Size Matters

Monday, March 21, 2016

These Shorecrest moms are volunteering,
but you can help just by joining a local PTA 
By Lisa Surowiec

It's true, when it comes to the food on your plate, the voice from your throat, the household you live in, and the bank account you deal with.

These are all things your local school PTA cares about.

When you hear a plea for PTA membership, what you probably hear is an ask for you to come to meetings, to volunteer time you may or may not have, or for money you may or may not have. And while PTAs cannot exist without folks who are willing to go to meetings and volunteer their time, that is not really what being a PTA member means.

To you, it can mean being connected to other parents or community volunteers at the school. It means getting a newsletter, being offered opportunities to volunteer or contribute, and being offered an opportunity to voice concerns or ideas for your school community.

It also means some pretty nice discounts for some services or events that are actually useful.

To our kids, it means that you care about what is being offered to them at school. It is the PTA who generally offers enrichment programs, but it is also the PTA who calls attention to needing more playground supervision, organizes Watch D.O.G. programs, and funds classroom grants for teachers.

To everyone else's kids, your membership is part of a number. And the bigger the number, the better. Size matters.

The Washington State PTA is the largest volunteer organization in the State focused on the health and wellbeing of our kids. It advocates for legislation that supports all aspects of our kids' lives. The bigger our membership number, the louder our voice.

This year, membership numbers are down. And legislators are noticing. Overall, Region 6 (Seattle, Shoreline, Northshore and Vashon) is down 1,686 members from last year. Shoreline alone accounts for 389 of those. At a time when Education Funding needs attention, when we may need to be building a significant number of classrooms, when kids are coming to school hungry and could use a good breakfast to be able to learn, our smaller number makes it look as though we as a community aren't really that interested in the future of our kids.

Members don't have to have kids in school. Members can be grandparents, sisters, brothers, neighbors, or community members. Members don't have to agree with everything on the PTA platform. They don't have to show up to anything or take on a job (but it's great if they do!). PTA members just have to care about what's happening in their local school and to kids in Washington State.

Size Matters. Please consider joining your local school PTA today.


Anonymous,  March 22, 2016 at 6:28 AM  

Both the National PTA & the Washington State PTA have been pushing standardized testing and some other educational policies that are more in line with Bill Gates' beliefs than the parent's beliefs. Perhaps they should look at that. Members are being discouraged from opting their kids out of testing. Many schools have switched to PTOs instead due to unpopular platforms from the state and national PTA.

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