PTA Great Idea Bank

A resource for PTA and parent involvement project ideas

Hi everyone,
I'm looking for resources and idea's . Does anyone have letters to the teachers or contest ideas to get teachers to join the PTA. We are fairly new to the PTA and would like to have a great year.

Thanks for your support in advance.

Shanell Lee

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The absolute best thing you can do is to get your principal on board. If your principal is telling the teachers that they need to join, then you will see a better result. And make sure that your teachers know what you do that benefits them - luncheons, supply money, etc.
Thats what i was thinking. i talked with our principle and vp , they mad e teachers participation mandatory, however the vp and president do not ever attend. so actually the situation is worse. arrrrrggggg.
Thanks, I just ran a Teacher mebership campaign it was unsuccessful the Principal and VP joined though. We offered a breakfast for 100% membership that did not work
We also tried to offer a breakfast if the school got 100% participation, it did not, but we did increase teacher membership. We juts recently emailed all the non members a survey to have them provide us an honest and anonymous way to tell us what their hesitations have been to join the PTA. Most of the replies centered around the fact the teachers want their fee comped by the PTA. Unfortunately our fee is only $5, and if we comped 400 teachers their fees, we would lose a ton of money, so we cannot do that. But it was good for us to know, and gave them a way to be honest with us instead of us trying to guess about things.
Dana, if your PTA is a 501(c)3 it is against the law to comp anyone's membership fee - even teachers.
What about trying to get parents to sponsor a teacher? Or business members?
I taught many years at a middle school with a strong PTA. On one of the teacher work days at the beginning of the school year the PTA provides lunch for the cost of a membership. A table is set up for teachers to pay their membership by the door, and a nice buffet is set up in the cafeteria. I don't know that they get 100%, but I'd guess it is close. It's part of the school culture and has been for a long time.

If your school has a teacher work day after winter break, you could try it then. It might take a couple of years to get teachers to really buy in, and I would agree that principal support is also important. And of course, good advertising. Get a couple of teacher leaders on board to talk it up as well and I'm guessing you would be in business.

Terri in Colorado
we are doing a competion between our 3rd and 4th grade teachers and support staff. the first group with 100% membership gets steak dinners; the second group gets beenie weanies! we are doing flyers and promoting the well as posting signs of whose winning so far!in their lounges where they eat.

our prinicipal is on board! she's giving us time at faculty meetings to speak and encourage teachers to join us. we also considered putting little treat bags in their boxes at school just to let them know we're here..and, we want them to join us!

hopefully, this will work and we will get 100%. our teachers are very competitive with each, we think this is the way to go!
We have a pretty good response from the teachers but that may be because they understand what our PTA does for them and for the school. We sponsor something called "mini-grants" for our teachers. At the beginning of the school year, teachers can apply for a mini-grant of up to $100 to purchase something for their classroom. They must be a member of PTA to be eligible for the grant and the item must be approved for purchase by the committee. Also, we coordinate dinners (parent donations) on parent- teacher conference nights. I think these two programs that benefit the teachers encourage them to join PTA.
I am with a Middle School PTA with 100% staff membership. What we found as a new board last year was to spoil the staff. From cinnamon rolls at the 1st staff meeting of the year, to monthly staff appreciation to a big staff aprreciation celebration during teacher appreciation week. We also found that lots of face-to-face interaction with staff helped as well. Helping staff to understand the importance of PTA. Parent involvement is crucial to the success of our students and as a PTA we can help facilitate that. We also brought back many programs that had been gone from our school like successful book fairs with teacher wish lists, Reflections, parent volunteers and family involvement activities. The best advice I can offer is to not GIVE UP, KEEP TRYING!! Good Luck.
Have you tried a 100% Membership Plaque? It could be hung in the office for everyone to see. We do this also at my middle school, in addition to the other things I mentioned before. Giving the staff bragging rights can be another incentive.
You don't say what grade level school your PTA is part of, but an idea I've heard that has worked well in elementary schools is to decorate the doors of the teachers who join the PTA. The decoration follows the recruiting theme. Keep supporting all teachers, but give special recognition to those who do join. (even an extra small treat in their box)
Survey your teachers to find out what they want from your PTA. They might need someone to watch the children when parents come in for parent-teacher conferences. More people to help with "clerical"-type chores. Food is always good, but find out what THEY want. And listen to what they say.
Point out the parent education that PTA does. Better prepared parents means better prepared students!


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