Friday morning was this year's PTA coffee kick off at my youngest son's elementary school. Lots of parents, familiar and brand new, showed up to drink coffee, munch doughnuts and bagels and talk all things school policy, student fundraisers and volunteers who are needed everywhere. It was fun and informative, and really got the juices flowing toward making this school year better than ever before.
Being a member of the PTA/PTO doesn't mean you have to "live" at your child's school. All the stereotypes of PTA mom's and dad's have them running non-stop from classroom to lunchroom, sewing costumes, blowing recess whistles and staying up all night baking cupcakes for spirit day. Don't be deterred. Just like any other volunteer organization, the more who join, the less there is to do for each one.
If you WANT to all but pitch a tent by the car loop outside the main entrance, well, more power to you! But you can be involved for as few as 30 minutes a month, if that is all you have time for. At our school, thirty minutes in the lunch room helping to open milk cartons and yogurt tubes is extremely appreciated. Are you a runner/walker? I bet you could take an hour to join the kids in their walk-a-thon. How about 15 minutes every so often to read aloud in the classroom? Are you one that needs a break from the kids during the day? Treasurers are always looking for help with money collection/counting and keeping the books. My point is...there really is something for everyone when it comes to doing something easy and in your comfort zone to help your child's school.
What I really love about being a PTA member (this year on the Board!), is what my child thinks about it. He loves knowing I am in the building, even if I'm not in his classroom. Plus, he gets a "backstage pass" to just about any event I am helping to set up. Finally, he knows I care about his school and what goes on there, which makes him more likely to care about it too. I'm setting a good example of volunteerism and team work.
I encourage parents to join their child's school's PTA. It'll only cost you 4 or 5 bucks for the year, and if you don't have that, they'll probably take you anyway. Don't be intimidated. The people are friendly and supportive and always appreciate the extra help