Approaching the finish line? 
Don’t stop running!

Are you looking forward to wrapping up the year? Preparing to turn over the books to newly elected PTA officers or Committee Chairs? Anticipating year end award celebrations? Ready for a break?

This time of year can be filled with exhaustion and anxiety for our dedicated volunteer leaders and members who have worked so hard throughout the year. Yet it is imperative for our schools, communities and most importantly the children we serve that we keep moving forward with energy and enthusiasm. 

Your nominating committees may still be working to identify and recommend officer candidates or you may be awaiting results of upcoming elections, but every day is an opportunity to expand our PTA family by bringing new members and voices to our association. A spring membership campaign can be just the thing to reinvigorate our teams and provide the support we need to accomplish our goals, encourage leadership development, and set our PTAs up for success next year.

When I cross the finish line of a big race, I see that people are ecstatic, but I'm thinking about what I'm going to do tomorrow. It's as if my journey is everlasting, and there is no finish line.  ~ David Goggins
If your term has ended and your plan was to take a step back from volunteering, I ask that you instead consider how else you might contribute to PTA. Every volunteer should know how much PTA values them and sometimes that means getting out of the leadership lane to make room for others. However, that doesn’t mean you leave the game. There is an opportunity for every parent, educator, student and community member in PTA. We all know that PTA volunteering should never be about a title we carry. It is about our Advocacy mission. It is about Building partnerships. It is about the Children. So if you are unsure about how you might next contribute to PTA, go back to the ABCs of PTA.  
We need to both retain and attract new members and leaders so that together we continue to increase the support, services, programs, and resources provided to the families in our school communities. PTA should be a year round sport, a year round calling. It is my hope that all PTA members stay in the race to help every child reach their full potential by contributing their time and talents in new ways, while supporting and cheering on our new leaders. It is my hope that you will be a lifelong member and advocate.

Thank you for all you do for PTA and for ALL of OUR children.

Linda Kearschner
President, Florida PTA
Leadership Spotlight
This month's Leadership Spotlight guest is Mary Pat King. Mary Pat's story allows us to explore the journey from a current PTA employee/current volunteer perspective. These are two distinct roles which lend themselves to unique skill sets and behaviors. We'll learn how Mary Pat navigates these waters while simultaneously developing leaders across all levels of PTA.

Carolyn Nelson-Goedert
Florida PTA VP for Leadership Development
Name: Mary Pat King

What is your current role with PTA? National PTA Director of Education & Leadership Development, PTA Member (of many PTAs across country including National PTA Supporting Member) and Member/Volunteer (Cypress Woods Elementary PTA, Florida PTA)

What was your first PTA volunteer position? My first volunteer position was Legislative & Advocacy Chair of my Local PTA

What was the most challenging obstacle that you encountered on the path to your current role? Focusing on what matters most instead of trying to do it all.
Leadership Convention 2019
Hear what's in store for our Leadership Convention in July!
Registration is now open! Please note the following registration fees offered this year:

Member: $85 Early Bird/$105 after July 1st. On-site registration for members: $125.
Non-member: $150 Early Bird/$175 after July 1st/On-site registration for non-members: $200.
Students: $50 early/late/on-site registration.
Register Now!

Please watch and listen as our Florida PTA Secretary, Alvin Gainey, gives some insight into why you would benefit from attending our Leadership Convention in July, especially a first-time attendee!
Awards - Deadline is May 1st!

There is still time to look over the variety of Florida PTA Awards that are available and apply for all that relate to the activities of your PTA/PTSA or County Council. Each year there are units who apply for several awards… but we are aware that there are units across the state who do not apply for awards at all! If your PTA/PTSA has completed programs to engage families and celebrate diversity , or to support student success and improve health and wellness , or programs that advocate for underserved students and families in your community, then your PTA/PTSA should apply for Florida PTA Awards by May 1, 2019!

Find criteria for all awards, along with information to assure that your PTA is eligible and compliant, here:     
If you have technical questions or questions regarding unit eligibility, contact

Plan now to attend the Awards Luncheon at Florida PTA Leadership Convention at Innisbrook in July! This is a great way to celebrate a successful PTA year and say thank you to a hard-working board, and you may come away with inspiration for PTA programs to consider including next year.

Information about Leadership Convention, including the Awards Luncheon can be found here:                                                  
By now you have probably heard that Florida PTA will be using a new member management tool called MemberHub. MemberHub is a free system available to all local units to make managing communiction with your members much easier!

