Wow, that was quite the year! With a pandemic, an election, a country often divided, so much learning happening around diversity, equity and inclusion and heightened parental involvement at our school board meetings and our children's education in general we have grown so much as a school community. My heart is heavy for anyone that may have lost a loved one or had serious health setbacks during this year. I have heard so many stories of job changes, moves, marriages, births, divorces, health scares and all of the checkboxes that are listed under "Highly Stressful Events". I also witnessed countless acts of kindness, charity, grace, selflessness and respect.
My hope for this year is that we ease our way into our new normal and continue to respect the boundaries and comfort levels each one of us may have. We all have different ways we coped and will have different ways we unravel this past year. We may not always get it right, but we will work with kindness in our hearts to help each other along the way.
Our goal as a PTA will continue on three fronts:
With weekly e-newsletters, social media posts, video content, messaging boards, monthly meetings and just a friendly chat at a coffee house, we work to keep you informed
We host social meetups for our families, appreciate our teachers and staff and hold events so that our students can gain new experiences (school play) and enjoy their accomplishments (5th-grade farewell)
We help educate our community on important legislation and help lobby at the national, state, and local levels to support legislation and regulations that benefit children and families.
All of these important activities are paid for by your PTA membership (the directory), purchases of spirit wear items, and participation in small fundraising events such as our Walkathon. Our budget is relatively small and strives to remain at a zero balance at the end of the year. If there is ever any surplus, we invite our members to vote on the use of funds which in the past has included donating back to LPIE our education foundation (we are only allowed to donate to education non-profits). We encourage you to learn how important LPIE is to our community and hope you will consider donating the student ask amount or ANY amount so that we may benefit from teacher aides, science, music and art programs and so that teachers can get additional training and a budget for supplies and so much more!
We could not provide our school community with these programs and tools without, of course, your time. My oldest daughter graduated high school last year and I want to impart some elder-mama wisdom. The elementary school years are when you will meet your "people". They will be the ones that you will count on for help when your child is sick or needs a ride to soccer. You will get to know the kids you will one day see walking downtown as a middle schooler or cheering for at a high school basketball game. You will notice by the time you get to middle school and high school, you will be gently prodded away from being too involved (as it should be so they can fly!). Don't make the mistake that you think there will be time for it all. Please take the time to fill out our Volunteer Opportunity Form just to indicate some level of interest. There are so many ways to get involved. Volunteer for lunch, library or classroom opportunities as they present themselves. You honestly won't regret it.
Finally, whenever possible, let's say HELLO again! So many smiling faces I haven't seen without a mask and so many new families to welcome! Please introduce yourself (or re-introduce yourself), come to our meetings and events and let's get back to the business of building back our community.
Lafayette Elementary PTA President, 2021-2022