Inspire Your Community – Attracting New PTA Members
One of the best ways to motivate parents to become involved in the PTA (or PTO) is to focus on PTA events that benefit their children. The main subjects of math, language, science, art and music are taught in class. What occurs outside of regular school hours greatly advances their learning.
Teachers, professionals, community members and the PTA coming together to create after school, summer and weekend PTA events takes the pressure off parents. They’re busy working and running a family. The more parents that get involved in the PTA, less is the work of individual parents.
Present them with a projection of PTA events that engage theirs kids to read more, perform math, create art and understand science. They are more likely to say yes to PTA involvement when presented with something that is tangible, and sounds fun and beneficial to their kids.
Science PTA Events
- Family science night can morph into a series of lectures as PTA fundraisers. Find a topic that can be demonstrated in an appealing way and a presenter to explain the topic in simple terms. The kids won’t even realize they’re learning once the fascination of science takes over. Community members and parents presenting their professional knowledge and dusting off their ability to entertain will fascinate and educate each grade. As well, teaching kids how to best care for their pets is an idea, and can be done by anyone who reads and loves animals.
- An old-fashioned science fair with a twist may start with different science teams presenting their project each week at school. The culmination after weeks of presentations is a public science fair as a PTA fundraiser. Science fairs engage students to create scientific exhibits for display and take pride in answering questions about their work. Wearing lab coats and clip boards is a nice touch.
- Schedule a Saturday to enjoy the entire day at the zoo while kids learn about zoology and biology. Partner with the staff to offer fun lectures. This is also an opportunity for older students to teach their younger peers at the zoo. A walkathon at the zoo is a way to make this idea a PTA fundraiser, creating a school peer-to-peer fundraising event with a zoo theme.
- Conservation and the environment are key science areas for students. Provide them with leadership roles in PTA fundraisers, and an opportunity to learn valuable life skills taught through hands-on learning. Hold a lecture series or Green Week and give high school students the jobs of marketing, advertising, and managing a fundraising campaign and fundraising website. Give students experience in public speaking by letting them make the presentations. Create your own aspect of this concept with a few small PTA events at school, or a host a grand school fundraiser.
Language PTA Events
- Movies are a fun way to get kids excited about reading. With so many great stories and classic novels being on film, it is a way to entice kids to read them. Once they get a taste of their favorite writer on film, they’ll be excited to seek out all they have written. Films are one of the ways to introduce language that´s a bit above the reading level of certain ages in an animated fashion.
- Students and parents can bring books to life by performing stories live. Act out characters, read scenes aloud, try funny voices, and use props to excite children about stories. By imagining themselves in the roles of their favorite characters, children can make a deeper connection to what they’re reading. Many options for PTA events and PTA fundraisers may be born of this concept.
- Audio books are another social way to present stories and encourage reading. Free audio books are available at most public libraries. There are many free audio books online, and reasonably priced options on Kindle. Let your kids help with the selection. Book series are good options in getting children engaged in reading. Present an audio book once per month as a PTA event.
- Readathons and reading based fundraisers motivate kids to read, while creating the potential for a large fundraiser. This is a well known known concept which opens the door to create unique renditions.
Math PTA Events
- Planning a field trip and its expenses is exciting for kids, giving them the responsibility of calculating the costs. Admission fees, lunch, snacks and mileage and gas costs are a part of the equation. Factoring the total cost per person is next. Give elementary school kids this challenge, and the pleasure of choosing whether to go to the movies, on an adventure to a new town or to the beach. This PTA event can be done with a whole class and teams of students on the planning committee, or with smaller groups and families.
- Card games help in building math skills of addition and subtraction. Identify the number pairs in a deck that add up to 10. By lining the cards face up in a row of 10, students are searching for pairs that equal 10. After spotting a pair they call it out and collect the cards.They then put new cards on the table. The winner is the one with the most pairs. Add fun cards games to the PTA schedule, as there are several that help children learn math at all levels of learning.
- For high school and middle school students, poker is essentially about math. Decisions made during a fun poker game are mainly regarding math, with psychology playing a part. PTA events don’t have to be boring.The card game of war also builds math fluency. The player with the card of highest value facing up gets to keep the cards in the playing area. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end of the game. Elementary school children learn from this fun game.
Art PTA Events
- Hold a string of afternoon fundraisers at art studios or your school with artists performing a live teaching presentation. Students and PTA members will be delighted to watch them work with paint and sculpture. Gravitate towards a hands on art experience as they learn from the best artists. Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramicists and textile designers holding live teaching performances will education and encourage students. This idea also makes for a great PTA fundraiser.
- Art PTA fundraisers may include an art sale which encourages art students to display their work. Add a section on your event floor for paintings donated from the community and raise money to advance your art program.Smaller PTA events held at school may include an art trade or art sale as well. Silent art auctions held on PTA websites are another idea.
Keeping Them Informed
School newsletters, social media and your school or PTA website keep everyone informed, engaged and motivated to join the PTA. Investing some initial time to create specific PTA event strategies and plan PTA fundraisers will attract more parents and community members to join. Present them with a plan which includes immediate benefits through educational PTA events. They won’t want to be left out, and will be encouraged and inspired by what their kids learn.