As you know I am a kindergarten teacher in an inner city school. Three years ago, after accepting a position at Harry Kizirian Elementary School I also became PTO president. One of the things Principal Dina Cerra, who was also new to our school, hoped for was for the PTO to work together with community and faculty to organize a Back to School Celebration the week before the first day of school. Although it seemed like an overwhelming endeavor at the time, it was actually a whole lot of fun to organize and we are all looking forward to the 3rd Annual Back to School Celebration next month.
The first thing we had to do was decide how much money we could afford to spend. We had fundraisers throughout the year, so we did have some money to work with, but we tried to reach out to our community to offset some of the expenses.
We wrote a letter about our school and the goals of our PTO. We explained, in detail, why we needed their support and also how it would be beneficial to them to be at our event or donate something for our cause. We promised to thank any supporters on all Social Media and we promised to share pictures and information about our event with them.
We emailed, called, used Social Media, and simply went in person to local organizations, businesses, and officials with our letter. We had a tremendous response of donations, and also people willing to come to our event and set up tables with information and activities. We had fire fighters, representatives from various after school programs, healh care providers, and reps from Children’s Crusade.
We were fortunate to have teachers volunteer to set up informational tables and our librarian set up a table where children could make and take their own journals.
We did use our PTO funds and donated money to rent a bouncy house, tables, chairs, and to buy healthy snacks. We also paid for pony rides, Zoomobile , face painters, and temp. tatoo artists ! So fun!
We had a flyer distributed to families a few weeks before the event and we all called houses to remind and encourage families to attend.
It was a huge success! Take a look at our first year’s pictures! Of course we took lots of them and put them in our front foyer on our Parent Board. What a great thing for families to see as they enter our school!