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2012 Take Your Family to School Week Grant Recipient Project Summaries

Alfred E. Zampella PS #27 PTA – Jersey City, NJ
The celebration of Take Your Family to School Week will begin with a breakfast event for parents and teachers. The school will also host a meet and greet with local school board members to allow families to connect with them and participate in a Q& A session. At the end of the week, the PTA will host a community fair with local agencies, nonprofit organizations, elected officials and recreational programs so families can learn more about resources within their own community.
Arbolita School PTA – La Habra, CA
Arbolita School PTA will provide families with information about how they can support their children with information on homework and school projects. Information will be provided in Spanish and English. Additionally, they will work with the local community librarian to provide families with access to community services and help them acquire library cards.

Bailey Middle School PTA – Cornelius, NC
Bailey Middle School will provide families with an all access pass to the school life of their student so they can see and celebrate what their students are doing at the middle school.  The PTSA will encourage families to participate in workshops, seminars, a legislative review session, student, academic, character celebrations and community service projects. The weeklong focus aligns with the six national PTA standards. Beginning the week, Walk a Day in My Shoes. Families welcomed to shadow their student.  Local business and community leaders will become short course instructors for an enrichment event.  A book talk is planned, focusing on the brain and higher thinking. The PTSA will purchase books for the families who attend the session. A parent advocacy program debuts, with special efforts made to speak with, invite and embrace families who don’t usually come to school.  A dinner theater wraps up the week.  The student production is a collaborative effort within the fine arts departments.

Banksville PTA – Pittsburgh, PA
This year the Banksville PTA theme is Travel In Your Imagination. Take Your Family to School Week will highlight the theme with an international food and information festival to promote greater cultural awareness. Events will include international tour and tasting, an international scavenger hunt, and grade level standards brainstorming which will focus on helping families to assist with the implementation of the National PTA Standards for Family School Partnerships.
Bayside High School PTA – Virginia Beach, VA
Bayside High School PTA has events for families during each day of Take Your Family to School Week. They will host a breakfast event and a spaghetti dinner during the week. They will also have days families can attend and accompany students to class. Each day during the week, school administrators will be available to train parents on different topics such as how to access their student’s data through the parent portal or how to use technology such as Word, Excel, and Power Point. The week will conclude with a career day event for families and students.

Bedford Primary School PTA – Bedford, VA
The family night at Bedford Primary School will consist of an evening event with activity centers related to the core academic subjects. At each center a teacher, staff member, business leader, or PTA volunteer will offer activities similar to what the students experience with a description of the objectives and teaching process for each subject.  Each family will have an opportunity to rotate through 3 or 4 activity centers, and take away a variety of educational material from each center.  In addition, we will have door prizes consisting of family education games, books, and certificates for family activities from local businesses. The PTA will provide information and strategies to parents in regards to how they can help their child succeed in school, and on ways that parents can get more involved in their school and community.  Civic groups will be asked to provide information on how they are working to improve the educational process.

Bernice Young Elementary PTA – Springdale, AR
Take Your Family to School Week at Bernice Young Elementary will focus on college and career readiness. Students and their families will be invited to a career fair at the Central Junior High School. They will also be invited to participate in parent teacher conferences that will discuss what students need to be prepared to transition beyond elementary school. Bernice Young has collaborated on this project with a wide variety of community partners such as the University of Arkansas, Northwest Technical Institute, Springdale School Board and Springdale Chamber of Commerce.

Bradford Academy – Southfield, MI
Bradford Academy is a charter school and not a traditional neighborhood school, so the majority of the parents work. They have focused their Take Your Family To School Week activities so that parents would have several opportunities to participate. They will have a family fun night where students will demonstrate typical school activities such as science projects and academic centers to their families. They will have a family appreciation night with an indoor carnival that features games, activities, and student performances. They are sponsoring a swap day where families can come to the school and swap gently used uniforms. They will host a Staff vs. Dads Basketball game. All of this will be chronicled in a school wide family photo album and a student parent learning website.

