The PTA is….Service.

The last, but definitely not least, element of the work the RES PTA does is service. We have committed to give generously to those in need, and we know that our kids are leaning compassion and empathy from working side-by-side with us. We strive to involve kids in our programs. As our service volunteers ramp up for the rest of the school year — having completed another great year gathering school supplies for the Back to School drive we sponsor in the late summer — look for information on our Turkey Drive, giving tree and pajama drive. Kids love participating in choosing items for these drives — some families make it a special tradition to donate together. Last year, we took my kids out to find the coolest pajamas we could, then went to a diner for dinner-for-breakfast, and we chose a family bedtime story about helping others. It was a special evening of togetherness, talking about the importance of sharing what we have, and the kids are looking forward to another year of doing the same.

The PTA is glad to encourage our kids, our families and our wider school community to think about charity and service. Your membership in our PTA helps make it possible! Still need to join? Sign up here, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY. If membership isn’t for you, consider signing up to receive our emails and updates using the same link.

PTA Programs Spotlight: Imagine a World.

One of the programs your membership and our fundraising efforts support each year is Imagine a World, our combination science and art fair that celebrates student creativity across disciplines! Last year was the first year when we opened this event to our wider Redding community, inviting everyone to partake in science experiments and art projects like building hand-held light-up circuits and making fashion from recycled household materials. In preparing our children to go into the world, giving them a passion for STEM, as well as encouraging the creative, artistic spirit so present here in Redding, is a great foundation for future success, and we are proud to support the work our teachers are doing with this fun enrichment opportunity.

This year’s Imagine a World committee is already beginning to meet and prepare for this exciting event. The committee chair is looking for scientists, engineers and artists of all sorts who might want to contribute to this amazing experience. Committee meetings will be scheduled to accommodate a variety of schedules, and there will be opportunities to join via conference call or participate via email, if that’s helpful!  If you’re interested in volunteering to bring your love of science or the arts to RES, send us a message here or via our RES PTA FB page!

You can support Imagine a World and all our other PTA programs by becoming a member of the RES PTA. You can set up your 2017-2018 membership at MySchoolAnywhere.com, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY. All Gold Memberships received prior to September 30, 2017, will be able to receive our new tote bag as a thank you. (It will be great for toting around your little one’s science projects and sculptures!) If membership isn’t for you, please consider signing up for our mailing list, using the same link, to hear about upcoming PTA events and projects.

PTA Community when you’ve got no time for community?

Belatedly rounding out last week’s discussion of the first reason to join the RES PTA — our special community — how do we plug in to this community when we are all so busy? Many RES families have both parents working outside the home in demanding, interesting careers. Even if you have the time to think about volunteering, all the jobs sound so demanding or confusing — and the meetings are hard to attend, no matter how flexible your schedule may be. And in an era where fathers are eager to take on equal parenting duties and responsibilities, how do they tap into a community that is heavy on the SAHM vibe?

Our RES PTA is working on ways to include all families in our RES community. We have major programs that are run on weekends and evenings (stay tuned for features on some of our programs this week!), and we are working to ensure important information coming from our meetings (and usually a streaming video of the meeting) is available for those who can’t be there in person. But we are also hopeful families will want to join us in hands-on volunteering to support our work.

We know that not every parent can or wants to be involved in volunteering, though there is much to be said for the benefits of volunteering and for the volunteer base being diverse. But if you ARE looking for a way, big or small, to get involved, here’s some ideas:

  • Contribute a case of water, a store-bought fruit salad, Costco cookies or paper goods for the staff appreciation lunches
  • Work a 1 hour shift at the Artisan Fair bake sale — you can sell the stuff OTHER families bake, no pressure!
  • Help check people in or distribute corsages at the Sweetheart Dance (one of the very cutest suggestions!)
  • Give 1 hour during the late afternoon or evening for the Fall or Spring Book Fair
  • Join a committee to work on one of our major projects like Imagine a World or the International Fair; you can share ideas via email and give an hour here and there, and your professional experience will be a huge benefit to these programs!
  • Help organize an evening or weekend PTA family program like Family Game Night
  • Offer your expertise for a guest blog on our PTA website or video on our FB page
  • Give 1 late afternoon hour to help sort fundraiser orders when they arrive at RES
  • Join our Ladies Night Out team to ask your favorite local businesses for auction items (you can check this off while you’re already at a restaurant or store you enjoy and would be at anyway!)

