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What does the PTO do?

At my daughter's open house for kindergarten yesterday, the teachers were encouraging parents to sign up for the PTO and help out. I'm on the fence because I don't do well socially with other parents a lot of times, and my skills and abilities tend to be overlooked so I feel like there's no point. But I want to participate in my daughter's education. So what does the group do? What kinds of things would a mom be expected to contribute?


Asked by Ballad at 3:31 PM on Aug. 9, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • They do run fundraisers, but the funds they raise go to the school - ours bought smart boards last year. It's a great way to meet other moms, moms of your dd's new friends. I was on the PTA board one year and really enjoyed it. We also planned special days for the teachers, especially during teacher appreciation week.

    Answer by missanc at 3:59 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • Ours just push you to buy stuff mostly
    Everything ours offer comes with a stipulation of buying something,or giving a "donation" to the school

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 3:51 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • I also had a thought.
    You are in a unique position. You have a service dog. You could volunteer to bring your dog and talk to kids about what a service dog does and how they should act around the dog. You would need to offer it specifically to your child's teacher and then the head of the PTO who would probably talk to the principal.
    The PTO just mean the parents taking an active part in their child's school.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:53 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • Parent Teacher Organization, the goals might be different from organization to organization, but essentially the goals include volunteerism of parents, encouragement of teachers and students, community involvement, and welfare of students and families

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 3:33 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • You would be volunteering for working at the book fair, plant sale, Holiday gift sale..etc. things like that. I haven't joined myself. Maybe when my LO is older. It's not mandatory. You can still be involved in class activities though. Like making crafts for Holidays & other fun class stuff that the Teacher will ask for Parents to help out for an hour or two. I did that since I could bring my Daughter in the stroller.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 3:36 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • ^^Yep, it varies from school to school. I was only minimally involved.

    Your skill set may not be what PTO needs. Typically volunteering is where they'll want your help. Setting up booths, putting together flyers, etc

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 3:39 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • The PTO fee of course, which helps the school with various things depending on the school. Ours runs a Santa's secret shop for the kids where they can come and buy very inexpensive gifts for family members in secret and in safety. The start up costs are from those fees though the shop does make some small profit since we all volunteer. This money helps with the end of the year party but we also buy reading books and other things. One year we had enough to buy three new computers.
    PTO also gives you the chance to meet other parents although those that do not pay the fee are encouraged to attend the meetings as well. It helps you to keep informed as to what goes on in the child's school as well as a place to voice ideas and concerns.
    Parents are encouraged to volunteer in all our schools and you can see opportunities to find even a one time opportunity.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:46 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • Ours seems to sell stuff to have activities,that in turn are fundraisers for more activities.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 4:02 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • Different schools have different needs. In our last school they raised money to pay for traveling iPad classrooms. They usually hold a couple of fundraiser a as well as having the students pimp out things like wrapping paper and chocolates, or those Entertainment coupon books. I believe out current PTA/ PTO is raising money to pay for a playground cover to go over the equipment to keep it cool and shaded from the sun. Those things can cost big bucks. Also in our school (I imagine most if not all schools) you are required to be a member of the PTO if you volunteer as class mom of any of your kids classrooms. Our fee is something like $5 or 10 and that comes with voting rights when PTO elections come up as well as a school directory.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 4:18 PM on Aug. 9, 2013

  • Interesting idea. I did that for my daughter's preschool, and way in the past for other school kids. I'll talk to the teacher when I see her next week.

    Comment by Ballad (original poster) at 5:14 PM on Aug. 9, 2013