Center for Early Education PTA – Denver, CO
During Take Your Family to School Week the Center for Early Education PTA will conduct several activities. They will have a Spaghetti and Game Night with dinner and family games and activities. They will conduct a Literacy Night where teachers will dress as storybook characters and model appropriate reading skills for families. The week will conclude with a Dad and Me gardening event where students will bring a male role model to school to participate in a campus beautification project.

Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools PTA Council – Chapel Hill, NC
The Parent University is a district wide initiative with a goal of increasing education attainment among students of color through effective family engagement. During Take Your Family to School Week the Parent University will feature five workshops that support school-community partnerships and parent empowerment in the district. The courses and events we plan to include are: Effective Communication with Your Child, Effective Communication with Schools, Latino Parent Night, How to Prepare for College Applications, and Helping Your ADHD Student. These interactive and practical courses will be located in our school buildings, helping parents to experience our schools as comfortable and inviting spaces. They are being taught by community professionals such as school social workers and counselors, psychologists, and academic support specialists. All events will have refreshments, childcare, professional Spanish language interpretation, and free t-shirts.

Chimneyrock Elementary PTA  – Memphis, TN
The Chimneyrock Elementary PTA will conduct several activities to welcome families into their child’s school. They will have a “switcheroo day” where parents will come to their child’s PE classes and learn strategies for engaging their children in physical fitness activities at home. They will have a “Bring Your Family to Lunch Day”. They will have an evening event with WATCH D.O.G.S. to promote more engaged fathers. The week will conclude with a “When I Grow Up Day” when families can come to the school, read to students, and share information about their own careers.

Citrus Grove PTA – Palm City, FL
Citrus Grove PTA will host a Mad Scientist Night for Take Your Family to School Week. This program provides an opportunity for students in VPK – 5th grade to participate in hands on science projects and experiments designed to correlate with the Sunshine State Standards and build excitement for Science.  Booths will be set up and run by Parents, Teachers, and Community Members. 

Clover Street School PTA – Windsor, CT
Clover Street School PTA will host a Cougar Math Carnival for Take Your Family to School Week. Each area of the school will have stations with activities for families and students related to math. The gymnasium includes a life sized game board where students act as game pieces and families must solve problems to advance the play. The computer lab will include a “Homework Strategy & Skills Session” and the event will conclude with an open forum to encourage greater communication between school and home.

Denver Elementary PTA – Denver, PA
The Denver Elementary PTA will host a Family Literacy Night for Take Your Family to School Week. The event will include a Read and Rise Family Reading event that reinforces the practical things all families can do to ensure their children become strong readers and learners. All families will receive a valuable, research-based Family Guide and create a reading pledge together during the event.

Donaldson Way Elementary PTA – American Canyon, CA
To create a Dragon Family where all families feel that they belong and contribute, the PTA will collaborate with the School Site Council and English Learners Advisory Council (ELAC) in a week-long celebration of our diverse cultures. Our Cultures, Our School Week will provide the first opportunity for all cultural groups to work together to showcase their history, art, entertainment and cuisine.   Our Cultures, Our School Week will consist of four components, each offering parents opportunities for involvement while allowing students to celebrate their heritage and learn about that of their peers. At a Friday evening event called “Celebrating Dragon Family Diversity!” families will be invited to come see the work children have created, enjoy a game or other activity from the country, and sample a signature dessert. Following time in their child’s class, families will move to our multi-use room, where they will watch music and dance performances by ethnic entertainment groups from our middle and high schools, and local community organizations.

