eNews & Notes

December 2023

Last month the holiday season kicked off with gatherings of families and friends giving thanks for one another and for the opportunity to be together in celebration.

This month finds us with a plethora of opportunities to celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Diwali, and Kwanzaa, amongst others. No matter what holiday(s) you choose to celebrate, if you celebrate, please take a moment to consider those who find themselves with neither friends nor family with whom they can gather. If your circumstances are such that you can extend an invitation for one or more to join you and yours, please do so. For it is the little things in life that add up to bodacious feelings of joy.

Within the last two weeks, and again twice today I was blessed to have had moments of PTA joy. Today during my journey to the state office (the work of FLPTA is continuous 😊), I was approached by a local unit president when I stopped at a service plaza. Our short conversation lifted my spirits immensely. When I arrived at the office, lo and behold there was a package on my desk from a PTA member and now my heart is singing. These encounters and the two emails that I received a couple of weeks ago are proof positive and the good that we put into the world does not go unnoticed and comes back to us when we least expect it.

I share these stories with you because I have a holiday ask of each of you. Whenever the opportunity arises, do good, be kind and expect nothing in return. Do good, for goodness’ sake and for no other reason than that it is the right thing to do.

Please know that Florida PTA is grateful for the time, talent, and treasure that you share with us which allows all of our volunteers and staff to continue working on behalf of the children and families across the state of Florida.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the office staff of Florida PTA, I sincerely wish each of you a joy-filled holiday season. May the new year bring you hope and prosperity and may all of your dreams come true. 

Peace and blessings,

Carolyn Nelson-Goedert

Carolyn Nelson-Goedert, President 🐝




A holiday message from the Executive Committee and Staff of Florida PTA!

We are so proud to receive a $5,000 grant from Papa John's. Thank you for your continued support!

How Emotional Intelligence Can Make You More Resilient

"Here are some ways that emotional intelligence can help you become more resilient:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Empathy
  • Social Adaptability
  • Problem Solving
  • Stress Management"

To continue reading, click here.

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Maxine Lewers

Vice President for Leadership Development

Lawrence Clermont 

Vice President for Regions & Councils

Burt Miller

Vice President for Membership Development

Charman Postel

Vice President for Educational Development

Karen Mazzola



Melanie Williams 



Jude Bruno

Board of Directors


Upcoming Events

1/28/24: LegCon

7/18-21/24: Leadership Convention

Road to Success


December 6: Awards

December 13: Nominations

January 10: Legislation

*Please be sure to catch up on any past Road to Success sessions by visiting this page on our website and watching the recordings.

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Florida PTA's Committee Interest Survey is now open year-round for volunteer applications. As the needs of Florida PTA change, so does the availability of potential volunteers.  Apply today!!!

Kit of Materials

The 2023-24 Kit of Materials has been emailed to all presidents, secretaries, and treasurers. If you already completed the New & Returning Officers Form but did not receive your KOM, please email: communication@floridapta.orgOnly those who completed the New & Returning Officers form will receive the KOM.

Thanks to our 2023 Leadership Convention Sponsors!

Got A Minute?

Are you aware of the opportunities for advancement and growth within PTA?

October Results ("How would you rate your leadership skills?"):

  1. I'm brand new and need help: 21.4%
  2. I've had some training, but I'm looking for more: 21.4%
  3. I've had lots of training but this new role is a challenge: 18.4%
  4. I'm well trained, but recognize there is always room for growth: 24.5%
  5. I'm a PTA expert and don't need any additional training: 14.3%

Registration is now open for our 2024 LegCon event will be held January 28-30, 2024 in Tallahassee. The registration fee is $75 for adults and $25 for students. Register early to reserve your spot and join our advocacy efforts in the capital. Register here!

The Leadership Convention Committee has been busy as worker bees planning for the 2024 Leadership Convention in July. For those who enjoyed the new venue at LC 2023, we

plan on stepping it up with innovative speakers, workshops, and events. For those of you who

couldn’t attend we hope to see you at LC2024.

Registration will open in January and more details will be coming soon.


Do you have an idea for an interesting and engaging workshop for Leadership Convention? Please fill out this form by March 15th!

President's Workshop attendees from our 2023 Leadership Convention.

It takes many busy bees to work the Florida Leadership Convention. We depend on our volunteers to make Leadership Convention an exciting experience. Whether you have volunteered with us before, or this will be your first time, we welcome you to the hive. Volunteers will be provided a complimentary registration for Leadership Convention. Don't delay, SIGN UP TODAY!

All Reflections entries that have advanced to the state office must be submitted by January 5, 2024.

Leadership Development Cohort

We are pleased to announce the recruitment of the inaugural class of the Florida PTA Leadership

Development Cohort. By concentrating on interpersonal soft skills, this program seeks to increase

volunteers’ ability to effectively lead and manage others. The goal is to increase satisfaction, retention and leadership ability for program participants and, ultimately, other volunteers as well.

The class of 12-15 participants will be selected from self-nominations. The class will represent a diversity from amongst local unit leaders from across the state.

This leadership growth opportunity will run from January to June and will be conducted virtually, through on-line interactions, mentorships, group discussions and various assessments. Estimated time commitment by participants is approximately 2-3 hours per week. Participants must commit to the six-month term of the program and to pursuing opportunities of increasing responsibility upon completion of the program.

Below is the link to the application for the Leadership Development Cohort. Deadline for submission is December 15th. Any volunteer who is interested in participating is encouraged to complete the application for consideration. The application can also be easily forwarded to others whom you believe have the potential to develop into volunteer leaders for our state and beyond.

