PTO. Parent Teacher Organization. Letters and words. But what do they really mean? PTOs around the country got bad raps in the 90’s as the group hangout of stay-at-home-moms who excluded others and complained. Fast forward to 2022, and PTOs look a lot different. Anyone who sends a child to school can participate in Parent Teacher Organizations–moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and guardians.
Technology revolutionized the way that parents organize themselves to pitch in and lend a hand when they can at their child’s school. PTO social media pages, web based sign ups, and school websites help spread the word of how all the people in a child’s life can help support the school. A lot of assistance from parents to the schools looks like purchasing small items like snacks, drinks, cups, and napkins to stock the teacher’s lounge or a graduation ceremony. Other opportunities look like decorating a gym or a homecoming float. Follow social media pages and participate online in PTO groups to learn what small needs can be met by adults in a child’s life.
If you’re really looking for a way to dig in and make a difference at a school, ask the school principal about monthly PTO meetings in person or drop in via Zoom. PTOs typically have a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, as well as other non-leader members. If you have a little extra time on your hands becoming a PTO leader may be the just the right way to help your child’s school. As the end of school approaches, talk to the principals and staff around the schools and ask how you can serve with the Parent Teacher Organization in the 2022-2023 school year.