Dubiski Career Tech High School PTA - Grant Prairie, TX
Dubiski High PTA will invite families to a New Century Multicultural Fair to showcase student talents, school resources, and teacher skills. Culinary Arts Students will prepare a variety of ethnic foods and the Cosmetology Department Students will re-create ethnic hair styles and will host a fashion show with the help of the nearby South Grand Prairie High School Fashion Students. The Automobile repair Dept will bring some of their later creations and showcase some of the vintage cars they have rebuilt. The Graphic Arts and Photography students will be at hand to record the event and take pictures of our guests. The Young Entrepreneurs, AVID Students, SKILLS USA Students, NHS, Honor Council, PTSA Student members will be hand to practice their business skills as guests visit the campus and marketplace.

Falcon Middle School PTSA – Peyton, CO
The Falcon Middle School PTA will host a Family Game Night during Take Your Family to School Week.  Parents will be invited to come in and actually play the games their children created. Seventh grade teachers will work with PTSA parents and community members to organize and carry out the event. Students will be expected to carry out responsibilities such as introducing parents to teachers, PTSA members, as well as to other students and parents. Students will decide what information and knowledge was most relevant and personally meaningful to them in their course of study. They will then work together in small groups of four to design a game board which reviews the appropriate content knowledge but in a way that is creative and appropriate for their parents and siblings who will eventually play the game.

Franklin Township School PTA – Quakertown, NJ
The focus of Take Your Family to School Week is science. Families will be invited to attend a Science Expo that takes the traditional science fair to a whole new level. During the interactive event, families and community members will tour the campus and experience science they can see, feel, hear, touch and smell from the basic concepts introduced in Kindergarten to the exciting chemistry of 8th grade.

Gene George Elementary PTA – Springdale, AR
During Take your Family to School Week of February, 4th and 5th grade families will participate in parent teacher conferences. Families will be encouraged to visit their child’s classroom, come for lunch/recess, or volunteer.  At the conferences, teachers will invite parents and students to a College and Careers family night, which will occur the following week.  Middle school, junior high, high school, and college representatives will offer classes about how to prepare their child for college and/or a career.  Specific topics will include scholarship opportunities, advanced placement classes, the National Merit Scholar program, and how to stay involved in each transition stage in school.

Gypsy School PTA – Bristow, OK
Gypsy school is a rural community with 87% of their students qualifying for free and reduced priced lunch. The PTA at Gypsy School has designed a fun and creative way to get families to come to school and participate in learning activities. They are hosting a family game they developed a family game night that will consist of Minute To Win It and Deal or No Deal. Families will participate on teams with other families giving them a chance to build relationships with each other as well as with school staff.

Hammocks Middle School PTSA – Miami, FL
Due to district wide budget cuts that reduced the elective courses student could participate in, Hammocks Middle School PTSA decided to start an after school club program that offers the programs that were cut to their students. The PTSA surveyed students and asked them what programs they wanted to see in their school. The results of the survey became the focus of the after school club program and the PTSA began to implement the needs that were addressed in the survey results. Hammock Middle School PTSA will use their grant funds to showcase the after school club program to the parents and the community. During this event, the student body, parents and community partners will attend a spaghetti dinner in the school’s cafeteria. While dinner is being served and the school’s jazz club will play some dining music and have the school’s chorus will also sing some dining tunes. The meals will be prepared by the two cooking clubs with the assistance of hired help. At the Showcase, parents participate in the “Gallery Walk-thru” which will display the art and ceramics that were created by the students during their afterschool club. The showcase will close with two workshop classes on bullying and about the Hammock’s Homework Help center. The following day, the PTSA will invite parents to come be a “Teacher for a Day” and shadow their children around school.

Jefferson Elementary School PTA – West Allis, WI
A family breakfast event will kick off Take Your Family to School Week at Jefferson Elementary School. Families will participate in learning activities during the meal and will then walk their children to class. After school, There will be a spaghetti dinner hosted by the local Boy Scout Troop and families will participate in learning activities with their children.

