Saturday, December 30, 2017

Looking for a last-minute 2017 tax deduction for a great cause (children)?





Consider donating to the Ohio PTA. Serving public schools/children/parents since 1901.

Please consider a gift of financial support by going to http://www.ohiopta.org, and use the donate button or click here to donate right away.
https://my.cheddarup.com/c/2015ohptamightyoakfund

Thank you in advance for supporting an awesome cause---cherished children!

Happy New Year!!!

From the 2017-2019 "all-volunteer" Ohio PTA Board of Directors

Founded in 1901, Ohio PTA is the oldest and largest volunteer organization in the State of Ohio 
focusing on the health, welfare, safety, and education of children and youth.

2017-2019 Theme: "Celebrating the Passion, Talent, and Advocacy of Our Volunteers."








Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bay Village Schools PTAs honored by Ohio House of Representatives!!!



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bay Village Schools PTAs honored by Ohio House of Representatives

(Bay Village, OH) -- Ohio Representative Dave Greenspan (District 16) presented four statehouse commendations, one to each K-12 PTA in the Bay Village Schools, for receiving the 2017 PTA School of Excellence Award from the National Parent Teacher Association. He made the presentation at the district's school board meeting Monday, December 18.

"I want to recognize and thank you for what you do to educate our students and provide students with a culture that fosters growth and development," said Greenspan. "Thank you for the good work that you do."

The commendations go to Normandy Elementary PTA, Westerly Elementary PTA, Bay Middle School PTSA and Bay High School PTSA, representing all four K-12 schools in the Bay Village City School District.

PTA Council President, Cheryll McCarty, initiated this recent set of applications in a way that coordinated all the district’s PTA units, putting them on a common, two-year renewal schedule for the designation which requires a rigorous examination of family-school relationships against national standards. Standards include welcoming families, communicating effectively, supporting student success, speaking for every child, sharing power and collaborating with the community.

“After assessing parent opinion with surveys, PTA and building leadership selected a goal from several offered by the National PTA. This year, all our PTAs focused on the goal of health and safety of students,” said McCarty. “They followed up with an action plan that would incorporate various National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. As part of the plan, each school held an event that provided a focus for strengthening family-school partnerships.”

Normandy Elementary chose to focus on healthy lifestyles at home and at school. Normandy’s “PiYo [pilates-yoga] Live Family Fitness Fun” evening brought many families into the school, communicated the importance of healthy activity to learning, and demonstrated the partnership that PTA provided with the school.

Westerly Elementary’s focus was a cyber-awareness and anti-bullying program. Bay Village Police Detective Kevin Krolkosky presented parents with strategies and tools that can empower them to face the challenges presented by youngsters having access to the internet. School staff, along with Bay Village police, worked with students throughout the year addressing internet safety and cyber-bullying. The effort to help students become safe, responsible and respectful digital citizens brought all the national standards into play.

At Bay Middle School, community health providers, first responders and fitness and nutrition professionals played a significant role at the Health Fair. They provided information, demonstrations and interactive activities to teach students about healthy choices. PTA provided the many needed volunteers, as well as a table of healthy snacks. The collaboration between the community, the school, and the PTSA addressed all of the national standards for strong partnerships.

Bay High School used the community partnership approach to promote healthy lifestyles at home and at school. The Bay High PTSA co-sponsored the annual May in Bay 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run. Strong communication about the event brought out more participants from the schools and community than ever before, bringing together all ages for a healthy activity. This helped confirm Bay High PTSA as a force for engagement between families and school in a very positive way.

All PTAs completed a second survey at the end of the year to gauge changes in opinion of respondents from the first survey. Improvements in ratings documented how the PTA work made an impact, and less positive results identified areas where the PTAs will focus on continued improvement.

The district's superintendent, Clint Keener, noted that there is substantial research indicating strong school-family relationships make all the difference in student achievement at school. “We are blessed to have involved families who care deeply about their children’s education in the Bay Village Schools,” he said. “Their involvement is a key factor in our success.”




Friday, December 15, 2017

It’s PTA in Pop Culture Week!


