Thursday, May 8, 2014

Meeker PTA: Outstanding Elementary Local Unit of the Year

One of the keys to Meeker PTA’s success was in developing very clear and measureable goals, with input from the principal and a teacher representative, so their goals were aligned to the school’s goals.  “We continually went back and revisited our goals at meetings, so we could address it if we weren’t on track,” said Megan Klein, president of Meeker PTA.

A fun and creative way Meeker PTA chose to increase family engagement/outreach was their “Freaky Friday” event, which was held in February as part of the National PTA Take Your Family to School week. At this event, parents and students switched places for the evening—the parents became the students, and the student took on roles as parents. As “students,” the parents got a first-hand look at their child’s day at school by signing up for and eating a “hot lunch,” which was provided by a grant from Walmart; visiting the library to pick out an age-appropriate book (for their child’s age); taking a ready test; experiencing a lock down drill; visiting a PE class, music class, computer class; and attending a spirit assembly. They were able to do all of this in just two hours and had 100% positive parent feedback from this event.

Another family engagement/outreach program increased male engagement at the school. Meeker PTA has participated in the WatchD.O.G. program for several years, but wanted to get new dads involved so they launched, “Running With the Pack,” a program which allows many dads to work on a specific project together to improve the school. Meeker PTA is planning another “Running With the Pack” event this spring to paint a shed on the school campus.

To increase volunteer recognition, Meeker PTA created a volunteer of the month program, which honored recipients with a T-shirt reading, “I’m not just anyone, I’m a Meeker PTA volunteer of the month” and recognizing them by name on the electronic reader board and in their PTA newsletter.

Meeker PTA is also passionate about membership and has achieved the 100% membership award for two consecutive years—one member for every student at the school! They make a concerted effort to communicate to parents all the things PTA is responsible for at the school, reinforcing the value of PTA.

Finally, Meeker PTA was involved in grassroots advocacy. A couple highlights of their advocacy efforts included three of their board members sponsored the highly capable issue at last fall’s WSPTA Legislative Assembly and locally they were successful in advocating to have the state fund a lighted crosswalk in front of their school.