Kate Waller Barrett Elementary PTA – Arlington, VA
K.W. Barrett will launch Barrett Family Book Clubs during the Take Your Family to School Week.   The goal is for parents, children and teachers to come together for lively conversation about selected books.  Students and families will move beyond “regular reading assignments” to become more engaged with the text, improving fluency skills, reading comprehension, and vocabulary.  The books of author Grace Lin will be the focus of the book clubs as a follow-up to her author visit in November 2011.  Her books offer students insight into Asian-American families and Chinese traditions, which reinforces K.W. Barrett’s commitment to honor our families’ cultural heritages and defeat racial stereotypes.

Kilbourne Middle School PTSA – Worthington, OH
The PTSA at Kilbourne Middle School will host an Internet Safety Awareness and Anti-Bullying Night for Take Your Family to School Week. The evening will consist of programs designed to engage both students and parents in a conversation about Internet safety as well as how to deal with bullying and harassment. This will be followed by 3 half hour break-out sessions designed to address safety concerns for people of all ages. 

Lewis and Clark PTSA – Wenatchee, WA
Lewis and Clark is a dual-language school and families will have an opportunity to experience the program first hand. The PTSA at Lewis and Clark have designed a program that will give families of different cultures an opportunity to learn more about each other as they learn more about their children’s school. The PTSA has designed a school wide scavenger hunt with locations throughout the school. Families will be put on teams with Spanish speaking families paired with English speaking families. They will travel throughout the school campus finding clues related to school activities in their native languages.

Longfellow Middle School PTA – Falls Church, VA
Longfellow Middle School PTA will host the Longfellow Heritage Nightto generate a deeper learning experience and a longer lasting community effect. They will produce signage related to cultural traditions, cultural entertainments, interviews and will produce a lasting media record of the event with a dynamic web resource presentation. Throughout the evening, a videographer will capture the activity as well as interviews with participants. Student “ambassadors” will serve as roving photographers; group shots will illustrate the diversity at Longfellow. The evening will end with an announcement by the principal and the PTA of the Web site’s Heritage Corner, a dynamic Web feature that will be based on Heritage Night. Heritage Corner will feature videos of the event, student-taken photographs, a reading list about learning from cultural diversity, a bibliography of books about specific cultures represented at the school, recipes, a list of civic resources, a compendium of expanded learning resources, information about genealogy as a means of understanding one’s own cultural roots, and statistics about the area’s cultural diversity.

Matthew Whaley Elementary School PTA – Williamsburg, VA
The Matthew Whaley Take Your Family to School Week event will focus on celebrating diversity through an International Night. Families and students will be invited to tour the campus and learn about different countries and cultures as they go. They will encourage greater family engagement through welcoming and honoring all cultures.

McDougal Elementary PTA – Chapel Hill, NC
The PTA, faculty and staff will work together to deliver fun and exciting events for Take Your Family to School Week. There will be different events every day. Every day there will be a gallery-walk featuring student art. Also, students will perform musical acts during the morning drop off time. Parents will receive information about the Student Regulated Learning program now in place at McDougal and will be invited to a training activity that provides greater detail. There will also be a read in to promote literacy and the week will conclude with a two hour evening event with information and guest speakers who will share strategies for parents to increase student academic achievement.

McKinley Middle School PTSA – Fairfield, CT
McKinley PTSA will host a math night to give parents a more in depth look at the strategies behind the mathematics. The layout for the evening will include having 4 to 6 different math stations where various activities and problems will be on display. Parents, with the help of teachers and students, will be asked to solve a problem using two different methods that are currently being taught in the classroom. Parents will then be asked to explain the process they used. They will rotate through the stations in 20 minute intervals. The idea is to have the parents’ experience what their child is working on in the classroom. Support for Math Night at McKinley will include experienced teachers, staff interpreters, PTA members, administrative staff, and student volunteers from the local high schools, and our current elementary students.

