School will be our host. We will meet in the LMC at 6 PM for the EB meeting and then transition to the Round table Workshop at 7 PM.
MIPTA Oppose SB584-586
sports arenas, bars, and other sensitive locations throughout our state, and would prohibit schools from regulating guns on or within premises.
Click the "Take Action" link below and share your opinion on this legislation with those who represent you in Lansing.
Cleveland PTA: From There to Here
I think we can all agree that we don't become PTA Board Members for the glory. Well, at least most of us don't. We do it to make a difference, to be involved in our children's school, to provide better opportunities for all children. So why is it not as easy as that? Why is there stress, drama, and competition? Why do PTA's seem to have a bad rap? Why can't some parents refrain from rolling their eyes when they hear "PTA"? Why can't PTA's find enough volunteers? Why? Why? WHY? Well, let me tell you a story...our story.
I remember the first PTA meeting I went to as a kindergarten mom. The tension in that room was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. I thought,
"These ladies obviously are not getting along." But even as uncomfortable as it was, I continued to go to meetings, volunteer, and help. Fast forward to the end of my daughter's 1st grade year, and I was elected Vice President for the 2016-2017 school year. Oh crap, can I do this? How will I do this?
Let me start out by saying, that my fellow elected Board Members were a great group of ladies! We were ready to make a difference, to improve our PTA, and to change how parents viewed our PTA. But here was the problem: a previous Board member just left... another was having family issues... No binders were given to us (which is standard protocol), and there was no transition at all. So, we had nothing. Luckily, our former Treasurer was extremely helpful, and did what she could to help us start off on the right foot.
Well from there, it was one thing after another. We had to start a whole new bank account due to an error on the bank's part. So here we are, waiting for checks that we needed to pay for things! Then we find out that our Bylaws needed to be updated (they were severely outdated and had never been changed). We had no policies and procedures, so we had to draft them. I could go on and on. But we were learning as we went. And we were learning to do things the correct way. Without the tremendous amount of help from our Council liaison, Julie Thompson, we would have been hopelessly lost! (I must have emailed her a million times!)
Like I stated earlier, we wanted to change how parents viewed our PTA. So we sent out a survey in May 2016. We wanted to know exactly what needed change, along with what WE thought needed change. We received a tremendous response. In fact, those survey responses helped us to create goals for the following year in terms of events, organization, and volunteer efforts. But our biggest challenge: How can we make our PTA more welcoming? Most parents feel PTA is a "Clique", and we wanted that thought abolished! So, for our very first PTA meeting of the year, we allowed for the first 10-15 minutes to be a meet and greet. Refreshments were served, name tags were made for all, and we made sure we arranged our seating so that it seemed inclusive no matter where you sat. Every person that walked in that door was greeted with a welcome and a smile. I know it doesn't seem like much, but it was a start, and believe me, it went a long way.
We then began posting a lot more on our PTA Facebook page. We would post pictures from every single event, post thank you's to our volunteers, and post regular updates about things happening at the school. We were very conscious to answer every question or concern to the best of our ability, and if we didn't have the answer, we'd find it. We never made anyone feel like a question or concern was too big or too small.
We also realized that most members don't really know who exactly their Board Members are. So we created our own Spirit Wear for the Board. Our names were placed on the front in plain view, and on the back they say, "Cleveland PTA Board". This would ensure that anyone who had questions or concerns at events knew exactly who to go to. It also seemed to make it easier for members to approach us.
Even with these minor changes, we started to notice a difference. For our first major event, we had more volunteers than we needed. But did we turn anyone away? Absolutely not! We made sure each person had something to do. Parents seemed eager to help and we were grateful. We also began to notice that attendance to our events had majorly increased! We always thought we had pretty good attendance for our events, until this past year. All of our events this past year brought in twice the amount of people than in previous years. This also increased our fundraising amounts tremendously! The 2016-2017 school year had the highest amount of attendance for EVERY event and also had the largest amount of funds raised for EVERY event for our PTA! And to top that off, we never had to beg for volunteers for any of our events. We always had plenty, and in some cases, more than plenty!
Now here's the best part...APPRECIATION! Our PTA was being acknowledged, thanked, and talked about. Parents would stop us in passing to thank us for the latest event or mention what a great job we were doing. They were even talking us up to incoming Kindergarten families on our PTA Facebook page! Teachers and staff were sending us wonderful thank you cards and even volunteering at many of our events as well! This was the moment we realized that we had done it, we changed the view of our PTA. We not only accomplished our goals, we crushed them!
So why am I sharing all this? Well, I know we can't be the only PTA who has faced challenges like these, or are currently facing them now. My message to you is: DO NOT give up! It can be done! I know it can seem like there are so many challenges in the PTA life, but if you set goals and work hard to achieve them, it can be done. Even the smallest changes can make a huge impact! If you are a new board member or even a veteran, there are so many resources out there for you. Utilize them! Always remember that there is a Board for a reason. This is NOT a one person job. Working together as a team guarantees a less stressful year and a more profitable one too. Of course you won't always agree on everything, but getting everyone's perspective may open up new ideas and opportunities. And lastly, listen to your members. Send out a survey and get some perspective. Not everyone can come to meetings and share their ideas, or maybe they are afraid they would be turned down. This is the perfect way to get a hold of those opportunities!
So in conclusion, don't stress and make this your best year yet! 2017-2018, here we come!
