Growing up, there were so many times when my parents and grandparents were at my school: my mom volunteering with events and field trips; my dad in the basketball bleachers with that loud clap of his; my grandparents at spaghetti suppers and school breakfasts. I remember in particular scanning the audience to find their faces before the flute performance of my life – “Every Rose Has its Thorn.” And I’ll never forget where they sat for each graduation day: Kindergarten, 8th grade, high school, college and graduate school. There they were – the most familiar faces that popped out of the crowd like a flash of lightning in the sky. Faces I yearned to see and focused on to fuel my confidence and ambition.
Flash forward 30 years –here we are – eagerly approaching my son’s Kindergarten parent-teacher conference and his first “Orchestra” day. I’m as excited as he is, yet yearning for direction down this unpaved road. So naturally, I look back to years ago – and there they are again, my parents and grandparents fueling my confidence, reminding me the first step I need to take for my kids is to be there: the volunteer on the bus, the clap in the stands, the familiar face in the crowd, the encouragement and motivation at home.
PTA’s Take Your Family to School Week 2014 – Supporting Student Success
Since joining National PTA, I’ve learned “being there” in a meaningful way is called family engagement. Research shows family engagement works. That’s why we celebrate family engagement each school year during PTA’s Take Your Family to School Week, which overlaps with National PTA’s Founder’s Day, February 17.
This school year’s PTA Take Your Family to School Week is February 17-21 and will focus on the theme: Supporting Student Success. Like all of National PTA’s programs, we designed this program to spark meaningful family engagement that welcomes families into the school environment, facilitates communication between families and teachers, and offers direction on the ways to support student success.
The theme Supporting Student Success was selected to specifically address the risks associated with high school dropout – lack of family engagement, struggles with reading and math, high absenteeism, and feelings of social exclusion. Prevention of high school dropout begins at a very young age and must continue throughout the school years. Addressing the problem with students in high school may be too late.
PTA’s Take Your Family to School Week Digital Toolkit & $1,000 Grant
In late November, National PTA will launch a new Take Your Family to School Week Digital Toolkit at www.PTA.org/tyftsw for all local PTAs that will include tools such as a Program Leader’s Guide, template Supporting Student Success Workshop, grade-specific family take home guides, and family education event guides that encourage family education events focused on reading, math, the arts, bullying prevention and multicultural inclusiveness. It will also include templates, such as promotional flyers and family recruitment tools.
National PTA will provide $1,000 grants to 50 local PTAs that need support celebrating Take Your Family to School Week. Learn more about Take Your Family to School Week and this grant opportunity during informational webinars on October 9 at 1 pm Eastern and October 16 at 3 pm Eastern. By attending, PTAs will earn 10 bonus points on the grant application.
A Proud National Sponsor since 2005, AXA Foundation—the philanthropic arm of AXA Equitable—is again pleased to sponsor PTA’s Take Your Family to School Week.
Visit www.pta.org/tyftsw or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-518-1221.