As a hands-on parent, I’ve learned that being fully engaged in your child’s life is essential to their overall growth and development. From my personal experience, I also learned that when I am actively involved in my children’s lives via extra-curricular activities, sports, and school-related events, my children tend to perform at a higher level and have a heightened sense of enthusiasm. This is especially important for Black students who statistics show are disciplined harsher and suspended more often than other students in schools nationwide. I first noticed the benefit of my presence (to my children) when I became actively involved with the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) at my son’s school.
I did my best to attend every event that I possibly could and I made a sincere effort to add value to the PTO. My son’s eyes light up every time he sees me decorating the PTO bulletin boards. His heart beams with pride as he watches me serve as a volunteer at the school’s annual walkathon. He smiles from ear-to-ear every time he sees me in the parking lot handing out freshly baked cookies (as a way to incentivize other parents to become members of the PTO). I have heard my son brag to his classmates that, “My mom is in the PTO!”
In addition to being a member, I accepted a role as the Hospitality Chair. As the Hospitality Chair, I am responsible for events like, The Great American Teach-In, Muffins with Mom, Donuts with Dad (which eventually became, “Pastries with Parents”), Goodies with Grandparents, and Teacher Appreciation Week. I absolutely enjoy the responsibility of making sure that everyone feels welcomed and well taken care of during these events. I greet everyone with a friendly smile.
In addition, I lend my support to other school functions throughout the year like Trunk or Treat, Bingo Night, and Spring Fling. By being an active member of the PTO, I have the opportunity to meet all of the teachers in the school. I get the opportunity to interface with the principal, vice principal, the front office staff and the cafeteria staff. Establishing relationships with the school staff members is beneficial to both me and my son. I am thoroughly convinced that he is able to thrive and soar in school as a result of my involvement with the PTO. My son realizes that the principal and all of the teachers knows me very well, so he is careful not to have any major disciplinary issues at the school. Moreover, many of the staff members have established a bond with my son because they see him at just about every school-related function.
My family has immersed ourselves in the school and in the PTO, and as a result of our commitment and dedication, my son excels academically and socially. I highly recommend being involved with your child’s PTO and if your child’s school doesn’t have one, start one. The benefits are immeasurable.
To learn more about this truly beneficial organization, please visit www.PTO.org
Tawanna Chamberlain, is the Mom & CEO of The Posh Publicity Firm, based in Tampa Bay.