“I just saw PTA referenced in “American Housewife” on ABC!”
“Did you know that movie “Bad Moms” was about the PTA?”
The Simpsons” rerun about the PTA was so funny!”
Does any of this sound familiar? I bet you’ve heard similar coffee-talk at your PTA meetings or while chatting with other parents. PTA pops up in all sorts of places!
A few months ago, National PTA’s Executive Director, Nathan Monell, found a PTA reference in a movie. I mentioned it at a meeting and people quickly began sharing their own “PTA finds.” Before I knew it, I had a monster list of PTA references in movies, music and television shows. And thus, PTA in Pop Culture Week (Dec. 18-Dec. 22) was born.
Before we dive into our favorite clips, let’s be clear—most references are not accurate reflections of the Parent Teacher Association. (Can you tell I’m sugar-coating here.) Most dramatizations of nutty bake sales, controlling moms and iron-fisted PTA councils are purely for entertainment purposes. They’re trying to make us laugh. And sometimes, they might even be taking a tiny dig. In the end, we can take it. We’re thick-skinned here. And the PTA can totally roll with the jokes. We love a good laugh too!
Let’s begin by going back in time to the “Harper Valley PTA.” It’s probably the most notable PTA reference in Pop Culture because not only does it span a few decades but it also spans a few mediums. It first hit the radio airwaves as a song in 1968 by Jeannie C. Riley. This country megahit was re-recorded by artists like Dolly Parton (1969), Billy Ray Cyrus (1996) and Martina McBride (2004). It’s a song about scandal, miniskirts and a really tough PTA!
Not only did it make a good song, it made a good movie. In 1978 Barbara Eden (“I Dream of Jeannie”) starred in the motion picture version of “Harper Valley PTA.” (FYI, if you have 90 minutes, we found the entire movie on YouTube.) And it didn’t end there. The movie was spun off into a TV sitcom in 1981. So who thinks it’s time for a “Harper Valley PTA” reboot in 2018?
Television has definitely embraced PTA throughout the years. There was “Everybody Loves Raymond” in the ‘90s when Debra decided to reveal her updated, edgier style at a PTA meeting. (Forward 1:00 into this clip for the funniest part.) In 1974, Carol Burnett channeled a diva-tempered PTA mom as she battled for a spot in the Annual PTA Show auditions. And then in 1957—before most of us were born—Uncle Bentley juggles a PTA meeting and a date with a Hollywood starlet in a “Bachelor Father.” (Skip to 12:00 to catch the PTA part!) Can you believe that reference is 60 years old?
It’s been a real blast producing PTA in Pop Culture Week. We hope you enjoy all our finds and we encourage you to share your own using #PTAPop on social media. And while it’s fun to see PTA pop up in movies, music and television, it’s even more satisfying to know that it’s the good work PTAs around the world do that’s truly what puts us in the spotlight. Enjoy PTA in Pop Culture Week and have a wonderful holiday season!
Scott Meeks is the Communications Manager for National PTA.





Saturday, December 9, 2017

#PublicSchoolShoutout

Thank you for the work you do for students. Ohio's education stakeholder groups have come together to let you know that we are proud of you, and we are grateful for your passion and dedication to helping our students succeed.

As your professional organizations, we are uniting around an effort to lift up the great work you do, highlight it, and celebrate it by sharing positive stories from our public schools.

Whether you are a teacher, custodian, bus driver, food service worker, school nurse, classroom aide, school secretary, principal, superintendent, school board member, treasurer, business manager, or parent, the role you play is critical to student success. We are proud of the work you do for students and want to invite you to be part of our celebration of that pride.

Our statewide groups are gathering stories and information for our #PublicSchoolShoutout campaign. We invite you to use #PublicSchoolShoutout to post photos and videos to social media explaining the great work and cool things happening in your schools and classrooms every day. #PublicSchoolShoutout is a way for us all to showcase why we are proud of Ohio's public schools. Please join us by using the hashtag.
While our #PublicSchoolShoutout campaign will continue throughout the year, our efforts will culminate in a week of activities in schools and classrooms February 11-17. Mark your calendars - we'll ask you to join us by hosting a walk-in before school starts, invite members of your community in to see your school, or plan special classroom activities to celebrate and show why you are proud of your school with a #PublicSchoolShoutout. Use your own ideas or one of ours - we'll provide toolkits with easy-to-follow steps on how you can celebrate with us. Then post your photos and videos to social media with the hashtag #PublicSchoolShoutout so we can see how you're celebrating your pride in Ohio's public schools and like and retweet your posts.

The campaign goal? Simply to generate and expand positive and wonderful pride in our public schools.

You work hard. So do your students. You all deserve to be celebrated. Won't you join us?

