Is Your PTA an ATM for Your School?

Have you ever felt that your PTA was an ATM for your school principal and teachers? Have you ever felt like your principal thought your PTA budges was his or her discretionary spending fund? Do you get requests from teachers and school staff to fund certain projects and items that really ought to be part of the school budget? You’re not alone. PTAs frequently turn over their funds to school administration for such basics as books, equipment, and maintenance, not to mention extras, such as playground equipment and vending machines. The customs that have developed between PTAs and schools have blurred the line about what PTAs are; what vision, mission, and purposes we follow; and how our funds should be used. Vision, mission, and purposes PTA’s vision is making every child’s potential a reality. PTA’s mission is to be A powerful voice for all children A relevant resource for families and communities A strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child PTA’s purposes, or historical goals are as follows: To promote the welfare of the children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship To raise the standards of home life To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education How PTAs work The national PTA organization is...

Tip Sheets for Families, Caregivers and Early Learning Educators

Research has found that providing children from birth to five with consistent, language-rich experiences – such as talking, reading, and singing – can have important benefits on their brain development and future school success. However, many families lack access to the types of resources that can help them make the most of these language building experiences. This creates a gap in the quantity and quality of words that children learn, which directly impacts their opportunities to succeed in school and later on in life. As the result of a commitment made at the White House Summit on Early Education convening focused on increasing the quantity and quality of words that children learn, the U.S. Departments Education and Health and Human Services, in partnership with Too Small to Fail, have created the “Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day” tip sheets. Made specifically for families, caregivers and early educators, these resources can help enrich a child’s early language experiences by providing research-based tips for talking, reading, and singing with young children every day beginning from birth. All tip sheets are available in English and Spanish, and can be downloaded for free on our website. It’s Never Too Early to Help Your Child Learn —Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day! English | Spanish Tips for Families English | Spanish The Benefits of Being Bilingual – A Review for Teachers and Other Early Education Program Providers English | Spanish Tips for Using Language at Home and in the Community English | Spanish Tips for Infant & Toddler Teachers and Caregivers English | Spanish Tips For Preschool Teachers & Other Early Childhood...

PTA Election Do’s & Don’t

With the school board elections and potential ballot initiatives, it’s important you and your members are aware of the laws around what your PTA can and cannot do. 1) PTAs CANNOT support/endorse/oppose candidates. This is IRS law. If your PTA endorses a candidate you not only jeopardize your PTA’s non-profit status but the non-profit status of every PTA in Colorado. 2) PTAs CAN support or oppose ballot issues. If your PTA wishes to take a position to support or oppose a ballot initiative you must have a majority vote of your membership (not just your Board) and you must give your membership fair notice that the vote will take place (7-10 days). 501(c)(3) Status and Law. Because PTA is a 501c3 non-profit corporation, the IRS does not allow PTA to support candidates. It is legal for PTAs to inform voters of an election and list ALL the candidates who are running. PTAs may hold candidate forums, as long as ALL candidates are invited. Advocating for an Initiative. Colorado PTA prefers that local units help ballot issue campaigns by providing volunteer assistance with such things as literature distribution, yard signs, phone calling, etc., rather than making monetary contributions. Voter registration drives are encouraged. Campaign Donations. The IRS does not allow local units to contribute more than “an insubstantial amount” of their gross revenue to ballot issue campaigns or lobbying. This is generally viewed as being between 2% and 5% of gross revenue. (Please note that this refers to the total amount given to all ballot issues and lobbying throughout the year.) Because all local units are part of the Colorado...

PTA Three for Me

Three for Me is a PTA program designed to effectively involve parents and families in support of children and their education. This program will help PTAs and parents find different ways to volunteer at home, in school, and in the community—all which support student learning. This way, parents can volunteer when they have time during the day, in the evening or on the weekends. Three for Me online resources include: Creative ways to connect all families to their child’s school and education Ideas to strengthen home-school-community partnerships Resources to motivate parent forum for program and idea sharing Helpful ways to track volunteers and the positive impact they are having on student success Get Three for Me started at your school or organization today and put a new face on parent involvement. Resources Promise Cards in English and Spanish to distribute to families who promise to volunteer. Promise Cards (fillable) Promise Cards (Spanish) Promise Cards (non-fillable) Certificates to customize and distribute to families who donate their time to volunteer. Available in English and Spanish, as well as in black and white or full color. Certificate (fillable) Certificate (Spanish) Certificate (non-fillable) Benefits for Your School is a tip sheet for families to help them understand the value of their donated time. Benefits Tipsheet Visitor Badges in English and Spanish. Visitor Badge Visitor Badge (Spanish) Additional Three for Me resources include a leader’s guide and, a volunteer tracking spreadsheet, sign in sheets, and surveys that can be customized and downloaded. Leader’s Guide Volunteer Sign-In Volunteer Badge Volunteer Survey Volunteer Hours Spreadsheet Volunteer Survey (Spanish) Background Language Not a Barrier for Hispanic Parents Looking to...