2014 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award Recipients
2014 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award recipients are:
- Eden Central PTA, Eden, NY – 2014 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award Recipient
- Mountain View Elementary PTA, Purcellville, VA – 2014 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award of Merit Recipient
Visit PTA.org/Excellence to the National PTA School of Excellence.
2014 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award Recipient – Eden Central PTA, Eden, NY
Eden Central PTA spent the school year dedicated to helping families understand the changes that were happening at their school related to the Common Core Standards. In addition to providing information digitally to help parents understand these standards, the PTA hosted a Common Core Parent Information Night to provide an overview to parents on why the standards changed, the power and advantages of the new standards, and strategies to support students at home. They also hosted three "Parent Academies," which were informal meetings to answer questions.
The PTA collaborated with the curriculum coodrinator to offer six "Curriculum Coffee Breaks" for the teachers to provide a supportive environment for teachers to problem solve and celebrate success. In the spring, the PTA hosted "Experience a Common Core Instruction Night," which was a workshop for parents to experience first-hand the instructional shifts, such as close reading, citing evidence, math fluency, and deep understanding for math.
Eden Central PTA leaders believe their efforts resulted in increased understanding, as well as a stronger family-school partnership. This was evident when it came time to advocate. Eden Central PTA activated their vote for the first time on New York State PTA's Resolutions and Positions, sending a representative to particiapte at the New Your State PTA Convention and share why family engagement and education is so important to state policymakers in Albany.
The adovcating didn't stop in Albany. The Eden Central PTA's Advocacy Committee organized two letter-writing campaigns asking parents and community members to write to their local and state policymakers to stop budget cuts to education. And when a student awards program was at risk of being cut due to budget restraints, parents looked to the Eden Central PTA to step up and speak on behalf of their children.
After meeting with administrators and offering PTA's support on the initiative, the awards program continued. That's the power of family-school partnerships.
2014 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Family-School Partnership Award of Merit – Mountain View Elementary PTA, Purcellville, VA
Upon receiving the results from the Family-School Partnership Scan, Mountain View Elementary PTA discovered they needed to reach more families. They used recommendations from their Roadmap to Excellence, such as creating a "Vice President of Family Engagement" position to lead the "School of Excellence Team."
This group of PTA members and school staff focused on creating a welcoming environment and designing family programs that appealed to all demographic groups (i.e., men, women, grandparents, financially challenged). Their goal was to make sure all parents and caregivers felt "valued and connected to their students at Mountain View."
Mountain View Elementary PTA achieved that goal and increased PTA membership by 203% in the process! The PTA had more than 260 volunteers sign up to help with the family education events, 75 dads joined the PTA's Watch D.O.G.S. program, and new volunteers were recruited to serve as delegates to imporant district-level committees such as the Loudon Education Alliance of Parents, the Minority Student Achievement Advisory, and the Special Education Advisory Committee.
By participating in these groups, as well as School Board meetings, PTA representatives were prepared to provide updates to our school community and keep families well-informed on changes or improvements to state and district level policies.