President’s Letter…

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Wow! I just had an amazing week of PTA. I joined a number of PTA parents from San Diego at the California State PTA Convention in Sacramento last week. What a great event! We heard about the importance of civics in education from the Chief Justice of California, the Hon. Tani G. Cantil-Sakuye. We heard from Dr. Mae Jemison, an astronaut who is leading a group called 100 Year Starship. Funded in part by the DOD, 100 Year Starship will assure the capability for human interstellar space travel within the next 100 years. Sounds like STEAM in action! We also had the opportunity to take a huge range of workshops including officer training, advocacy, program development, and student involvement to name a few. Convention is also the business of the organization. I am pleased to announce that the association passed three important resolutions this year. Resolution A. The association voted in favor of educating parents and children as to the dangers of synthetic marijuana, that climate change is a children’s issue and that LGBTQ+ inclusiveness should be a part of health education in California. Click here or contact me for resolution details. Remember that these are not laws, but guiding principals for PTA advocacy. It was a great week as I said, but there is even more good news. The California PTA state convention will be in San Diego next year! Mark your calendars for May.  If you simply cannot wait until May 2016, don’t worry. The 9th District PTA Summer Leadership Conference is just around the corner. It is happening June 6th at the University of San Diego. It is a full day of helpful workshops with a large vendor area to help get your PTA off to a good start in September.

It is LCAP update time in San Diego Unified. Part of the update process is parent input. This is your chance to give input at the school site level. Do you need to be a budget guru for this? Not at all. I encourage you to talk with your principal, your teachers, and your children about what is going well at your school and what needs improvement. Please inform your parents about this opportunity so that each school can be its best. The local control Funding formula will fail without parent input. If you have any school funding or budget questions, please contact the Council.

NEW BOARD ROSTERS ARE DUE ASAP

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By now you should have had your elections for your boards for next year.  We need “The List”,that is the list of all of your new board members so that we can update our databases and send that information on to the state PTA.  Please email them to sducpta@yahoo.com or you can mail it to us at the address at the bottom of this email.

HISTORIAN REPORTS ARE PAST DUE!

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PTA volunteer hours were due on May 1st to: sducpta@yahoo.com

  • Please estimate your hours July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015

 

Don’t forget to count:

  • hours volunteers spend on campus by looking at sign-in sheets;
  • hours in PTA meetings;
  • drive time to and from PTA activities;
  • hours spent on email and phone! Yes! Communication is vital to an effective PTA!

If you have a volunteer appreciation event for your unit, go ahead and calculate the dollar value of the donated hours and present it at your gathering.
The little bit of time and effort put into this report helps PTA in so many ways!
Maybe you’ve seen the presentation of a mock check, which reflects all the hours donated to the school district on behalf of Every Child. We comply with our pubic mandate for support when we have a metric like volunteer hours, demonstrating that support for PTA comes from the grassroots. We have accurate data to apply for grants, and probably most of all, volunteers have a more clear perception of their enormous value to the child advocacy of PTA.
The amount of the checks is staggering, as is the value of volunteer participation.
Bottom line: please forward your best estimate of volunteer hours!
$26.87 is the value calculated for a volunteer hour in California, reflecting a 2% increase from 2013–we beat New York by .01!  It’s published by the Independent Sector, latest value from March, 2015.

PTAs CAN WIN $2K FOR ENERGY BALANCE

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Does your local PTA want money to educate families on the importance of good nutrition and physical activity?
Funded by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, National PTA will award Healthy Lifestyles Grants to 25 local PTAs for grades K-5. Title I schools are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about the Healthy Lifestyles Energy Balance 101 Grant and spread the word!

SPRING GARDEN Q&A FROM YMCA…

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As spring flowers arrive in May, it encourages everyone in the family to dig in the dirt. Help your family understand the growing process by starting a miniature garden of your own. Kids will enjoy watching seeds sprout and flowers bloom. Ask the children what they would like to plant – they will then take ownership of watering and caring for the plant while they watch it grow. Talk about the plants’ needs: Soil, sunlight and water. Discuss the connection between gardening, farming, harvesting and what plants your family eats at meals.

 

Q: I would love for my child to experience having a garden, but unfortunately we live in an apartment building with no green space. How do I make that connection with limited resources?

A:  Try utilizing a sunny window in your apartment and begin with something small and easy, like herbs. You can grow herbs in small cups, mugs or even toilet paper tubes. You only need a small amount of dirt and a few seeds of your favorite herb. Plan to grow something you can use in your cooking, for example, dill, basil, rosemary, parsley, chives or cilantro. Have your child pick the container, add the soil and dig the holes for the seeds. If you have a small spot of sunshine, only plant a few seeds – even just a few will provide enough for a couple of family dinners. Let your child care for the plant and then harvest when ready. Research with your child a recipe that calls for your homegrown herb, and cook with your child. Let them smell and taste the herb before and after cooking. Discuss at meal time what they think of the herb as a plant and as an ingredient for cooking.

It Passed!!!

San Diego Unified Council of PTA’s Resolution that Climate Change is a Children’s Issue was adopted by the California State PTA!

Passing the Resolution that Climate Change is a Children’s Issue empowers California PTA to align their efforts with counties, cities, and school districts’ climate action plans

The delegates of the 2015 California PTA Convention have adopted the resolution made by the San Diego Unified Council of PTA’s (SDUCPTA) that Climate Change is a Children’s Issue.  By adopting the resolution, this empowers the California State PTA (CAPTA) to develop action plans, programs, and literature to help educate PTA leaders, school districts, and all PTA units throughout California on the issues related to climate change.  Passage of the resolution will also empower CAPTA to take positions on legislation regarding climate change as well as to advocate for all children on issues in regards to climate change.  More specifically, the resolution calls for PTA leaders and school districts to support programs and strategies to make schools more climate-safe and energy efficient, and models to prepare children for climate changes already underway.  It calls for PTA leaders and school districts to serve as role models for practices that promote energy conservation, alternative energy sources, reducing dependency on automobile travel and encouraging sustainable practices.  PTA leaders and school districts would be encouraged to advocate for comprehensive local, state, and national legislation to substantially reduce man-made contributions to climate change and to mitigate its impact on children’s health.  Lastly, the resolution urges CAPTA to forward the resolution to be adopted by the National PTA so as to recognize that Climate Change is a Children’s Issue at the National level.

For more information about this resolution and other resolutions passed by the delegates of the California State PTA Convention of 2015, please visit the website at:
www.capta.org

Article by Celeste Bobryk-Ozaki