Ideas for Building a Great PTA/PTO Group at Your Child’s School

So school has started and the parent group at your school (PTA, PTO) wants this year to make a real positive impact on the school. Easier said than done, right? Well here in the Penguin Patch we talk to schools all over the country everyday. We have put together some tips for building a stronger parent group that will help build a better environment for education at your school.

1. Improve Parent Communication – Improving communications channels with parents is critical part of building a strong parent group. Communications tools have changed radically in recent years but the opportunities are unlimited.

  • Facebook is an amazing tool for communication. Use it for promoting events, for signing up volunteers for those events and regular news from the school. You can also shoot video of events, interviews with school leaders and post the video to Facebook. You probably have several parents who are already quite proficient with Facebook, who would be eager to take on the task of managing the parent group Facebook page.
  • A PTA/PTO website is also a good option for providing a communication channel with parents. The website allows for more consistent information to be stored including officer contact information, a calendar of upcoming events and even a regular column for the president of your parent group that parents can subscribe to and receive in their email box.

2. Recruit Class Representatives – If you haven’t already, recruited class reps (Moms or Dads) from each class in the school. These class reps become the eyes and ears of your group and can offer suggestions regarding the needs of the school based on their conversations with the teacher or other parents in that class. They will also know of opportunities to recruit volunteers from that class.

3. Parental Involvement – Perhaps the most important way is to encourage parent involvement. Today’s fast paced society often results in parents not making time to be involved with their child’s education. Regular communication with parents about the important role they play in their child’s education can help to create a environment at the school that encourages parental involvement. One of our favorite involvement builders from our friends at PTO Today is to gather together 2 or more parents with a passion for helping. Ask the key question “what does our school need that we can realistically provide?”

4. Grandparents in Schools – Some schools may need additional support beyond the parents. Grandparents in Schools has been an effective program that encourages retirees to work one on one with kids in a mentor type program or read to a class each week.

5. Communities in School – The Community in Schools program arranges for volunteers to work with at risk students and to develop mentors who may actually follow their student as they matriculate through the educational system.

We hope these tips will help to make this the best year yet at your child’s elementary school. At the Penguin Patch we believe the most important lessons in life are learned during these critical formative years and that these are lessons that will last a lifetime.

Call us today at 1-888-577-2824 to learn of more ways that we help kids and schools all across throughout the United States.