PTA volunteers help schools in many ways, and you need to be involved. The Parent Teacher Association, or PTA, acts on behalf of the children who attend the school. The mission statement of the National PTA is,  "To make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.”

PTA volunteers are involved parents, mainly mothers, who not only raise funds for the school, but support the teachers in many ways. Too many people view the organization as a money machine because of all PTA fundraisers. While fundraising is a part of what the PTA does for a school, it is also so much more. These dedicated volunteers give many hours of their own time so that the entire school population, both children and teachers, have programs and supplies to enhance the learning experience.

Parents need to be involved in their child’s education on many levels, and being an active and involved PTA member is one way to do this. As both a PTA volunteer and former classroom teacher, I know the value of this wonderful organization. I have seen countless faces of children light up when their mom walks into the classroom party, shows up to help at the school pumpkin carving, runs a game of Candy Bar Bingo or is at the school book fair when it is their turn to select books. Your presence means so much to your child.

I have heard many excuses over the years as to why parents do not get involved and become PTA volunteers. While some are valid, others are not.

“The PTA is just one big clique.”

To those who are not involved in the PTA, it can appear on the outside that it is a select club. As one dedicated PTA volunteer that I know put it, “Of course it looks like one big clique. It’s the same ten moms who are doing everything! I would love to have more people help us out so I wouldn’t have to do so much!”

The PTA wants your help and welcomes it. It doesn’t matter if it is one hour, one day or one committee. Every bit of your help counts.

“I do not want to head any committees. If I join, then I will have to be in charge of something.”

No one holds a gun to your head and tells you that you have to head the next PTA fundraiser or cultural event. Over the past few years, I have been asked to sit on the PTA Executive Board, as well as head a committee. I have even been asked to head subcommittees.

I have a foolproof plan that gets me out of it every time. It is the word “no”.

The circumstances of my life do not permit me the time to chair committees. However, I am on several committees and always help out whenever I can. I bake for every bake sale, work at every school function either day and night, and am a room parent or head room parent for each of my children. I want to receive the email asking for help, not send it out!

“I work full time. I can’t help out.”

Many PTA volunteers that I have known over the years work full time or part time. They made the choice to be the PTA president, be a head room mother, or chair a committee.

If you have a limited amount of time to help, the PTA would love to have just a bit of it. Our PTA holds events for families on Friday night, and is always seeking volunteers for a half-hour shift. Since the parents have to stay at the event anyway, this is the perfect time to lend a hand! That half hour is always appreciated!

The PTA volunteers are a wonderful group of involved parents working to benefit their child’s education. You are needed. Find some time to help.