(Special thanks to working mom and PTA Treasurer Jen for some of these ideas!)

Do you have other suggestions for busy families to get involved? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, discuss this post on Facebook or send us a message! And don’t forget to join our community and set up your 2017-2018 PTA membership at MySchoolAnywhere.com, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY.

The PTA is…Community.

As we get ready to celebrate our RES community members, new and old, at tonight’s Open House, it’s a great time to talk about how the PTA facilitates community.

No matter how long you’ve lived in Redding, having your child start school is a new experience — and it’s unique for each child, as well. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with parents you know from the wider community and meet new families. My own mother is still going on ladies’ weekends with the mom of my 3rd grade best friend, so these relationships can last a lifetime!

The RES PTA has events both big and small to help families make connections. Families new to the school or the community might begin with our twice-yearly Newcomer Coffee — the first of which will be held at 9am on September 26 at the Mark Twain Library. Families who are old hat to the world of RES are also welcome to come and share their insights and tips!

In addition to our Newcomer Coffee and the upcoming Room Parents’ Training Session (scheduled once Room Parents are assigned), there will be events serving our wider PTA community. We will host some family fun nights — in past years, we’ve done family game nights and ice skating outings, and we’re always looking for other great suggestions. We will again host our Ladies Night Out, an event that is both a fundraiser and a chance for the women of our community to come together and enjoy each other’s company. (More details will be coming soon, along with information about how to buy your tickets.) We also will be hosting special events like the Sweetheart Dance in February — a wonderful event for dads or male role models to have a special evening with kids; and the dodgeball tournament, which offers moms or female role models a chance to enjoy a night of pizza and competition with the kids in their lives!

Probably the greatest community-building events we do, though, are our volunteering and membership activities! As we take on more and more awesome program challenges to enrich life at RES, we need more and more awesome volunteers. We know that working parents and stay-at-home parents have different needs when it comes to volunteering, so don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what your interests and ability to commit are, and we can find you a team of interesting, fun Redding parents to work with! We also are working towards making our PTA meetings (and our very informative Conversations with the Principal series, which kicks off each PTA meeting) more accessible to anyone who can’t come to RES by streaming our meetings, as well as offering entertainment for little brothers and sisters during the PTA meetings so childcare isn’t an obstacle. Every family is welcome.

All this is thanks to the help of our PTA members. Still need to join? Sign up here, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY. If membership isn’t for you, consider signing up to receive our emails and updates using the same link.

September is…PTA Membership Month.

In addition to talking about transitions, this month we’ll be talking about why you should join the Redding Elementary School PTA. In talking with longtime volunteers, it became clear that there are three main pillars of our PTA: Community, Programs and Service.

Whether you took a Buzzfeed quiz that determined you were that salty PTA mom or you’re a dad wondering if the PTA is a place for you, one of the most important things our RES PTA strives for is a healthy, active, nourished community. Many families come to town when their kids are RES-aged, looking for an educational experience that’s known as much for its focus on kindness as for its excellence. Other families are longtime Redding community members who are entering an exciting new phase in their lives with school-aged kids. Our PTA strives to be a connector for both groups, plugging families in to an active and flourishing RES community with family events, parents-only nights and opportunities to volunteer together.

In this Open House week, look for more information on ways that you and the RES PTA can work together, all thanks to your membership.

Still need to join? Sign up here, using the code REDDINGELEMENTARY. If membership isn’t for you, consider signing up to receive our emails and updates using the same link.