Ephrata Area School Libraries

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					                 PSLA Conference
                   April 29, 2011

Debra E Kachel              Debbie Dunstone
PSLA Legislation Co-Chair   PA PTA President-Elect  
Topics for Today’s Session

 Why is it important to work with parents?
 What is a PTO and a PTA?
 How do you start a PTA?
 Ideas for working with parents
 Working with PTAs and PTOs
Why is it so important to
  work with parents?
Success Stories: The Spokane Moms
• Three moms from Spokane, WA
• School districts cut librarians
• Grassroots effort, website:
• Went to the state legislature in
• Lobbied for $4M in a new line
item for school libraries
• Working on mandate for school

“If you’re not funding school systems in a way that ensures that librarians are
provided adequate funding, then we aren’t adequately funding education.”
                                                       Washington State Rep. Skip Priest
                   Parent Advocacy
When families feel welcome in schools and participate actively in
children’s education, children’s attendance, interest, motivation,
general achievement, and reading achievement improve (Padak &
Rasinski, 2003).

Research shows those students from schools with professionally
staffed, fully equipped libraries score higher on achievement tests
(AASL “Quick Links for Parents”).

                                    “Five minutes of parent advocacy
                                    for school libraries can have more
                                    effect than five years of what
                                    might appear as self-serving
                                          Keith Curry Lance, researcher
 What is the difference
between a PTA and a PTO?
The Lorax says…
“I speak for the trees, for
the trees have no
tongues…” ~Dr. Seuss

Who speaks for our children?

PTA began speaking out on
behalf of children over 110
years ago…
         Why a PTA is the Premier Parent Group

 Parent Teacher Association - vs. - other parent organizations
 More than 5 million members          Local groups not focused on national
  networking and supporting all          issues affecting families
 The Reflections Program
  engages more than half a             Limited local resources often cannot
  million students in the arts each      support the arts.
 PTA Healthy Lifestyles               No national cash awards for health
  awarded $20,000 to local PTAs          program, or efforts to retain recess at
  and helped more than 460,000           school.
  students eat right and exercise
 Free online volunteer                Must buy own costly database for
  management system,                     communicating with and organizing
  OMDRplus, for every unit.              members.
       Why a PTA is the Premier Parent Group
Parent Teacher Association - vs. - other parent organizations
 Welcomes everyone,                Usually only parents are
   including grandparents,            invited to participate and
   mentors, educators,                support the school
   neighbors, and community           community.

 PTA Takes Action helps            No voice in Washington or
   parents and citizens get           policy experts to educate
   involved in federal public         members.
                                    At the state and national
 Local and national discounts
                                      level, no partnerships,
   on retail and travel services
                                      sponsorships, or affiliations.
   and products.
        Why a PTA is the Premier Parent Group

 Parent Teacher Association - vs. - other parent organizations
 Ever-growing list of free national,    No national or state awards, and
   state, and local resources,             all programs must be created
   programs, and awards.                   locally or purchased.

 Training online and                    Online resources can be
   in-person through conventions,          accessed at additional costs, no
   workshops, publications,                leadership training available
   e-learning, and websites.
Remember Your Child’s First Day of School.....
 Did they go to kindergarten?

 Did they ride the bus?

 Did they eat a school lunch?

 Did they play on the playground?

 Did they read a book from the library?

 Did they have their immunizations?
PTA has fought for:
 First Kindergarten

 Safe Buses and Seatbelt Regulations

 Nationwide School Lunch Program

 Improved Playground Safety

 School Libraries

 Mandatory Childhood Immunizations
PTA offers…
Personal contact
501(c)3 and IRS regulation
Leadership Training
Planning strategies
Rules of Order
Not all parent groups
are the same. People
make the difference.
People you can call,
and people who can
visit your school.

                        National PTA President visits
                        Streams Elementary School
                        Upper Saint Claire School District
                        Pittsburgh, PA
How to Begin a PTA in Your School

         Pennsylvania PTA
            4804 Derry Street
        Harrisburg, PA 17111-3440

           Fax: 717-564-9046
Is your school library parent
School Library Services for Parents
• Communications-newsletters, web page, etc.
• Student Resources- online catalog, databases, web links
• Parent Resources-parent library, webpage & links
• Presentations/programs- open house, literacy night,
       volunteer program, etc.
The School Library Link

Free newsletter for parents
designed for school libraries

Available the first of every
  Parent Web Page & Links
Look at school library web pages and decide what works
for you and your school

Can’t work with your school’s website…create your own in
wikispaces or edublogs

Begin with Joyce Valenza’s Examples of School Library

         Jericho Middle School Library, Jericho, NY

         Westlake High School Library, Austin , TX
How can we as parents and
librarians work together to
  improve school libraries
Parents Services to School Libraries

• Volunteer in library
• Tutoring
• Fundraising
• Special literacy programs
  (NLW, Read Across America)
• Advocacy at school board, on
   school improvement team,
   and other district meetings
• Be a liaison to community and
    business leaders
  What are your ideas for
working with PTAs and PTOs
  or other parent groups?
Parents and School Librarians
working together can make it

                        Kachel c2011