PTO volunteer work can fit everyone’s schedule

| September 7, 2016

COSHOCTON COUNTY – When you work 9-5, volunteering with your child’s school parent teacher organization may seem challenging, but believe it or not there are still a number of ways you can get involved.

“We offer our meetings at 6:30 p.m. to help working parents be a part of it,” said Morgan Hammond from Keene Elementary School’s PTO.

For those parents who still can’t make meetings, Hammond said they just ask them to volunteer their time when they have a chance.

“Examples are sorting fundraisers and helping in school with different activities,” she said. “If you’re not able to make that work the next option is to supply what’s needed whether that’s money or something as simple as cups for a party.”

Hammond encourages parents to get involved with PTO any way they can.

“PTO is a group put together by parents helping parents become more involved in their child’s life and know what’s going on at their school,” she said. “They are able to make a suggestion or give ideas to help better their school activities and projects. PTO needs more support from parents because sometimes we are the voice for that school.”

Denise Thompson from Ridgewood Elementary School’s PTO also said there are lots of ways for working parents to get involved. She suggests helping out with fundraisers, working the book fair when it’s held in the evening, assisting with kindergarten screening, helping out at the Santa Shop or volunteering at the quarter auction or carnival or sending in baked goods for these events.

They hold their meetings at 2:45 p.m. in the school’s library and the next one is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20.

“We tried holding them later, but we didn’t get much more participation,” Thompson said. “We start our year off though with asking parents what days and times they would be available to help with events. Some say every day and others we know we can call when fundraisers come in to help sort them and get them picked up.”

The group already has a cookie fundraiser planned and are working on organizing a Ridgewood apparel fundraiser.

“You can volunteer as little or as much as you can,” Thompson said. “We are always looking for volunteers and it doesn’t have to be a parent. Grandparents can help too.”

If your child attends Conesville Elementary, Charlotte Foster-Bantum said their PTO meetings are the first Thursday of every month at 4 p.m.

“We welcome all returning parents as well as new parents to join us at our meetings or just give a call to see what PTO is about,” she said. “There is never a set amount of time that they need to give us when volunteering. We are so very grateful for any amount given due to being aware that everyone’s lives are hectic with very little room to spare any time.”

Foster-Bantum said PTO provides items and funding to assist teachers in areas that very well may not be covered within the school and plans fundraisers to assist with this.

“Parents can always volunteer to assist with the book fairs we have two times a year, Secret Santa and the many activities throughout the year,” she said. “PTO in my mind is the least I feel I can do for the school. It isn’t measurable the amount of gratitude I feel toward the teachers at Conesville for the time and love they have given to my sons as well as each and every child attending Conesville.”

Seanda Ramsey from Coshocton Elementary School’s PTO said there is something for everyone to help with no matter what your work schedule.

“Our Parent Teacher Organization is built by volunteers,” she said. “Help is always needed and much appreciated. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home parent or if you work outside the home during the day or evenings. There is some way to be a part of the PTO.”

Ramsey said volunteers can make calls for PTO, sort papers for class distribution and help set up and/or take down displays for book fair and the Santa Shop, assist with the annual chili dinner in February or volunteer to be a chair person to head up events and help with planning. She also noted that Evan Arnold, chair of box tops, would appreciate some help cutting and counting labels.

Ramsey welcomes and encourages those interested in learning more about Coshocton Elementary School’s PTO to attend one of the monthly meetings held the second Monday of each month or contact her at 740-502-6380 or Jennifer Milligan at 740-575-1087 with questions related to the PTO.

“Parents, grandparents, caregivers as well as other family members and friends are welcome and encouraged to get involved with PTO at Coshocton Elementary School,” she said.

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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