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Old 09-15-2011, 12:40 PM
 
821 posts, read 1,228,932 times
Reputation: 446

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Hi Everyone,
I'm trying to come up with some activities for my kids elementry school which will involve the parents whether its with parents volunteering, sitting with their child or watching a spring concert. The idea is to get the school to become more of a community verses by 4:00pm all you hear at the school are crickets. LOL. AND at the same time fundraise for the PTA. Some idea's are.
- Parent computer class. showing how to access the school information online.
- Talent Show.
- Christmas and Spring Concert
- Movie Night

Please advice and wisdom
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Rockwall
675 posts, read 730,223 times
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Pumpkin Patch and Craft Fair in October
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:55 PM
 
10,099 posts, read 11,320,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC JC Mom View Post
Hi Everyone,
I'm trying to come up with some activities for my kids elementry school which will involve the parents whether its with parents volunteering, sitting with their child or watching a spring concert. The idea is to get the school to become more of a community verses by 4:00pm all you hear at the school are crickets. LOL. AND at the same time fundraise for the PTA. Some idea's are.
- Parent computer class. showing how to access the school information online.
- Talent Show.
- Christmas and Spring Concert
- Movie Night

Please advice and wisdom
You need to be aware that not everyone will want to be involved in the school after hours. Some parents (and kids) do things outside of school and those outside activities become the community while school remains a place of education. You have to know your own school to know whether this is true.

Some ideas for fun events would be a Fall Fun Day in the fall. A spaghetti dinner might be fun. A carnival in the spring with games and crafts.

Multicultural Night-this can be tied into the curriculum. At the elementary school that my kids attended each grade got a continent and each classroom a different country. The kids got passports that they could get stamped at each continent. The kids did projects and the classes planned activities for their country. Some activities were art projects, others were games, yet others were dances.

The elementary school also did a fundraising event for the adults only at Gameworks. Parents paid an entry fee and got food, drinks and a game card with a certain amount of time on it. Additional food, drink and time was available for purchase. The men LOVED this and they spent most of their time racing the Indy cars. We made good money on this fundraiser.

Our football league does special fundraisers at individuals restaurants and ice cream places. You go to the establishment with a flyer on a certain day and the organization gets a % of the sales.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:56 PM
 
5,244 posts, read 3,088,736 times
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Fall Family Fun Night- Not necessarily a fundraiser but the families can come and see the school. Stations are set up in different classrooms such as the music class (kids can touch the instruments), Library (the librarian reads a book in costume), gym (all families can come and learn a few dances with the p.e. coach like the cha cha slide, etc), cafeteria (set up a sundae station). Families were given a different order in which to do all the stations to control the numbers. My kids loved it when we did this as a family.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:08 PM
 
1,417 posts, read 2,194,774 times
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Tutoring
Classes on things like:
Lego construction
ceramics
poetry
yoga
aerobics
cooking
some other ideas:
dodgeball/kickball games/leagues
pot luck wednesdays
board game nights
guitar hero/band hero battle of the bands
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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Scholastic Book Fair is huge for our school. We do it the week in which open house and/or tv shut off week is. Then we are open late on the Open House night.
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Old 09-15-2011, 02:52 PM
 
5,581 posts, read 8,162,592 times
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Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
Scholastic Book Fair is huge for our school. We do it the week in which open house and/or tv shut off week is. Then we are open late on the Open House night.
Same at our elementary school. You can get a ton of parents/families/kids involved with the book fair. Contests, reading races, etc. Decorating the hallways and signage alone can keep a good number of families busy working together. We always had one contest where we'd set a goal and if the kids met it the principal would do something really silly... like dress up for a day in a bunny costume or let the class who read the highest number of pages spray him with silly string... something like that.

We always schedule our book fair in late October/early November so we can encourage families to buy books for holiday gift giving.

On Earth Day our schools do a trash walk. We take the kids out and walk around with trash bags and pick up trash.