Sincerely,
The organizations uniting in the #PublicSchoolShoutout effort:
  • Buckeye Association of School Administrators - Kirk Hamilton, Executive Director
  • Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators - Julie Davis, Executive Director
  • Ohio Association of Public School Employees - Joe Rugola, Executive Director
  • Ohio Association of School Business Officials - Jim Rowan, Executive Director
  • Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators - Ken Baker, Executive Director
  • Ohio Education Association - Becky Higgins, President
  • Ohio Federation of Teachers - Melissa Cropper, President
  • Ohio PTA - Susan Hans, President
  • Ohio School Boards Association - Rick Lewis, Executive Director
  • Ohio School Public Relations Association - Crystal Davis, President

Save the dates!
February 11-17, 2018











Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Announcing the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge Statewide 2018 “Champions of Breakfast Awards”


Announcing the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge Statewide
2018 “Champions of Breakfast Awards”


It’s time to share your school breakfast best practice! Nominate your school for the “Champions of Breakfast Award.”  This award recognizes individual schools or districts that demonstrate collaborative efforts used to create, enhance or expand their School Breakfast Program.  
Nomination forms and a description of the award are available here.

Nominations will be accepted through January 31, 2018 Email completed nomination forms to breakfast@drink-milk.com.  

Awards will be announced during National School Breakfast Week, March 5-8, 2018.







New Poll Reveals How Young Children Are Using Social Media and Messaging Apps



and Messaging Apps

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 5, 2017)—National PTA released today the results of a national poll exploring the use of social media and messaging apps among young children. The poll, which surveyed 1,200 parents of children under the age of 13, was conducted in collaboration with Facebook earlier this year through Lincoln Park Strategies. The findings show that the majority of parents allow their children to use messaging apps and social media to stay in touch with friends and family.

“Helping children navigate the digital world has become a crucial element of parenting,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “Through the poll, we explored the prevalence of young children using social media and messaging apps and gauged how they are using these tools. The results make our efforts to empower parents to help their children be safe and responsible online that much more important.”

Key findings revealed that:

  • 61% of parents said their children under age 13 use messaging apps and/or social media.
  • 81% of parents said their children started using social media between the ages of eight and 13.
  • 64% of parents whose children under 13 use social media say that it provides convenient ways to keep in touch and keep track of their children when they are not with them; 61% of parents whose children under 13 use messaging apps feel similarly.
  • 57% of children who use social media are using their own device, and 58% of children who use messaging apps are using their own device.

Through the poll, parents also reported wanting to help their young children use social media and messaging apps responsiblynearly nine in 10 say that they monitor their children’s online activities. More than half of parents said they would not allow their children to use social media and messaging apps without monitoring tools. However, parents reported they’d like to have a greater say in their young child’s use of social media and messaging apps: nearly three-quarters of parents whose children use messaging apps indicated that they want more control.

Despite online safety concerns such as bullying, parents believe messaging apps and social media can help keep their children safe and can provide good tools for learning. Poll results also show that connecting with family is the primary reason parents allow their young children to use messaging and social media apps.

  • 68% of parents agreed that messaging apps help them connect as a family.
  • 69% of parents said their children use social media to communicate with relatives such as grandparents and cousins.

“As parents, we want our children to connect, learn and have fun through technology, and at the same time, stay safe,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Learning about how families are using social media and messaging apps is a critical component to helping them take advantage of the opportunities that the tools offer while building good digital habits and ensuring children have the skills they need to be responsible in the digital world.”

As part of National PTA’s ongoing digital safety efforts, the association encourages families to have open, ongoing conversations about devices and technology use and establish ground rules together using The Smart Talk. National PTA remains committed to helping parents empower their children to become smart digital citizens in an increasingly connected world.

To read the survey results from Lincoln Park Strategies, visit PTA.org.

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA

hmay@pta.org, (703) 518-1242





Sunday, December 3, 2017

Leadership Briefing
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PTA BACK-TO-SCHOOL KIT |
UPCOMING PTA EVENTS
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Computer Science Education Week is coming up! Starting Dec. 4, students all around the world will take an hour out of the week to spend time on coding. ThinkFun, a proud supporting sponsor of National PTA's STEM + Families initiative, wants to help you teach your children 21st-century thinking skills.

ThinkFun’s experts have created an Hour of Code activity that teaches Boolean Logic principles through fun puzzle solving. This activity has been officially approved by Code.org and is listed on the Hour of Code site!
Play 'Robot Repair' Now
You can find ThinkFun's entire line of new, unplugged coding board games at Target!





Friday, December 1, 2017

The Invisible Population: Supporting Foster Families


Foster families are an “invisible population.” If one hundred children were on a school playground, you couldn’t—or shouldn’t—be able to tell which ones were foster youth. If you were at a mall, you couldn’t pick out the foster families that pass you by.