All volunteers selected to participate in the Florida PTA Leadership Development Cohort will be

notified by December 18. All volunteers that complete the Florida PTA Leadership Development

Cohort will be invited to attend a general meeting of the 2024 Florida PTA Leadership Convention, at which public recognition of program participants will take place.

Our team of program administrators (Esther Parker, and Leslie Boggs) are excited to be involved in this unique leadership program and look forward to welcoming our inaugural class of participants.

Contact Alvin Gainey, Leadership Development Chair, at leadership.development@floridapta.org. Submit your application today by clicking this link!

Leadership Development Training Opportunities

For more from our Leadership Development Commission, please click here for much more...including a spotlight on Florida PTA Secretary, Melanie Williams!

Florida PTA Partnership with Level All

We hope you are looking forward to spending time with loved ones this holiday season. While this time of year is prime for winding down, we also know it can be challenging to juggle existing responsibilities and plan for the year ahead.


That’s why we’re highlighting an exciting resource! As part of our partnership with Level All, every member of the Florida PTA and their family gets free access to the Level All platform.


Level All is a one-stop shop with helpful content for every learner that guides your family through:

    Making the most of high school

    College planning & alternatives to college

    Career discovery & professional skills development

    Financial literacy

    Leadership development & life skills

    And so much more!


Ready to sign up? Just click this link to get started with your free account! (Make sure to select “Parent” as the user type)


We’re sure you’ll want to explore this fantastic resource with your family. And, if you have any questions or want to learn more about the platform, please feel free to reach out to the Level All team at s.kellymanning@levelall.com, or schedule time here


Want to learn more about Level All? Check out the intro video below!


Happy Holidays!

Florida PTA Executive Committee

Congratulations Scholarship Winners

Wishing our Florida PTA Scholarship recipients so much success in their future endeavors!

And speaking of scholarships, scholarships are an incredible source of financial assistance for college students. Unlike loans, scholarship funds are free money. That means you don’t have to pay them back over time — an assurance that can vastly reduce financial stress and help you focus more on your studies. In fact, recent reporting from Forbes has shown that private scholarship recipients are more likely to graduate from college than those with just student loans.

Financial aid and student loans are excellent sources of support, but college scholarships are one of the best ways to reduce the debt burden associated with pursuing higher education. If you’re on the fence about applying, here are a few more reasons to make scholarships part of your financial aid strategy.

Scholarship Searches

Climate Resilient Schools Program

The Climate Resilient Schools program helps school districts get their buildings ready for all the impacts of climate change. EPA and a contractor will provide technical assistance to up to four school districts to help them plan school upgrades to make their buildings more resilient to climate change – for example, flooding, hurricanes, and extreme heat.

  • Learn more about the program and how they can apply in the Request for Letters of Interest
  • Deadline: January 19, 2024
  • Timeframe: EPA expects to select up to four recipients in February 2024 and provide all technical assistance within approximately one year.

Say Good-bye to Dirty Diesel

Every day, half a million children in Florida embark on their school journeys aboard 18,000 diesel-fueled buses. These diesel buses spew tailpipe pollution into the air, contributing to a host of health problems and exacerbating climate change. The good news is that electric school buses, with zero tailpipe emissions, are now on the horizon for communities across the nation. To facilitate this transition to cleaner school transportation, funding opportunities are available, waiting to be tapped into by school districts state-wide.

To continue reading this article by Emily Pickett, please click here.


You can start applying now, or even browse the list of Awards you might want to apply for in the near future! There are awards based on membership numbers and judged awards for various categories.

Click here for more information.

Upcoming Webinars

Click here to register

Click here to register

Celebrating . . .


Human Rights Day - December 10th

Bill of Rights Day - December 15th

International Migrants Day - December 18th

HIV/AIDS Awareness Month

Universal Human Rights Month

Learn a Foreign Language Month


New Years Day - January 1st

World Religion Day - January 15th

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - January 15th

National Blood Donor Month

Mental Wellness Month

Poverty Awareness Month

Smart Brief...Leaders

"One of the realizations I’ve had over the past year is that the leaders I thought were good knew how to serve their teams and effectively prioritize work. But the leaders that I thought were great understood when to prioritize themselves. That might seem counterintuitive, as we often believe top leaders should pour all their energy and focus into the organization. Instead, they’ve taught me that you can offer more to everyone by focusing on the crucial beliefs and priorities that have shaped you and applying the insights you gain to how you lead. I’m early in my career, but I’ve been watching closely. Here’s what I’m observing in the best leaders around me:"

To continue reading, please click here.

Essay Contest

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1917.  The deadline to enter is January 12, 2024. Please click here for more information.

National PTA Resources

Notes from the Backpack is Back!

Notes From the Backpack: A National PTA Podcast has returned with season 8! This season we will feature experts giving you advice on everything from vaping to a child’s friendships. Listen now to our first episode of the new season, "How to Talk with Your Kids About Addiction".


Many parents feel unsure when they should start talking to their children about addiction and even more uncertain about what to say. In this episode, author and educator, Jessica Lahey, offers practical tips and guidance for having conversations about drug and alcohol use. She draws on the latest research and her own experiences to share what families need to know to keep their kids safe.

Become a Podcast Ambassador!

Calling all Notes from the Backpack enthusiasts! We are looking for podcast ambassadors to receive podcast social media graphics and sample language when our new episodes are released! Help to share out this incredible series with your contacts and network!​ And listen to our new season of Notes from the Backpack NOW!

Sign-Up Here

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Orlando, Florida 32809

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