Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Carnival

We had a full house for our annual PTA sponsored Fall Carnival last Friday, and the beautiful weather made it the perfect evening for our fun filled events!

Preparation began months ago as Committee Chair, Pam Witt, organized the event. With assistance from Publix at Windsor Commons, Pizza Hut on Beach Boulevard, Starbucks of Windsor Commons, Tim Moore, and LittleBits, this year’s sponsors led the way for a hugely successful carnival.

Pam sought the help of room parents and teachers to sign up to run booths and food stands, and volunteers came out in the droves to support the school’s event. Pre-sale tickets and wrist bands were available for two weeks leading up to the event, and thanks to Pam and Ms. Julie each child’s pre-order was filled. PTA Board Members graciously ran ticket booths the night of the event for those who had not purchased pre-sale tickets.

In addition, via requests in the Connection and teacher’s newsletters, parents kindly sent in candy as a donation to support our Trick or Treating around our bottom floor. PTA board members organized and distributed the candy so that teachers could run Trick or Treating from 6:00-7:00 pm during Carnival.

A few days leading up to the event supplies were picked up and cotton candy was made, and the morning of Carnival, the PTA board was hard at work stocking 20+ coolers with an assortment of drinks which would later be stationed at each food booth. In addition, prizes that had been purchased and donated where put in bins to be placed at each booth. Rented lights arrived and were set in place, and Mr. Stanley and Mr. JB began preparing for their operation. Space Walk delivered inflatable slides, a velcro wall, and an inflatable obstacle course. All easily put in place because Pam had made a map of where items would be set up.

Next, we hauled coolers to food booths and set up tables, and with the bell signaling the end of the day, teachers and parent volunteers began setting up their booths.

The Carnival, held from 6-9 pm, ran smoothly and the children’s smiles lit up the evening. The PTA board members continued to sell tickets and wristbands throughout the evening, and board member, Renee English collected and counted funds for the evening.

Clean up, from 9-11 pm, wasn't as much fun as the initial set up, but with a hand full of dedicated volunteers, we got the job done. We are looking forward to this continued tradition in the future. Pam, do I see you raising your hand to run next year's event? :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vision Screening

Each year, PTA runs our school's routine vision screening for each student. Routine vision screening is a service that alerts parents if there is an issue, so they can follow up with an eye doctor. (In fact, years ago, this is a service that alerted me that my own child had an issue.)

To serve nearly 1,300 students our Volunteer Coordinators had to set up three days of vision screening this year. They booked volunteers to run six vision stations and called classes down for screening one at a time.

We truly appreciate the willingness of so many folks to volunteer and make sure we could provide this valuable service. Our CCE volunteers are the best!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Picture Day

The kids were dolled up, their colics meticiously tamed, and each one with a bright white smile. It must have been picture day! And, our CCE PTA volunteers were out in full force lining the kids up, helping to keep them reasonably quiet, and assisting students to run the black plastic comb through their hair just one more time.

Thank you to all the volunteers who made this day run smoothly. I know the CCE teachers are grateful.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Room Parent Meeting

The Volunteer Coordinators, Deb, Kathy, and Lourdes hosted a Room Parent Meeting for all room parent volunteers this week. They greeted the dedicated volunteers and began by setting up some general guidelines. They went over the importance of maintaining strict student confidentiality, and the guidelines for correspondence with parents. All letters being sent by parents need to be pre-approved by the principal, Mrs. Phillips, and letters to parents cannot request specific dollar amounts. However, requests for “donations” are permitted. Room parents should keep a log of all money received for classroom/school events, and retain receipts for items purchased with classroom money.

Next, the Volunteer Coordinators discussed upcoming events and the responsibilities of the Room Parents. They encouraged the parents to discuss these events with their child's teacher and make a plan to assist the classroom in any way possible.

Each class decorates a pumpkin (or pumpkins) to represent a literary character, scene, etc... The pumpkins may be painted, items may be glued on, or the pumpkin may be part of a larger display, however pumpkins must not be carved. The pumpkins along with the children's book need to be delivered to the front lobby by 10:00 AM on Monday. They are displayed in the lobby throughout the week.

FALL CARNIVAL: (OCTOBER 23, 2009 from 6:00-9:00PM)
Each class signs up to run a booth or activity the night of Carnival. It is the room parent’s responsibility to contact volunteers to run the booth/activity in half-hour or one-hour increments of time so that the booth is covered the entire evening. PTA will send information describing the booth, its duties, how many volunteers are needed, etc. approximately two weeks before the event. The room parent is also responsible for coordinating the setting up and tearing down of the booth. Classes are encouraged to decorate their booth in conjunction with the school’s theme which, this year, is a musical theme “Orchestrating a Symphony of Student Success.” The booths will be judged by several of the PTA and Staff members, and the winning booth will receive a $25.00 gift certificate for the teacher to use toward a party. Candy donations will be requested for Trick-or-Treating in the downstairs hallway of the school between 6:00-7:00 PM.

KINDERGARTEN POW WOW: (November 20, 2009)
Each Kindergarten class studies a specific Native American culture. Room parents are asked to help with making costumes, decorating classrooms, coordinating donations of supplies, etc. The room parent assists in scheduling parent volunteers to help on the POW-WOW day at various craft and activity stations, etc.

Each class creates a holiday item (wreath, basket, cards, tablecloth, tree skirt, craft, etc.) to be auctioned in a silent auction over a two-week period. Auction items should be chosen such that the students can actively participate in its creation. We encourage the room parent to choose an item that will be appealing to anyone in the school and not just to the classroom (this increases the bidding pool). The auction item may be a holiday theme, the school’s theme, etc. The money received from the item goes directly to the classroom that created it.

This is an event offered in the spring where the room parent assists the classes in creating a themed basket for auction. More info to come on additional events after the New Year.

Thank you, Lourdes, Kathy, and Deb for giving an overview of upcoming events. We look forward to the support these wonderful volunteers will bring to classroom teachers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September's Family Night

Each month, PTA hosts a Family Night event or activity to give families the opportunity to spend quality time together or to learn more about Chets Creek's academic expectations. Some of these events begin with a family night dinner sponsored by the PTA. On Tuesday, PTA invited all CCE families out for our first family night dinner of the year catered by Salerno's Italian Ristorante. And, after dinner, parents were invited to join their child’s second grade class for Math Night or their child’s fourth grade class for FCAT Writes Night.

Lori Haas chairs the family night dinner committee and is responsible for booking the catering, securing the menu, inviting parents, and collecting funds from a pre-sale. Our Volunteer Coordinators, Deb O'Berry, Kathy Jo Ayers, and Lourdes Smith lend a helping hand and secure volunteers for set up, serving, and clean up.

On Tuesday evening, our volunteers, Estela Santiago, Herb Arteaga, Cami Gomez, and Gina Allmond set up for dinner in the Dining Room from 5:00-6:00 pm and Brandy Williams, Janet White, Annabel Krott, and Tim Moore served families from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Families dined on chicken parmesan, penne pasta, salad, bread, drinks and dessert. Then, at 7:00 pm the clean up crew, Amanda Benson, Tia Peaco, Kelly Moore, and Pam Witt cleaned up as the families joined their teachers who graciously agreed to host an academic session.

With the combined effort of all those involved, the night was a huge success, and we look forward to our next Family Night dinner in November. We are also eagerly awaiting October's Family Night, Fall Carnival, on October 23rd. We hope you join us!