Wednesday, June 12, 2013
I am a PTA mom...(I feel almost like that is an admission at a 12 step group)...I know what people think when I say that...Bake sales and fundraisers. But that was YOUR moms PTA. Mine is a very different group. We are advocates standing in solidarity for the rights of our children. We fight for programming and promote legislation. We help get laws passed and have changed the face of education. We are the PTA!
I got involved in the PTA when Austin entered Kindergarten. I was pregnant with Griffin and the triplets were just a year old. I was curious to see what this illusive group was all about. I pulled into a packed parking lot and watched as several women and a few men walked hurriedly into the school cafeteria. Like a church mouse, I scampered in and took a seat in the back. I observed quietly as they spoke about the book fair, teachers luncheon, concert for the 4th graders and the financial intake of a chicken dinner. I thought "This isn't bad, I could handle this!".
That was 5 years ago. In the last 5 years I have become well..."involved". I sit on the PTA board at my school and even the PTSA Council which unites all the local schools PTA's. It's my job and I LOVE IT! I have attended a NYS PTA conference and thought..."THESE ARE MY PEOPLE". I found my home.
One of the amazing projects our particular school PTA does is an afterschool program. Parents volunteer to run a group for an hour or so once a week for a several week run. It can be a Lego Club, Cooking, Soccer, Zumba, Card making or anything the parent volunteer specializes in. I myself decided to run an art program. Why not put this art degree to work! I meticulously thought out projects geared towards a specified group(Kindergarten and first graders). I purchased the materials, and put together projects. There was cutting, gluing, sparkles, finger paints, stickers, clay, masks, and messes. It was glorious! I had so many kids wanting to be in the club that I had to take on another parent volunteer! Thank goodness an amazing friend offered to help me. Together we handed out supplies, discussed the media and helped 21 tiny humans create art. It was spectacular!
A few weeks after the after school program ended I went with all five boys to a school function. As we were walking through the hall I was approached by a little girl. She said "I know you. I don't remember your name but you were my art teacher!", "Yes, I was and you are Shannon."..."Wow, you remember me?"..."Of course I do, how could I forget?"...you see Shannon is a beautiful little girl with red hair and glasses that weigh heavy on her nose. She was always very "matter of fact" in the art class. She also was incredibly inquisitive. I brought Griffin to class with me every time and she asked why he didn't speak and only listened to music, I explained that he is autistic and what that meant. She took it all in and then just said "OK" and went back to her art. She was a curious little girl and took everything in...I loved that!
Anyway, Shannon started to walk away, back to the school event with her mom and she turned back to me and said..."I sure hope you will do your art class next year! My mom hung every piece on the fridge and there is still space for more!".
I am so proud to be a PTA Mom! I love my children and their education is so important to me. I see the benefit to every parent group. They teach everyone to work together for a common goal, the children! Will you join your schools PTA or parent group? Will you help make a positive difference in a child's life? It truly is the best feeling in the world!