PTA President's Message
I’m Alison Leung, the new PTA president this year. PTA stands for Parent Teacher Association and it’s an organization made up of volunteer parents to support the school’s needs, but it’s separate from the school and district all together. I’m not a school employee, I’m a Fairlands parent and have gotten involved in volunteering to help out.
My kids are in 1st grade and 3rd grade and my 3rd grader started at Fairlands in TK, so we’ve been here for four years. When we first started, I had no idea what PTA was about. My only impression of PTA was from books and movies where there was always high drama, packed PTA meetings with parents yelling at each other and I thought to myself, there is no way I want to be part of that. So at my first walk-through registration, when the person at the PTA table asked me if I wanted to become a member, I said no and left as quickly as possible. I actually did end up buying a membership a few months later when I was purchasing tickets for Fall Festival and realized that with the membership discount, it just made financial sense.
In the past four years, I’ve gotten a better look at PTA and these are the basics I’ve learned:
- Buying a PTA membership carries no obligations or commitments for volunteering or attending meetings.
- It gives you discounts for event tickets and yearbook orders, as well as the ability to vote at general meetings if you attend, but meetings are optional. Of course, we’d love to see you there if you can make it.
- I’ve never regretted attending a PTA meeting.
- I always learn something new about what the school does for our students when I attend. Remember how I mentioned earlier about my imagining those movie PTA meetings? They aren’t remotely like that.
- PTA uses our donations to fund so many of the items that directly impact our students’ everyday school experience; just to name a few:
- Supplies like pencils, paper and scissors
- Math and literacy workbooks
- Physical Education equipment
- Library books
- A specific example that opened my eyes was the purchase of a program called Second Step that is integrated into our kids’ school life. Second Step is about improving social-emotional health, to help our kids better manage their emotions and teach them empathy and bullying prevention.
- PTA is made up of volunteers here to improve our kids' school life and community. To anyone who’s interested in volunteering but possibly feels intimidated or worried, there’s a great deal of support available and you aren’t left to flounder on your own.
- One example is our Fairlands Art Docents (FAD) class lesson program. Unfortunately, there are no art teachers, so this program is the only way kids have organized art lessons at school. As a volunteer, you watch the art lesson video instructions, bring the pre-organized supplies to the class and walk the students through the lesson step-by-step. No art or teaching experience needed and you can attend the introductory meeting to learn more.
- PTA organizes and runs all the fun evening/weekend social events, such as Ice Cream Social, Fall Festival, and Holiday Breakfast. We are also behind the weekly Fairlands Flyer newsletter that goes out every Sunday with updates from Ms. Deeringhoff and reminders about school events.
Truly, many opportunities would not be available to our students without parent volunteers and donations through the PTA. We sincerely hope that you will join us in our goal of improving our students' school life and community. Thank you!