Morningside Elementary PTA  – Fort Worth, TX
The events at Morningside Elementary to celebrate Take Your Family to School Week will kick off with a breakfast for families and community organizations so families will have an opportunity to learn more about community resources. They will also conduct a “Show and Tell” where students will demonstrate what they are learning through activities tied directly to the curriculum framework. Math magnet activities are planned for the parents of second and third grade students. Written expression activities will be conducted with the families of fourth and fifth grade students. There will be an evening “Make and Take” event as well where families will have the opportunity to make learning tools they can use at home. The week will end with an opportunity for school staff, families and students to relax with a parent/student basketball game.

Norco Elementary – Norco, CA
The focus of the Take Your Family to School Week at Norco Elementary is creating a climate that welcomes all families. They will kick things off with a “Drive Thru Donuts and Hot Cocoa Morning” to greet parents dropping their kids off at school. “Tell A Story Day” will be an opportunity for families to come to school and read to their children. Other events include a picnic with the principal and a movie night.

Northrup High School PTSA – Fort Wayne, IN
Northrup High is celebrating Take Your Family to School Week with a college prep event for local area high schools. The event will include a college vendor fair and breakout sessions for families to help prepare their children for secondary education. At the event, families will receive assistance completing FAFSA forms and will get information on available student loan programs.

Oakmont Elementary PTA – Fort Worth, TX
The theme for Take Your Family to School Week at Oakmont Elementary is "Fill Your Passport."  Each student would receive a "passport" at the beginning of the week.  The students would earn stamps in their passports by participating in activities with their families. Each day of the week would focus on a different subject at school.  Each of the activities would require the participation of the parent (or family member) and the students.  Once an activity is completed by a student and a family member(s), the student's teacher would stamp the student's passport.  Events will include a Math Marathon, a Valentine’s event, reading and writing stories together, a science night and a family luncheon.

Oakton Elementary PTA – Oakton, VA
Oakton Elementary has planned an exciting week-long math program to get students to explore, learn and practice math in a variety of settings.  By working both cooperatively and individually, students will clarify and solidify math concepts. Parents will learn about ways to reinforce math concepts with online math game sites and will be welcomed to Family Game Night where they will solve problems and learn from students. One night during the week, students will compete with their classmates and play in groups from home on an online math competition. Games will be available at grade level and participation will be measured by class.  On Family Game Night, students will receive a game board as they enter the school and will then move with their families around the board from the “start” math challenge when they enter, to “classroom” challenges and “special” challenges until reaching the “finish” challenge in the cafeteria where prizes will be awarded to students who have received at least four stamps by solving challenges along the way.

Old Village PTA – Northville, MI
Old Village School is a center program for special needs students. The goal of the Take Your Family to School Week is to bring parents to school to experience a day in the life of their child and give them tools they can use as they work with their children at home. At the end of their visit, families will have the opportunity to meet with school administrators, faculty, and members of the local Board of Education.

Provost Elementary School PTA – Provo, UT
Provost Elementary PTA will host a weeklong event that is dedicated to bringing parents and the community into the school. Each day, the PTA has planned special events such as a family school breakfast, family school lunch and a family activities night. During this week Provost Elementary PTA will also hold a Title 1 night, where the Title 1 Coordinator will be onsite to discuss with the parents how they can help their children reach their goal of a higher education. By partnering with the local universities, Provost Elementary PTA will also begin a program dedicated to translating schools documents into Spanish so that the school can effectively communicate with all parents in the community. The goal of this program is to get parents more involved with their children's academic life and get everyone excited for their further education.

Redwood Early Childhood Center – North Little Rock, AR
Each day of National PTA Take Your Family to School Week will offer families a different opportunity to be a part of their children’s educational experience.  Families will be able to participate in an Open House, an exchange of future plans, a Valentine’s Day themed parent/child activity, an open board meeting at the school, and a family breakfast event. Families who participate will be given age appropriate reading books to take home to their children.

SAD #30 PTA – Winn, ME
The PTA at SAD #30 will host a pancake breakfast for families and teachers to provide them an opportunity to interact in a comfortable and fun setting. To work off their pancake breakfasts, they will conduct a Dance Dance Revolution party afterwards where faculty, families and students will compete against each other.

