January was a particularly busy month for me as well as for the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs. I am absolutely excited how 2016 has started for the Council – We held our Winter Workshop Training, I served as the ‘Parents’ Voice” as a panelist at the Town Hall Meeting regarding California’s Education, and we had our January General Meeting where we met and exceeded quorum. I would not have been able to achieve if it were not for the volunteers that serve on the Board for the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs, each and every one of them mean so much to me and I sincerely appreciate all that they do to support me in my role as the President for one of the largest Council PTAs in California.
I want to take a moment to mention a few programs that your PTA can participate in that involves enhancing student learning experience as well as build on Parent and Community engagement.
- Cool the Earth Assembly Challenge – Schools that enroll to participate in this challenge can not only teach children about climate change but also use this as an opportunity to build on community engagement. This challenge is available to all active PTAs in San Diego County and the more schools that sign up, the bigger the cash prize the school has a chance of winning. This program aligns right along with the resolution that “Climate Change is a Children’s Issue” passed by California State PTA last May. Find out more about this program here.
- Take Your Family To School Week – Did you know that February marks the time with PTA was founded? PTA turns 119 on February 17 and every year, the National PTA encourages PTAs across the country to participate in TYFTSW revolving around a particular theme. This year’s theme is Rock Out Your PTA and the National PTA has a plethora of resources available at their website. I have personally had my unit participate in this program and found it to be a great way to show the school community the role of PTA has in our school. Check out the website at www.pta.org/TYFTSW
- Honorary Service Awards – Take time to honor those that make significant contributions to your school whether they are a PTA volunteer, community member, or teacher. The California State PTA has loads of resources as well as an online store where you can purchase items to help show your appreciation. Each level of PTA puts their own spin on when and how to recognize these volunteers. To find out more, check out California State PTAs website. The Ninth District PTA is currently accepting nominations for their HSA for their upcoming Founders Day Brunch Celebration being held on February 23, 2016. Download the Ninth District PTA’s HSA Nomination Form here.
- Ninth District PTAs Founders Day Brunch Celebration – Speaking of Founders Day, the Ninth District PTA’s Annual Meeting is on February 23, 2016 at the Schottish Rite Center from 8:00 am – 11:30 am. Here you will see hundreds of PTA members from across the San Diego County meet in one place to celebrate the founding the PTA. Entries into the Reflections program from across the county will also be on display. To find out more about this event, visit the Ninth District PTA’s website
- National PTA’s Grant for Reflections for 2016-2017: The theme for the 2016-2017 Reflections Program is “What is your story?” The National PTA Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant provides up to $1,000 in matching funds to support local PTA arts projects within their school community. Funded projects will increase access to learning opportunities in the literary, media, visual and/or performing arts for at-risk or underserved audiences. Arts projects must actively engage families and community partners to strengthen family-school partnerships. .The deadline is March 11, 2016. Find out more at the National PTA’s website.
- California State PTA Legislation Conference – This is one of my favorite PTA events that I have been attending since 2013 and I am signed up to go again this year, making it my fourth conference (of many PTA nerd out events as I call them :)). Here volunteers from throughout California get together to hear the latest on what is happening in the world of Education in California from funding, to key initiatives from the California Department of Education, and not to mention the opportunity to meet with legislators that represent our local communities. This year our very own Vice President of Legislation, Derick Boerner, is also the Sacramento Safari Chair for Ninth District PTA and he is planning a fantastic trip for the attendees from Ninth District. There is a cost to attend and can run up to $750 between conference registration, hotel, and travel but this is a valid PTA expense and an extremely rewarding experience. Find out more by visiting California State PTA’s website.
- Ninth District PTA’s Emerging Leader Grant – PTA Leaders have the opportunity to apply for this grant which will go towards to help pay for attending the California State PTA Convention. This year the convention is in San Diego from May 4 – May 7, 2016. Download the Ninth District PTA Grant application here, deadline is March 1, 2016.
As you can see, there is so much to offer to being a part of PTA and so many opportunities on how your unit can realize the mission of PTA and that is to “make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate all children.” I feel very blessed to be a part of this organization and the many opportunities I have been presented with to make a difference in my children’s lives and the lives of children everywhere.
Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions about the programs I mentioned above or any other programs out there.
Celeste L. Bobryk-Ozaki
San Diego Unified Council of PTAs