Parents, teachers work toward common goals

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The main function of a Parent Teacher Organization is to raise money in support of a school and its programs. And, just as importantly, is the organization’s goal to strengthen the relationship between the parents and teachers.

“The teachers are often with our children more throughout the school day than we are as parents,” said Elly Reeves, PTO president at Troy Elementary School. “I call my children’s teachers their ‘other mothers’ because they spend as much waking time with my kids as I do. The teachers are helping to shape and mold my kids into the people they are turning into and that is so very important.”

Reeves said it is vastly important that parents and teachers be partners in the students’ education.

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“We all need to be involved with the Parent-Teacher Organization in an effort to have strong schools. As PTO parents, we want to support our teachers through fund-raisers. All of the money that is raised is turned back to the classrooms and to the school. Strong schools have strong PTOs.”

This year, the TES PTO raised about $11,000 with a chocolate sale. And there are even more efforts. How that money is spent at the school differs from year to year.

“Each teacher is given money, usually at the beginning of the school year, for classroom supplies and we also help with supplies for physical education and art,” Reeves said. “Each grade level gets $300 to go toward field trips. The fifth grade gets more because they take a big trip to Huntsville and they have to charter buses.”

In the past, the funds from the PTO fundraisers supplemented funds donated by the late Sen. Wendell Mitchell and Rep. Alan Boothe to build a playground at the kindergarten building.

Reeves said that the PTO is committed to the continued support of the teachers and students at Troy Elementary School and to making sure that their needs are met in the best interest of education.

Charity Maulden has been president of the PTO at Banks School for five years.

That’s a lot of PTO meetings and a lot of hard work and responsibility.

Maulden admits to the large number of meetings but the hard work and responsibility are shared by dedicated and committed parents and teachers.

“At Banks School, we all work together for the good of our school and our students,” Maulden said. “At Banks, being a small school, there are a lot gaps in funding, not in necessary things but in the extras. Our parents and teachers work together to do those extra things, the things that make the school look better and the students feel better about their school, things like painting the hallways and other aesthetics.”

Maulden said the parents and teachers come together to make sure that fund-raisers, like the annual fall festival are successful.

“At Banks, we all pull together,” she said. “The entire Banks community pitches in to get things done. Because we are a small community, we all know each other. We know the needs of the school and don’t mind getting in there and working to do what needs to be done.”

The Banks School PTO has created a memorial library fund in honor of three teachers, Ann Dunn, Kathy Pugh and Angela Smith, who have lost children or grandchildren.

“Each year, the PTO donates $500 to the library to purchase books to help replenish the bookshelves,” Maulden said. “We also offer the opportunity for people to donate a book in memory or honor of someone.”

Maulden said the library project has been very successful and is very beneficial to all students at Banks School.

Working together with the teachers, the PTO parents have been able to provide “extras” for the Banks School including playground equipment for the primary campus, five new copy machines and a public address system for the gymnasium.

Maulden said PTOs are important to any school because the projects and programs bring parents and teachers together to work toward a common goal and for the good of the school and the students.

“Everyone benefits from a strong PTO program, the parents, teachers, students and the community,” she said.