Happy December! Wait, did I just type December? Wow, time really does fly. As we begin to close out this year, I would like to ask each of you to take some time for reflection. Reflect on all that you have accomplished so far this year. Now, you might be thinking, "Jen you are crazy! We do not feel like we have accomplished nearly what we are "used" to". Well, to that I will say this: yes you have and we need to take the time to recognize and celebrate that. It is true that our meetings, events, programs, fundraisers and membership are not what we are accustomed to, and that is OKAY. Give yourselves and your teams credit for what you have been able to do. Pivoting - moving our association forward with new means and ways we would have never foreseen to be possible. Adjusting - to the needs of our schools and communities as we all face different and unique challenges and joys. Flexibility - changing course and adjusting our sails as quickly as we set them. And last but not least, positivity - facing all of the newness and uniqueness of PTAing today with smiles and grace. THANK YOU! Thank you for being you and giving your time, talents, and treasures to help make every child's potential a reality.

As many of us begin to celebrate the holidays, or just take some time out to be with family, remember to practice self-care. It is important to take the time you need to rest, refresh, and recharge over the winter break.

Here are some ways that Florida PTA continues to connect with and support our leaders and members:

  • Get Engaged Wednesdays: join us for a variety of topics to educate, engage and empower you. If you have missed a session you can find them all on our website.
  • Peers for Presidents: monthly chat sessions. These are sessions for Presidents to network and share.
  • How Do You PTA Today? Leadership Summits: see below for more information.
  • LegCon: our annual Advocacy event coming in March.
  • The Reflections event coming May 1st to celebrate our Arts in Education program.
  • Leadership Convention: coming July 15-18th at the Innisbrook Resort. Planning is underway and we are looking forward to our Family Reunion.

Florida PTA will continue to be here for you, together, making a difference every day.
From my family to yours, Happy Holidays. May all the joys and blessings of the season be with you.

Jennifer "Jen" Martinez
President | Florida PTA
Wishing all of our PTA family a happy, joyous, and healthy holiday season! Our state office will be closed beginning December 21st and we will reopen January 4th! See you in 2021!!
Get Engaged Wednesdays
December 9: Survival Skills for Virtual Learning for our Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Families (click here to register)

December 16: Multi-language and International Students
For more information, including past recordings of sessions, please visit our website.
With Legislative sessions coming up soon, we want to help you stay up-to-date on issues and bills affecting our children and education. We have an easy way to allow you to contact your legislators with the click of a button. Sign up for VoterVoice and/or download the mobile app to your phone. This is the best possible way to lend your voice to many issues, especially in today's ever-changing environment!
Healthy Child
The winter holidays are almost here and it's quite understandable that you'd want to enjoy all kinds of delectable foods and not pay close attention to healthy eating habits. Why should you deny yourself the excitement of that holiday fruitcake, apple pie, or turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy?

We're all for enjoying holiday goodies without having guilt or giving it a second thought, however, a full month of eating delicious homemade recipes between Thanksgiving and New Year's can take a toll on your mood, sleep, anxiety, and physical and emotional health. Overeating and/or eating poorly isn't good for your well-being. This article from Healthline provides 20 tips to avoid weight gain during the holidays.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Integrating Jewish and Christian Traditions During the Holidays

As the winter holidays approach, families across the country dream of loved ones drawing near. That dream is complicated this year by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is prompting many to rethink old ways of celebrating. For interfaith families, finding new ways to observe ancient traditions presents particular challenges and opportunities. Kveller.com offers suggestions for families looking to integrate Jewish and Christian traditions this Hanukkah and Christmas season.

Membership Matters...
On December 15, 2020, all MemberHub eStores across the entire platform will automatically be upgraded to version 2.0. This means that MemberHub will no longer support version 1.0 of the eStore.
Store 2.0 offers several compelling improvements, such as:
  • Enhanced reporting and reconciliation for Treasurers
  • Website builder
  • Givebacks for passive fundraising
  • Improved user interface
  • Mobile swiper app for in-person payments (mid-November)
  • Access to Fundraisers for virtual fundraising pages
Local unit leaders still using version 1.0 of the eStore will also get a series of email notifications over the next several weeks reminding you to upgrade. You can of course upgrade to version 2.0 before December 15, and it’s very easy. The help article below provides steps.
Webinar Opportunity
FCAN Counselor Affinity Call: Successful student/parent virtual engagement during COVID-19
Register today for the December 9 FCAN Counselor Affinity Call

COVID-19 caused a complicated start to the school year with schools offering in-person and virtual classes while pivoting to virtual support services and barring volunteers from school buildings. As many feared, in a recent Inside Higher Ed article, Common App reported that college applications are down 8% overall and down 16% for first-generation students and those that qualify for fee waivers. Meanwhile, NCAN is reporting that FAFSA completions are down 16% through mid-November.

But not all districts are seeing the shift to virtual college and career readiness support as a challenge. For this affinity call, LaVerne Handfield, FCAN’s Programs Coordinator, will be joined by Carol Lopez, Supervisor of College and Career Readiness for Broward County Public Schools, and Sharon Krantz, Executive Director of Division of Student Services for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, to discuss their districts’ successful strategies to adapt supports and engagement for students and families virtually during COVID-19. Register now to learn how their virtual supports are reaching parents more successfully than many prior in-person events and partners are able to provide real-time supports to students.

Come with your best strategies to share with your fellow counselors and college access professionals about ways you’re working to virtually support students’ college-going processes.

Event Details
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM Eastern Time
High School Seniors: Scholarships!
The deadline to apply for a Florida PTA Scholarship is February 1st. We offer scholarships to four-year universities, vocational colleges, community colleges, and fine arts institutions. You must be a Florida PTA member to apply!

Click here for more information.
Virtual Assistance From National PTA
NEW VIRTUAL RESOURCE WEBPAGE: National PTA compiled resources to help local PTA leaders move their PTA into the virtual world. Resources include leadership training, growing membership virtually, online programs and socially distanced family engagement.

TWO LOCAL PTA MEMBERSHIP TRAININGS: Two 15-minute recorded webinars designed for local units navigating PTAing in a virtual world. The Virtual Membership campaign mini-webinar covers making it easy to join online, making the case that PTA is worth it, and forming an effective ask. The Effective and Engaging Virtual Meetings webinar differentiates meetings from other events, and provides suggestions to streamline meetings, and convey the value of member participation. To access both webinars, leaders must be signed into the PTA Kit. They are also linked to the new Lead a Virtual PTA webpage. Help spread the word about the new membership focused resources – post on your social media, on your websites, add to your virtual local PTA trainings, and more. Look for additional short trainings to come soon. 
Upcoming Leadership Summits

Mark your calendars for our upcoming "How Do You PTA Today?" Leadership Summits for our North, Central and South area counties! Registration links for Central and South will open a few weeks before the event. Registration is now open for the North Area - click the picture below to register!
Leadership Convention 2021
Do you have an idea for a Leadership Convention workshop? Please use this form link and share your idea with us!


If you have not already provided a line item in your budget to attend the 2021 FPTA Leadership Convention (July 15-18), you still have time! Here are the prices for this incredible event and please remember training is a legitimate, approved expense!

Early bird: $90, Regular: $105, On-site: $130
Students 21 & younger: $50
Non PTA-members: $150

We can’t wait to see you there!!!
Thanks To Our Sponsors!
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