When it comes to the existence of a PTO here at Oak Creek Academy, you might have a few questions as a parent: What is the purpose of a PTO? Does our school even need a PTO? What will the PTO do for my family?
Past Experiences with the PTO
For the past eleven years, I was the parent who paid the family PTO dues every year, may have sent cookies for holiday parties if I remembered, and even attended special events – but I never truly became involved in the school. I was on maternity leave in March 2014 and thought this was an opportunity to be “One of those Moms” by volunteering to toast the garlic bread for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. I arrived at 11:00 am with my 13 loaves of perfectly toasted, wrapped bread to find out that I was 2 days early….2 DAYS! This was in Denver, CO shortly after the mass shooting at the nearby movie theater. I also was carrying my newborn in a car seat covered with a blanket with plastic tubing leading from the baby, who was on oxygen, to the black backpack on my back containing the oxygen canister. Here I was standing in front of three ladies, who probably didn’t know I even had kids in the school, causing the entire lobby to smell like garlic. After we all had a good laugh, the administrative assistants admitted that when they saw me coming with the backpack with wires coming from it, they alerted the principal and almost called the police. That night, my family ate garlic bread for dinner, and I thought maybe my stint as a PTO mom was going to be short-lived – but the effort was what mattered.
Our PTO Community Vision
I get it. Not only do our families have the demands of family life and work, but we also have doctors’ appointments, therapies, insurance companies to contact and to be honest, our own physical and mental well-being to care for. How nice would it be to have another parent to talk to when life is becoming too hard? Who not only understands where you are coming from but has probably been in a similar situation? What if you had people you could ask help from when you have an appointment and can’t be there to pick up your child at the end of the day? These are some of the reasons behind the need for an Oak Creek PTO. We want our school to become a community, not only to aid with various school activities and functions but to support the mission and vision that Dr. Tracy has created. The success of the school depends on all of us working together to make this happen.
When I think of a PTO, I imagine the stereotypical “PTO mom.” She is always at the school, smiling, trying to micromanage activities, and who treats being the Vice President of the PTO as her profession. I am here to tell you that your Oak Creek PTO board members are not that. The three of us have never been a part of a PTO in the past and we are truly winging it as we go. We are parents who know the struggles the children and our families are all going through. But we do need help in creating this community.
Did you know that research shows when parents are involved in their child’s education, the child is more likely to:
- Attend school regularly
- Have better social skills
- Show improved behavior at home and school
- Be more positive in their attitude towards school
When schools have involved parents, the school is more likely to have:
- Better morale among teachers
- Higher ratings of teachers by parents
- A better reputation in the community
Parents who become involved in their children’s education are more likely to:
- Be more confident at school
- Be more confident in themselves as parents and their ability to help their children
- Have teachers expect more from their children
- Enroll in continuing education to advance their own schooling
What Can You Do?
Your involvement in Oak Creek can make a dramatic difference for our children, the school atmosphere, and the success rate of our children. Do you have any ideas that will help our children or our school community? Please, join us at our next PTO meeting or send us an email of any interest you might have in helping. Maybe attending a PTO meeting simply is not possible for you but you want to be involved. Let us know. Even the smallest duties will help our school and ensure a better environment for our students and the community as a whole.
Be sure to Join or PTO Facebook page for up-to-date information about upcoming events! https://www.facebook.com/oakcreekptokilleen/