Ever wondered what it’s like to be part of a school committee? Our diary below by Danielle Tintor details her experience and how being involved forms a better parent – school relationship.
How did you become involved with the PTA and what is your role?
I have been part of FoNJA for over three years, when my oldest son joined the school.I attended the AGM to see how I could help and for the first year, I was a committee member. At the second AGM, it was decided that the group needed a vice secretary, so I volunteered to help.My role at FoNJA is to attend meetings, take minutes, support the secretary, help out at fundraising events and contribute ideas on how we can support the school. The FoNJA committee members are also the first to volunteer for any school events or trips which is a great help to the school.
How do you fundraise?
We hold various events, some in school and some outside. In the last 12 months we have hosted a very successful and fun summer gala, a number of school discos, a stall at the town gala and a stall at the Christmas lights switch on. We also hold a number of family events such as bingo night and a beetle drive after school, for students and their families to come and enjoy. We have regular movie nights after school, where children purchase tickets and come back to school around 6pm. They are provided with sweets and juice and get to watch one of the latest, new release movies on our big screen in the hall – this is always a hit with the children.
How has the fundraising helped the school?
The money we have raised has been spent on an array of resources and equipment for the school, including new picnic benches, playground markings, football nets and books for the library. FoNJA also fundraised and contributed to the building work done in school last year to extend our community room, to enable the school to provide wraparound childcare facilities. This is a huge hit with both parents and the children. We also gift the school an agreed amount of money each year for them to spend on ‘behaviour reward presents’. With school budgets being so limited and stretched at the minute, I know that any extra money, resources and equipment is really appreciated, to allow the school to have some luxuries that the budget would not allow.
Would you recommend getting involved to others?
I really enjoy being a part of FoNJA, helping fundraise and putting ideas forward on how we can make more of a difference. We meet every half term to discuss more ideas and the events we have coming up. The team also meet up for social events and try to encourage more family members to join the PTA. Having a PTA or friends of group really does form a link between the school and its parents/carers. Parents like to be involved in making a difference for the children and like to have an input on how the money is raised and where it is spent. I would highly recommend any school to have some sort of PTA group to form a better parent – school relationship.