The changing of the gavel between presidents can often evoke ambivalent feelings. Saying goodbye to President Teri Gale in this role and appreciating her accomplishments while graciously greeting the new leadership of President-Elect Eddie Squires, represents that ambivalence. This final transition occurred at the state’s leadership convention in Louisville.
Leadership to Membership
One of our speakers included National PTA’s board member, Derrick Byrd, who conducted a workshop on Membership. I attended this informative workshop and was glad to refer others to the PTA Great Idea Bank for more ideas as well. I was especially honored that a PTA unit in our 26th District, Russell Primary School won awards for its growth in membership. President Heather Pack and Vice-Pres. Dawn LeMaster received those proudly! Growing PTA units is a priority on President Squires agenda as well as all PTAs! We need members to help us to remain the premier advocacy group that PTA has become – believing “everychild.onevoice“!
“Mo’ Better” News
Also attending was Mozziz “Coach Mo” Dewalt, television personality with NBC’s “Biggest Loser” and a former professional athlete who has joined the Kentucky Board of Directors! Coach Mo is founder of “The Village of Louisville” where he serves as an ambassador for physical fitness, nutrition and mentoring youth.
Another hot topic on the program included the Redbook, the Accounting Principles for School Activity Funds required by the Kentucky Board of Education. There are changes affecting many PTA units and booster clubs. Such changes include: requirement for insurance, no school employees serving as club treasurer, no school employee collecting monies sent to school to buy items sold by them or to join the groups, etc.
A closing discussion at the convention related to Bullying and School Safety. The presenter was delayed, but an attendee who was a Director of Safety for schools filled in quite well! Later, I also had chance to share some insights from the Town Hall on Bullying held at the National PTA Convention and Youth Summit with Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and others.
Outreach in the Bluegrass State and Beyond
Kentucky PTA has received national prestige for its work with Kentucky Core Academic Standards (KCAS). Much of this wonderful work in our state was started by the 15th District! Many PTA units including our District 26 PTA of Northeast Kentucky received a grant from our state to provide training in our Russell and Ashland areas on Testing and the Common Core for parents, teachers and the community. Kentucky PTA has also worked with other education partners on the Commissioner’s Parent Advisory Council and developed “The Missing Piece of the Proficiency Puzzle.” This document can assist every school in Kentucky in becoming family friendly through relationship building, effective communications, decision making, advocacy, learning opportunities and community partnerships. A rubric is available to establish and gauge success of family and community involvement in all education processes. “It stresses the importance of parents becoming involved in children’s education and supports the value of learning in both home and school.”
PTA also stresses the important of building relationships with other groups and organizations that support education and children-in local communities, the state and the nation.
National PTA has developed and published a book on “Building Successful Partnerships: A Guide to Parent and Family Involvement Programs.” Kentucky PTA is a leader in providing workshops and training on “Building Successful Partnerships.” PTA is the largest volunteer organization serving children, youth and public schools.