Stuart Middle School PTSA – Stuart, FL
The theme for this year’s Stuart Middle School “We All Belong @ SMS”. Each day will include activities for families beginning with a PTSA board meeting and a light breakfast. Other activities include a school conference night and a game night. Each day there will be morning workshops for families to attend as well as opportunities for them to come to school for lunch with their children as well.

Thomas G Pullen K-8 School PTA – Landover, MD
Take Your Family to School Week at Thomas Pullen is a series of events that will engage families in their children’s education. They will conduct a “Bring a Parent To School Day” where parents will participate in classroom activities and experience a day in the life of their child. They will have a workshop for families on “Creating Safer Communities: Family Awareness, Preparedness, and Safeguards”.  A Parent University will provide families with information they need to help their students learn at home. The week will also include a potluck dinner that celebrates diversity as well as a roundtable discussion related to educational issues.

Three Rivers Elementary School PTA – Cincinnati, OH
Three Rivers wants to involve the entire community in their Take Your Family to School Week activities. On the first day they will host a community helper appreciation program and families as well as local community service providers will be invited to the school for a program featuring student performances. The preschool family night event will consist of student and family activities related to dental health. The events will culminate with a Winter Wonderland Spectacular consisting of crafts, refreshments, games, and a “fireside” reading activity. All participants will receive a winter themed reading book of their very own.

Tuskegee Institute Middle School PTA – Tuskegee, AL
The PTA at Tuskegee Institute Middle School will hold two events during Take Your Family to School Week. The first, a luncheon for men will provide an opportunity for students to bring a male role model to school and will include guest speakers who will highlight the positive impact of male involvement in education. The second activity is a family literacy night and will include a book swap, a book walk, and reading and math literacy stations.

Tyhee Elementary PTA – Chubbock, ID
The Tyhee Elementary Take Your Family to School Week program will involve the Tyhee Title I Department, the local Indian Health Services, and local tribe members. The week will include a Family night that involves community education on childhood healthy eating habits, childhood diabetes, and information from the food services staff.  The Dare officer will speak about bullying.  There will be a bingo night combined with the speakers and information to encourage families to participate and have prizes both donated and purchased for the winners.  Indian Health Services and the medical community will provide speakers and healthy food choices as refreshments.  Volunteers will be encouraged to be in the classrooms during the week, and will share something about their family history or interests, sort of show and tell for families.  We will end the week with Breakfast and a Book where Parents or Grandparents are encouraged to bring their child to school, have bagels and juice, and read to their child for 30 minutes or so. 

Vista Verde PTSA – Phoenix, AZ
Vista Verde PTA will use their Take Your Family to School Week Funds to hold a “College Info” night. This event will host a variety of great informative sessions that are open to students and parents of the Vista Verde school community. College recruiters from different local universities will be brought on site to help answer any questions that parents and students may have as well as help answer questions about the financial aid process.  The event will also host a keynote speaker that will speak about the importance to post-secondary education. To wrap up the event, students will have the opportunity to explore future career opportunities and parents will learn how to set up a financial aid account through the Department of Education Student Aid website.  Teachers, students, and PTSA parents will be available to guide parents through the directions. The plan would be to have a ratio of 3 families to every guide, so no family feels lost or left out.  In addition, we are already working on setting up a U.S. map in the board with labels of where each teacher received degrees.

Walt Whitman Elementary School PTA – San Diego, CA
The focus of Take Your Family to School Week at Walt Whitman is science. The week will begin with a presentation from the UCSD Jacob’s School of Engineering. The next day will involve a career day with an emphasis on careers in science or technology fields. Families will also be invited to participate in a Read to your Student Day and students from James Madison High School will visit the school to explore and build robotics. The events will culminate with a Mad Science Night and families will be invited to participate in fun and interactive science experiments.

PTA’s Take Your Family to School Week is sponsored by the AXA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AXA US, and a Proud National Sponsor of PTA.