Hi all !
I'll start by saying, THANK YOU.
Thank you for being patient with this blog - which I (Victoria) had every intention of updating at least monthly. Of course, I also didn't realize how busy this school year was going to be as a second-grade mom, as NEST President, or as a person. So, naturally, I fell behind. That being said - it's never too late to try to get back on track, and that is one of my favorite things about a New Year; it is the perfect time to do so.
Some of you may have noticed that we do not have enough officers to fill every officer position. So, while I am "officially" President I am also currently in charge of social media, this website, the blog, and organizing fundraisers and events as well as volunteer assignments when we have things like Penguin Patch or Book Fairs. Which is why the poor, poor blog has been neglected.
PTO is a lot when a few people are trying to do a lot of things and we would really love to have more help for the remainder of the school year but especially next year with officer positions, so that no one person is doing too much. Currently all of our volunteers and officers are wearing multiple hats. When NEST had their last meeting in June of 2022 for that school year the only returning officer was me - and I was barely an officer the year before (kind of just a filler position and only for a few months). SO ... we started this year with ALL NEW people (I'm basically new) and we have spent the first part of the semester really finding our footing. This next semester we hope to spend growing - so that when we start next year, we aren't starting with ALL new people who are all just winging it. I cannot wait to see where NEST is next January, because it has come a long way since June. All of that being said - while we will vote for officers for next year this spring we are happy to have people step in to open rolls now.
Our first meeting of the new semester had a great turn out even though it was homecoming for our basketball teams (and understandably many people needed to be there to support their youngins). We had several teachers come and that was exciting because as much as NEST is a group of parent volunteers who do things for students at the school, we are a group of volunteers who try to work directly with teachers, and that's so much easier when we get input directly from them! We know our teachers are SO so busy, so we honestly took several of them staying after hours for the first meeting of 2023 as a sign of things to come for this semester. We were also so happy to see some familiar faces and their little ones (our tiny assistants, as we fondly call our volunteers' children). Let it be known, your children are ALWAYS welcome at these meetings.
The following are snippets of our meeting minutes (edited to be more conversational than official):
Upcoming Fundraisers & Dates To Save
Jack the Dipper PTO benefit: February 10th. NEST will earn 10% of ALL sales from 1pm-9pm that day. NEST will be passing flyers out around January 25th for parents & will be posting on social media every other day. Parents will be encouraged to share within the community. Funds raised during this even will help fund teacher appreciation week efforts.
Uniform Swap and Sale February 18th 9-11:30. The Swap will take place from 9-10 and the sale from 10:30-11:30. Participants in the swap will receive a ticket for each item brought to swap. Tickets for swap items must be redeemed during the swap time frame 9-10. The thirty-minute break will be time for volunteers to clean and get ready for sale. During the sale each family will receive 6 tickets per child to purchase 6 items. We are trying to allow as many families as possible the opportunity to purchase from the uniform sale. This is why we have set a limit of six times per child at the sale. The uniform sale is cash or check only no cards. Flyers will be passed out January 23, 2023.
School Lounge Snacks
Nest has monthly been providing approximately $250 dollars in snacks for children who may need additional nutritional support during the day and STILL running out before the end of the month most months. We would like to encourage parents who are able to do so to ask their teachers if they need someone to donate extra healthy snacks (peanut free) to their child's classroom, to consider sending monetary donations for NEST labeled "To: NEST For Snacks" to the front office or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to ask what snacks could be purchased for the school lounge.
Valentine’s Day Fundraising February 13 & 14th
Nest will be setting up a table at both upper and lower campus on Monday February 13th and Tuesday February 14th from 7:20-8:10 selling Valentine’s Day themed water bottle stickers and Valentine's Day cards for students to fill out for their friends or family. We would love volunteers for this, and only need 2 or 3.
Spring Book Fair March 6-10th
Friday the 3rd is a remote learning day, so we will be setting up for the book fair, time TBA. Volunteers appreciated. There will be pizza.
We will be starting volunteer sign ups soon and Nest will try to cover the same 7:30-3:30 time frame, if we have enough volunteers. 1/2 of the proceeds of this book fair will go to NEST and 1/2 will go to the school via Scholastic Dollars.
Friendly NEST Lunch
We will be scheduling a friendly NEST lunch so that members can meet and mingle - since one of the main draws of joining NEST is to make friends with other parents and caregivers in the community. It will be at Los Amigos in early February. Date TBD (I'll send out an email ASAP).
Penguin Patch / Art Gallery
Nest voted a 100 % no to renewing our contract with the Penguin Patch for the 2023-2024 year. We would like to try a different approach to support our school and get more of a parent / community involvement. Nest would like to create a school store for students to shop at a couple of days leading up to the holiday season. We will be purchasing and using donated items to sell (less personalized gifts than penguin patch; for example, not every student has a "Grandma" and some have "Nanas" or "Gammies" or "Mamaws" so a mug with no name would be more suitable than one with "Grandma" on it), and students can shop from the school store for friends and family.
We also would like to try a semi-annual art show for our parents and community.
We would like to ask students, teachers, parents, and community members to donate their art for a spring and winter art show. We would love to see a variety of art come in and the proceeds would help support our PTO and a before agreed upon school project or update. For our first spring art show (if we can make it happen in May) we would like to split the proceeds: half to our Nest PTO and the other half to start funding a scoreboard for the gym.
As a final thought we would like to thank our summer / fall 2022 volunteers for all the work they have poured into Nest, Shining Rock Classical Academy’s PTO. With an entirely new PTO, limited funding (we started with a little over $300), and a handful of volunteers, our PTO has continued to help and be a presence as much as possible this past semester.
It is a new year, and we hope that a spark will ignite within our Parent Teacher Organization.
We hope to continue to grow our teacher involvement in our PTO because it is absolutely essential to growing our organization and determining its success. Growing out parent members is another goal we have for 2023. We are hoping that if you are reading our meeting minutes and have not already completed your 2022-2023 volunteer hours, you will consider completing them with NEST. We have so many great volunteer opportunities coming up this spring that we would love your support with.
Want to learn more about your child’s school? Want to learn more about upcoming events? Want to get involved at the school? Want to make friends with adults who have children that attend the same school as yours?
Shining Rock’s Nest PTO is a great way to start.
Help us make the Winter / Spring 2023 semester our PTO’s most successful yet!
& Fingers crossed you'll see another blog post in February.
Maybe even TWO !!!
But just in case, maybe come to the meeting February 9th at 6pm.
I will be sending this as an email to everyone by Sunday evening on our email list. If you do not get it, please reach out so that I can 1. add you or 2. correct your email in the list - because typos happen sometimes.
& as a reminder as you try to tackle your resolutions one month into 2023: