RES Gives Back – 2018 Pajama & Book Drive!

Don’t forget one of our big spring charitable collections for our wider community, the Pajama & Book Drive. We ask our RES families to send in a new pair of pajamas and a new book to help a child in need enjoy a comfortable, cozy story time. We are proud to partner with community organizations to help our RES students learn to share their good fortune.

The details: on MARCH 2 (this Friday!) send in the pajamas and book in a bag, labeled with the gender/size information. You should look for pajamas in sizes 5-12. If you would like to benefit the RES PTA with your purchase, use the Amazon Smile program and select Redding Elementary School PTA as your benefiting charity!

Black History Month Book Roundup!

We’re nearly through Black History Month, which is a great time to reflect how we can continue to bring diversity and Black voices in our homes the whole year through. One easy way to do that is by choosing kids’ books that feature people of color. Here are some great lists to get your started — you can find these at our amazing library, local independent bookstores and, of course, Amazon (where you can choose to benefit the RES PTA when you shop through the Amazon Smile program!).

Black Boy Joy: 30 Picture Books Featuring Black Male Protagonists – some great choices for younger readers; Last Stop on Market Street is a particular favorite in our home.

Broadening the Story: 50 Picture Books Starring Black Mighty Girls – picks for younger kids, from toddler to grade school. Girl of Mine and Ada Twist Scientist are well-loved here.

20 Children’s Books Featuring Black Characters Every Child Should Read – choices from a mom blogger from board books to chapter books!

34 Young Adult Novels to Diversify Your Bookshelf – YA novels that feature people of color for your older students ready for some more complex narratives.

And maybe it’s time for you to diversify your OWN reading list! Check out this great Book Riot post with some suggestions for grownups (or pick up one of our recent faves, The Hate U Give or Sing, Unburied, Sing!). Happy reading!

SOUPer Bowl victory!

While your team may not have made the Super Bowl this year, RES kindness won our 1st annual SOUPer Bowl — a collection of non-perishable goods our PTA families did for the Redding Food Pantry on the Friday before the big game. A big cheer of thanks to our organizers and all who participated!

PTA Volunteering, Revisited.

This fall we talked about the challenges of making time to volunteer with your RES PTA when you have other commitments — whether it’s a full-time job or caregiving or other volunteer commitments, we are all so very busy these days! Now that the year is more than halfway done and your RES student is settled, you may again be thinking of ways to help. We revisited our list and added some new ideas…you can make a big impact on the work we do with just a few minutes or hours!

  • 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 Snow Ball 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.
  • Run a committee for one of our major events — our big program events are on weekends, and if you run the committee, you can set the meetings to accommodate your schedule! We have had a number of busy professionals run our programs over the years, to great success!
  • 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!).
  • Run or help to run a country table for the International Fair or a station at Imagine a World.
  • Help decorate for the Artisan Fair or the Snow Ball dance.
  • Volunteer to organize an RES PTA club — we’ve had running and knitting clubs after hours for students, but an adult RES PTA book club, a family hiking club or a craft club are just some of the wonderful options!
  • Hand out aprons or check in runners at the annual Turkey Trot.
  • Assist in coordinating our Fall Family Photo Day — many of the activities can be done wholly online.
  • Organize or assist in organizing donation drives for the PTA — setting up a collection location and then taking those goods to the charity benefiting from the drive could take as little as a few hours, total, and can do so much food! One example is this year’s awesome SOUPer Bowl food pantry drive.
  • Share our events and fundraisers with your social network — sharing our Facebook and blog posts takes only seconds but can help us make a huge impact!
  • Volunteer an hour for Friday night set up activities for our weekend events.
  • Help out with our special bus driver appreciation day by greeting our drivers early in the morning with coffee, treats and our thanks.
  • Volunteer an hour or two with a friend at a community event to represent the PTA (at Georgetown Day, the Rock & Roots Festival, or any other town-wide events).
  • Send in donations with your RES student for our charitable activities, such as the pajama drive or our Frosty drive.
  • Help a major event or committee by managing a SignUp Genius page for their needs.
  • Help organize author visits with our library team.
  • Sit at the PTA table during open parent-teacher night, orientation or other all-school events.
  • Get involved with our lunchtime music program by identifying and suggesting local artists.
  • Send letters to our local media about RES PTA programs that have made a difference to you; share your positive thoughts on social media.
  • Donate craft supplies, large stand-up acrylic photo frames and cases of water to the PTA, if you see a great deal someplace — we always need them!
  • Spend an hour after school helping us clean up and organize the PTA supply closet.
  • Research fundraising options for next year — from a spirit wear vendor to a fall fundraiser, we are always interested in hearing about new or better options, and we don’t always have the time to look into them; it would be great to have help for our incoming Fundraising Chair to sort through the options.
  • Help deliver and put up signs encouraging people to vote when it’s time to weigh in on our school budget.
  • Send along articles of interest about parenting, education and PTA programs for inclusion on our Facebook page or webpage.
  • Use your tech skills to help us redesign our webpage to be more user-friendly and appealing.
  • Shop using our “free money” links at Amazon, Shutterfly, Primary, Mighty Nest and more.
  • Attend Board of Education and Board of Finance meetings to help ensure RES PTA community viewpoints are being heard; if you can’t attend in person, you can send emails to the elected officials in charge.
  • Send in neatly trimmed Box Tops for Education twice a year.
  • Join our Second Shift committee tasked with strategizing ways to meet the needs of those who can’t volunteer during the school day.

And PTA members who work outside the home or who have other commitments can also serve on our PTA Board! Next year we will need a Treasurer, a role that can be done largely “off hours.” While it’s been amazing to have our Treasurer able to attend meetings, thanks to her flexible workplace and tremendous personal commitment, it is possible to do the role remotely, sending reports to the Board to share with the PTA membership. We also will have other openings for major committees and are very willing to find ways to work with folks who want to take on leadership roles, but who need scheduling accommodations. Just reach out to us and start the conversation!

If Music Be the Food of Love…RES PTA’s Lunchtime Music!

This fall, popular blogger Geek Dad posted about taking his elementary school-aged daughter to see live concerts, and how much they both enjoyed and took from the experience. While we can’t bring Imagine Dragons in to RES — no matter how great our Yankee candle sale went! – the benefits of live music for kids is real. The RES PTA is proud to sponsor the Lunchtime Music series again this year, as one of the cultural enrichment programs we provide for all RES students.

On February 8, we welcomed Jennifer Terry, and the next lunchtime concert will be on March 15 with Redding’s own, the fabulous Amy Cabot! Ask your kids what they think about turning the cafeteria into a concert hall!