Community bike rides are always a favorite thing, too. We arrange for police officers or fire fighters to come to the school to check kids helmet's and go over safety rules with them. Parents and teachers check brakes and tire pressure. Then parents are put in charge of small groups of kids and teachers go out on their bikes, too. Older grades ride around the neighborhood in a carefully mapped out bike ride. Younger grades have a "Bike Rodeo" where they ride their bikes around cones and play follow the leader and stop and go and things like that. The kids love it. The only tricky thing is that there are always a few kids who want to race to the front and a few kids who lag behind... so we made sure that the kids knew the stay with your parent chaperone rule. Of course - not all kids follow the rules and that why the teacher is not assigned a group so they can deal with the rulebreakers.

This year we're doing something new called "We Walk". The whole school - parents, teachers, kids - walks to a park, has a BBQ lunch, and then walks back. Kids are asking for pledges/donations. Each kid has a goal of $200. If they meet their goal, they get a free ticket to go to a special dance party later in the year. Kids who don't meet the goal can still go to the dance party but they have to buy tickets.

Popcorn Fridays is actually a pretty good fundraiser. Kids pay and place their orders in class on Wednesday and on Friday morning a couple of parents get together and pop the popcorn and bag it up and take it to the classes. Makes the school smell like a movie theater. We sell it for 50 cents a bag, and we encourage parents to buy popcorn for the whole classroom for special events like birthdays or if the class achieved a special goal or did something special.

We tried a school store but what a major PIA that was. The kids loved it, but it was very high maintenance and didn't make enough money to make it worth keeping it going. We were always running out of change/dollar bills... that was a hassle. Teachers also didn't like the cheap plastic crap that went along with the school store - grippies and cute erasers became like contraband with kids trading and causing distractions in the classroom.

Everybody loves the cookie dough fundraiser - except me. I think it stinks. I'm not a big fan of selling junk food at schools whether it's cookies or candy bars. I don't even like how those cookies taste, my homemade ones are better and I can make them for less money, too. It does make a lot of money for the school, though, so I keep my mouth shut.
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,489 posts, read 1,714,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC JC Mom View Post
Hi Everyone,
I'm trying to come up with some activities for my kids elementry school which will involve the parents whether its with parents volunteering, sitting with their child or watching a spring concert. The idea is to get the school to become more of a community verses by 4:00pm all you hear at the school are crickets. LOL. AND at the same time fundraise for the PTA. Some idea's are.
- Parent computer class. showing how to access the school information online.
- Talent Show.
- Christmas and Spring Concert
- Movie Night

Please advice and wisdom
I think that first you have to get the school on board and find out what the classroom teachers want and are willing to accept help on and likewise chat to the principle and ensure that they are on board.

I suspect that making big anouncements of new initiatives and programs will cause parents to run and hide.

I suspect that you need to ask ask and ask again.
I think you will need to have a happy face and a cheeful attitude even though most parents will say no.

I would have a short list of activites like you have listed and then make a list of jobs and tasks and skills.

When you talk to people, I suspect that some people will accept being asked to do a specific job others will rather get on board and then find something that they get satisfaction from doing. See the difference?. I think you need to be able to do both.

Good luck
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Old 09-15-2011, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,304 posts, read 1,484,231 times
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It really does depend on the school. Are there already alot of parents involved at the school and they are wondering what to do with all their energy? Or is there a lack of parental involvement and you are trying to stir some up?

At our old school, there were tons of parents involved. We had a PTA - did fundraisers, popcorn Fridays, parents night out, bbqs, etc... At the school we attend now, there is none of that. No PTA, no community involvement, nothing... I volunteered for a bit in my son's class, but wasn't really made to feel welcome. The teacher would have about 20 mins. worth of copying to do and that was it.

It's sad, but I really think it depends on the location and school as to how much parents are going to be involved.
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Old 09-15-2011, 11:40 PM
 
Location: IL
12,143 posts, read 5,959,887 times
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Some events our school hosts that have a great response:

International Night
Fall Festival
Outdoor Movie Night
Bingo
Talent Show
School Dance

One very popular event is Math Night. The education students from the local college come equipped with all sorts of math games for the kids and parents to play.
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