Member Services available through Florida PTAs MemberHub:

·          Online Store where you can sell t-shirts, spirit wear, etc.
·         Sponsor Packages
·         Social Media Integration
·         Communication tools including email and newsletter templates
·          Event registration and ticket sales
·         Secure Contact Management
·          Chat groups
·          Single Portal Compliance document management for
  • New officer information
  • Financial Review
  • Taxes
  • Bylaws (coming soon)
·         Easy membership renewals
·         Credit/ Debit, check, or cash payment options
·         Consolidated PTA workplace

We have added a page to our website specifically for MemberHub information. Please visit the Florida PTA website at to view training videos!
Proposed ED Budget Would Cut Funding to Public Schools

The President submitted his  Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education to Congress  on March 11, suggesting a $7.1 billion or a 10% cut with the hope of reducing the Federal role in education. The Statewide Family Engagement Centers Program— a legislative priority for National PTA in the 116th Congress —has been proposed for elimination. This budget also coincides with  potential automatic spending cuts established by the 2011 Budget Control Act . Without an increase in the FY 2020 caps, domestic spending will endure a $55 billion cut, which will translate into a nearly $20 billion cut in education, health and workforce funding.  Take Action—Contact your federal lawmakers and urge them to STOP cuts to classrooms.

New! From Report to Results

Did you know that every year, your school district and state must release a school report card? We are excited to announce our new campaign, From Report to Results, which will work to ensure that parents and families are empowered to read, interpret and take action with school report card data.  Check out our new fact sheet!

Thank You for Celebrating #PublicSchoolsWeek with Us!

We had so much fun celebrating our nation's public schools, our students and the professionals who work each day to make every child’s potential a reality. As part of the week’s celebration, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a resolution  expressing support for Public Schools Week. We also asked you to share your  #PublicSchoolProud story . Check out some #PublicSchoolProud stories written by PTA’s very own  Marques Ivey , Dana Platin  and  Barb Arness .
Financial Hodgepodge

Take a look at some FAQ's regarding purchasing supplies, the "3 to 1 Rule" for fundraising, and gift cards guidelines!

Health & Wellness
As Prom season has returned, high school Seniors and Juniors continue to look ahead to their fast-approaching independence and their own future after high school. For the Seniors, prom is viewed as a rite of passage; the beginning of the happy occasions that all lead to graduation. 
It is also a time for making decisions that have a life-long impact on their lives and the lives of others that share our roads. Pre and post prom parties continue to be a transportation safety issue.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and right behind is May as Trauma Awareness Month. All remind us that impaired driving continues to kill our driving teens. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, with approximately 25% of those crashes involve an underage drunk teen driver. In Florida in 2018, there were 47,412 crashes with a teen at the wheel; that is 129 teen driver crashes per day in Florida. Estimates are that at least 50% of the teen crashes are the result of some form of distraction.
Prom Season offers many distractions from normal driving behaviors. It is our responsibility to re-enforce the need to make smart choices, which include no underage drinking, no riding with an impaired driver - no matter the age, and driving distraction-free. Respect our teens as they march towards adulthood, but provide a solid foundation of awareness can make the difference. After all, knowledge is power! For further information, reach out to your local or regional trauma center.
David A. Summers RN, CFRN, EMT-P
Trauma Nurse Outreach Coordinator
Trauma Agency
Health Care District Palm Beach County
Autism Awareness
Ten things every child with autism wants you to know.

  • I'm first and foremost a child. Autism is just one aspect of my character.
  • Ordinary sights, sounds, and touches or everyday life that are normal to you, can be painful to me.
  • It isn't that I don't listen to you... It's just that I can't understand you.
  • I like routines because I know what to expect.
  • Don't compare me with other children... I'm special in my own way.
  • It's hard for me to tell you what I need, when I don't know the words to say it.
  • Be patient and consistent. I learn better when you tell, show, and do things with me.
  • Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can't do.
  • I want to be with others, but I don't know how.
  • Love me unconditionally... because I promise I'm worth it.
Month of the Military Child
April  is designated as the Month of the Military Child; a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide, with an emphasis on the experience of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas.

Utah PTA shared this article about how to support our military children and families!
Leadership Commission

The Leadership Commission's purpose is to develop the future leaders of Florida PTA. Please take a look at these videos showcasing the many great things happening in the individual committees of the Leadership Commission.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Family Community Engagement
Student Engagement
School of Excellence - Enrollment Starts May 1st!
Is your PTA committed to improving family-school partnerships at your school? Are you hoping to make positive, long-lasting change for all students? Enroll in the National PTA School of Excellence program starting May 1st.  Learn more by clicking here .
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