Best of luck to you all,
Cleveland PTA VP
REFLECTIONS - ARE YOU IN?
This year’s Reflections Theme is “Within Reach”
For those of you not familiar with Reflections, it is a National PTA arts recognition and achievement program for students. Each year the Reflections program challenges students to create art that supports a specific theme.
This year’s theme is “Within Reach”
There are six areas in which students may submit entries: Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts 2-D and 3-D, Dance Choreography and Video Production. Your entry must reflect the theme. The turn in deadline will vary according to your school! Entry forms are available below or you can go to Livonia PTSA Council Reflections website for all the details and some of the past winners. There are u-tube videos on how to complete your artwork with entry forms. Please review the guidelines - there are some changes this year.
The turn in deadline for Livonia PTSA Council is Wednesday November 15, 2017 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and Thursday November 16, 2017 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The City Level Celebration will be Thursday January 18, 2018 in the evening at Stevenson High School.
Find additional resources here:
4TH ANNUAL DAD'S CHILI COOK OFF IS BACK!
Who: The Livonia PTSA Council
What: 4th Annual PTA Dads Chili Cook-Off
Where: Franklin High School
When: December 2, 2017 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Why: To get Dads, Grandpas, Uncles to join and support their favorite PTAs, earn money for their favorite schools, and have a great time while doing it. Male LPS teachers &/or administrative staff are welcome too!!
A $5 admission gets you refreshments and unlimited chili samples from all of our entrants (while supplies last).
The 1st place “Dad” will take home a “Dadcentric” prize package, a $500 grant, courtesy of The Livonia Kiwanis Early Risers, for their favorite Livonia Public School, and bragging rights for 365 days.
Potential Entries: All entrants MUST be a “dad” and a member of their local PTA. If you are not a member yet, there is still time to join. Chili must be brought to the event in a crockpot, ready to eat. Please bring an extension cord. Feel free to dress up your table to wow the judges. Extra awards will include people’s choice, best dressed table, & hottest chili!
Entry fee is only $10 per chili so sign up now!
For any further questions, please contact Robb Drzewicki at firstname.lastname@example.org - 248-719-0277
Find more information at https://livoniaptsacouncil.org/work/male-engagement/
PTA fundraiser available:
Absopure Water Company and Livonia Public Schools PTA Fundraiser
We are running a fundraiser selling bottled water service for the home or business. The PTA receives $50.00 for every home/business that signs up. Examples of standard service offers are below.
Offers: “Water cooler lease and 3 - 5 gallon bottles” or “Water plus a free case of 16.9 oz spring/steam distilled”. You can also sell multiple coolers and/or our coffee service!
See attached flyer for more details:
1 - Cleveland PTA Meeting, Stevenson PTSA Meeting, Grant PTA Meeting
2 - Webster PTA Meeting
4 - Frost PTSA Annual Craft Show
- Michigan PTA President's Webinar
6 - Rosedale PTA Meeting
7 - LPS NO SCHOOL - Election Day (vote!!)
8 - Hayes PTA Make & Take fundraiser
9 - Emerson PTSA Meeting
10 - Niji Iro PTA Meeting & Movie Night
13 - Hayes PTA Meeting
14 - Cooper PTA Meeting, Randolph PTA Meeting, Hoover PTA Meeting,
***REFLECTIONS ENTRIES DUE TO COUNCIL
15 - Livonia PTSA Council Meeting & Workshop @SHS in LMC, Holmes PTSA Meeting,
***REFLECTIONS ENTRIES DUE TO COUNCIL
17 - Hayes PTA Movie Night
22-24 LPS NO SCHOOL - Happy Thanksgiving
27 - FHS PTSA Meeting, Buchanan PTA Meeting
28 - CHS PTSA Meeting
30 - PTA AUDIT & 990 DUE TO MI PTA, Frost PTSA Meeting
2 - Livonia PTSA Council Annual Dad's Chili Cook Off
5 - Rosedale PTA Meeting
6 - Grant PTA Meeting
11 - Hayes PTA Meeting
12 - Randolph PTA Meeting, Hoover PTA Kids Night Out
14 - Emerson PTSA Meeting, Webster PTA Meeting, Buchanan PTA Santa Shop, Hayes PTA Parent Drop -n- Shop
15 - Hayes PTA Parent Drop -n- Shop, Hoover PTA Kids Night Out
19 - Cooper PTA Meeting
21 - Hayes PTA Teacher Cookie Buffet
For more information about the National PTA:
To access the PTA Tool Kit, click here:
Check out the PTA One Voice Blog here:http://onevoice.pta.org/
Welcome to One Voice, the Official Blog of National PTA. A powerful voice for all children, PTA launched this blog as another platform for our leadership, ambassadors, staff and members to share the work they do on behalf of all children. You’ll read about dynamic programs happening at the local level, commentary on news and issues impacting the everyday realities of children, as well as live action from our conventions and events.
Check out the PTA Our Children Magazine here: http://ptaourchildren.org/
Our Children Magazine is the unique voice for parents.
Go to PTAOurChildren.org for:
- Tips to help parents best support your child’s academic success and well-being
- Relevant and timely stories about the successes and challenges of students, schools and families
- Inspiration from everyday heroes who work to make every child’s potential a reality
Want to contribute to Our Children? View our Editorial Calendar.