PTSA builds family-school partnerships

It takes a lot of cupcakes and bake sales to raise $1,900.

But all it took for the Robinson Barracks Elementary/Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association was a little brainstorming.

The RBEMS PTSA was one of 32 U.S. schools awarded $1,897 for the National Parent Teacher Association’s Take Your Family to School Week, Feb. 7-12. The odd dollar amount commemorates the year the PTA was founded.

“We are the only school in DoDDS-Europe to win,” said Sandra Vitt, the PTSA vice president.

The contest asked PTAs and PTSAs to describe how the organizations were celebrating Take Your Family to School Week, which is intended to promote parent and family involvement in the school.

The RBEMS strategy, said Vitt, was appeal to as many people as possible by planning special activities. “The families can then pick and choose what activities they participate in,” she said.

Board games and basketball, bingo and chili, and a movie with popcorn were only some of the planned events.

The week kicked off with International Night, and celebrated diversity with a fashion show, art, food and dance performances. Parents could also look at the middle school students’ National History Day projects.

“We want to get parents in the school to connect with it and connect with the community,” said Tamyla Abraham, the RBEMS PTSA president.

PJ Reading Night allowed all involved to do just that. Elementary students and their siblings reported to school dressed in their pajamas, ready for an evening of bedtime stories.

While the children listened to stories, parents visited with one another, teachers and the principal.

“Anytime the kids are in school after hours and are here because they want to be, and their parents are here — it’s awesome,” said RBEMS Principal Michael Johnson.