iscream4reading is a literacy-based fundraiser that focuses on getting kids to read. Initially we have focused on kids getting involved in reading over the summer, but we want literacy to continue all year long. Lately, we've been discussing how to entice kids to read more and raise more. We have always loved the idea of making the fundraiser more of a school literacy program.
This literacy program would begin with the excitement that the PTA, PTO, and school book fairs bring followed by a Battle of the Books across grades. Our hope would be that by enticing the students with a Battle of the Books (possibly even a battle between students and teachers) we would be able to help the PTA, PTO, and schools drive their book fairs, thus helping to raise their book sales. We could then tie the iscream4reading fundraiser for 4-6 weeks (during) school and then complete the literacy program with the Battle of the Books.
Last week I wrote about PTA’s Three For Me initiative and I began to realize that I don’t really know much about what the PTA has to offer my school, parents or my children. I have diligently paid my PTA dues for the last 9 years and never asked, “What do my dues pay for?”
So, I decided to start browsing the National PTA’s website and I have learned that there is an enormous amount of information that my school and myself are not utilizing. If you haven’t done so, I highly recommend you spend some time browsing the site.
The National PTA offers everything from parent engagement to children’s advocacy to online auction resources. There is a wealth of information that most parents know very little about because we just pay our dues. There are even many discounts that PTA members are privy too, once they activate their accounts. Who knew?
One such area of interest on the site is the Family Reading Experience that helps families engage in literacy. Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone in the world knew how to read? Well, PTA and Kindle are aiming to do just that. There are free activities and resources to help your child get engaged in reading. Why not try some out tonight?
There are many more amazing resources that just are not getting enough attention at the local PTA levels and there are so many ideas that truly could breathe some life into your local PTA if you are finding it is a bit stale, so spend some time introducing yourself to the National PTA!
What motivates volunteers?
It’s the age old question that is plaquing non-for-profits and especially PTA’s, PTO’s, Booster Clubs, and Friends of organizations.
Why is it that volunteers are so difficult to find? Or that the same group of people are volunteering?
In an effort to get total parent participation, our school just implemented the Three for me PTA initiated program. The program encourages PTA’s to reach out and ask parents and volunteers to commit to 3 hours of volunteering at the convenience of their schedule. Imagine how much work would be done if everyone at your school committed to just 3 hours of volunteering.
For more information visit PTA Three for Me
Do you find yourself choosing your child’s reading material? Are you concerned that your child is not reading quality books? Do you judge a book by it’s cover? Are you frustrated that your child does not want to read? Do you fight to get your child to read just one story?
If you answered yes to these questions, consider allowing your child to choose whatever they want to read. Whether your child picks a magazine, listens to stories on tape, or decides to read the worst chapter book you can think of; it is a good start to get them reading.
Reading should be a fun experience, especially when kids are reading independently. Choosing the stories and setting parameters on their reading materials can immediately squash their love of reading. The next time you take your child to the book store or library, allow them to choose. Try not to hold judgment on what they deem as a “good” book. Shouldn’t the goal be to just get them reading?
Recently, our school had their annual book fair. A friend was distraught because her son choose the Guiness Book of World Records. Feeling that the book was not “quality” reading material and seeing how expensive it was; she was not pleased that her son had coerced her husband into purchasing it. Her son has not put the book down. Instead he reads it over and over spewing facts about different records. Not only is he reading, but he is also engaging in family conversation.
We can all agree that reading is important. Being a good reader will help your child be more confident, increase their attention span, broaden their vocabulary, and more. It doesn’t matter how they get to be good readers. It is important that we get them to read and enjoy reading. The choosing of quality literature will come, even if it’s by their teachers.
Next time your child brings home something to read that interests them, don’t be a book snob. See where it leads them. Are you up for the challenge?