According to the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education, education has the potential to be a positive counterweight to abuse, neglect, separation, impermanence, and instability for the 400,000+ children and youth served in foster care each year in the United States.
PTA’s mission is to advocate for every child. But how does a local PTA welcome and support an invisible population?
PTA’s duty is to be welcoming in general and more specifically promote efforts to raise student achievement.
However, because of privacy considerations, essentially the only way to know if a specific child or caregiver is in the foster care system is to create a welcoming environment that encourages them to self-identify.
Local PTAs have the potential to help foster families at the grassroots level while increasing their PTA’s value and relevance within their community.
The engagement level specific to supporting foster families can be as little or as much as an individual PTA chooses; don’t be afraid to do just a few things in this arena, for fear that it’s not “enough.” It all helps.
For example, local PTAs could:
  • Proactively, deliberately welcome foster parents into the PTA. Once the foster parents self-identify they no longer are a part of the “invisible population.” Welcoming foster families into local PTAs can be a part of an overall effort to become more diverse and engage underserved families.
  • Establish a child welfare committee with one of its goals being the support specifically of foster families. The committee could be called the diversity committee with a sub-goal to help foster parents.
  • Establish partnerships with the local foster care agency and ask how the PTA could share its parent involvement expertise to support the agency’s foster parents.
  • Source and fund the delivery of a teacher training to be presented during a professional development day. Teachers need to understand the challenges that foster youth face and potential impact on classroom management and test scores. This same training could be adjusted to be presented to foster parents.
  • Engage local legislators or foster care agencies to suggest that parent involvement training be included as one of the trainings offered to foster parents. All foster parents are required to attend annual training, so why not focus on parent involvement as one of the trainings?
  • Ask a known foster parent to write articles about relevant foster care concerns and resources for the local PTA newsletter.
  • Individuals with a passion for creating a foster parent PTA in their state can check with their state PTA to determine chartering requirements. Check out Maryland’s Foster Parent PTA as a potential example.
In addition to increasing the number of paid local PTA memberships and increasing PTA awareness and relevance within the community, increasing the support for teachers will be an important outcome for engaging and welcoming foster families.
If foster families become more involved and connected to the local school and the PTA, the critical home/school connection will be strengthened. Foster youth sometimes exhibit challenging behaviors; however, when foster parents work effectively with the teachers, the disruptive behaviors become more manageable.
Foster families may be an “invisible population,” but the gains that can come from local PTAs choosing to support this population can have very visible and positive results.
Sam Macer is the founder of the first foster parent PTA.



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

PTAs and Schools Awarded Grants to Engage Families in STEM Education

PTAs and Schools Awarded Grants to Engage Families in STEM Education

Grants support STEM + Families initiative to increase student access to STEM experiences

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Nov. 29, 2017)—National PTA is pleased to award over $97,000 in grants this fall to PTAs and schools across the country to engage families in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The grants are part of the association’s STEM + Families initiative.

“Family engagement is essential to strengthen STEM education, bridge the STEM gap and help all children realize their fullest potential,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “We are pleased to equip PTAs and schools nationwide with resources to engage families in STEM education and help foster children’s understanding of and excitement for STEM.”

Thirty local PTAs have been selected to receive a $1,000 National PTA STEM + Families Science Grant, plus $400 in materials to conduct science experiments with families. Minnesota PTA, Ohio PTA, Oklahoma PTA, Rochester Community PTA in Mich. and Wake County PTA Council in N.C. also have been chosen to receive a science grant of $3,000 each, plus $1,000 for materials. The grants are sponsored by Bayer.

Thirty-five PTAs have been awarded a $1,000 National PTA STEM + Families Math Grant, sponsored by Mathnasium.

With the math and science grants, the PTAs and schools will:
  • Engage families using fun, hands-on learning experiences at math nights and science festivals
  • Educate families about STEM literacy, STEM careers and STEM education pathways and empower them to support their children’s success in STEM
  • Connect families and students to STEM enrichment opportunities and professional mentors

In addition to the grants, 50 PTAs have been selected to receive a package of educational games from logic and STEM game maker ThinkFun to use to host a STEM + Families game night. One hundred PTAs also have been chosen to receive a mini game package from ThinkFun.

“We are grateful to Bayer, Mathnasium and ThinkFun for supporting the efforts of PTAs to engage families in STEM education and increase access to STEM experiences for all students,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Including families as meaningful partners in STEM education and career pathways is critical to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and ensure the long-term economic success of our nation.”

STEM + Families is a national effort to engage entire families in STEM experiences at school, at home, in the community and with digital learning environments to support students’ success in STEM. The goal of the initiative is to spark an interest in STEM education, inspire families and communities to explore STEM education and career opportunities, and engage family members in shared learning experiences.

National PTA announced the grant and game package recipients live on Facebook. Visit National PTA’s Facebook page to view the video.

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@pta.org, (703) 518-1242