Dear PTA Family,

Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day. This special day represents love and kindness - two words that also characterize all we do in PTA. Here are 10 examples of that love and kindness and the caring community created by our members:

  • PTA creates the village that helps to raise our kids and strengthen our community.
  • PTA links families to important school and community information.
  • PTA hosts fun, educational clubs, programs and events for our families.
  • PTA raises money to support the specific needs of our school.

  • PTA engages in school and digital safety initiatives.
  • PTA offers kids the opportunity to explore the arts and develop critical thinking, teamwork and creativity.
  • PTA inspires a love of reading and enhances students’ book and literary options.
  • PTA encourages healthy lifestyles and food choices for every family.
  • PTA tracks local, state and national policies every day so we can advocate for what’s best for our students, families and schools.
  • PTA believes we can make every child’s potential a reality …

Every year we also celebrate PTA’s legacy of love and kindness on Founder’s Day (February 17) by honoring our founders Alice McLellan Birney, Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Selena Sloan Butler, who have inspired generations of parents, teachers, and community members to work together to better the lives of every child in education, health and safety. Individually and collectively PTA members have shared their time, talent and treasure in supporting children for 123 years. This month we take time to reflect and take pride in our achievements, and renew our commitment to be a:

  • powerful voice for ALL children;
  • relevant resource for parents; and
  • strong advocate for public education.

We would love to share examples of your Founder’s Day celebrations and “Mission Moments” with our entire Florida PTA family.  Please send your stories, pictures and videos to us at communication@floridapta.org .

From the bottom of my heart… Thank you for all you do for ALL of OUR Children!

 With warm regards,
Linda Kearschner
President | Florida PTA
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Legislative Conference Recap
Over 200 Florida PTA members from across the state converged in Tallahassee last month for our annual Legislative Conference (a.k.a. LegCon). This engaged audience heard from some great speakers on a range of topics including child abuse prevention, internet safety, the importance of the census, and the various bills we are following this year. Attendees also participated in Florida’s annual Children’s Week celebrations along with other child advocacy ally organizations. Members of the Florida PTA Family & Community Engagement and Hispanic Latino Outreach Committees also greeted children in the capitol plaza during the event, sharing a bit of Florida PTA’s special love and kindness. Thank you to the Legislative Committee for hosting a great event and thank you to all who participated!


FLPTAdvocates is a podcast created by the Legislation Committee of Florida PTA to keep our members up to date on child advocacy issues. With Legislative Session in full swing, we are bringing updates on filed legislation and Florida PTA’s position on those bills as well as updates on the budget process. Hosted by Legislation Chair, Dr. Danielle Thomas, FLPTAdvocates informs our listeners on a variety of children’s topics and includes invited guests from the legislature and other child advocacy associations.
 
In our first 2 episodes, we covered a variety of bills and discussed their impact on our children as well as how this legislation is moving through the process. In addition, we gave a brief summary of our Legislative Conference. Episode 3 featured our first guest to the podcast, Rep. Shevrin Jones as we discussed our children, gun violence, and education.
 
Leadership Summit - March 2020
Make plans now to join us for our annual Leadership Summit. In 2020 we will explore food scarcity and the complex systems which must be navigated in order to secure social services in our communities.​ Registration is open now! Space is limited to the first 100 guests.

Leadership Development Commission
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Click here to view our article on the four "I's" of Transformative Family Engagement.
Student Engagement Committee

The Student Engagement Committee wants to hear from you! Click here for more information!
More celebrations with our Florida PTA family!
Congratulations to Caridad Martinez (Crystal Lake, FL) who was selected for a National PTA Equity Fellowship program! Fellows will be helping the Center for Family Engagement develop trainings and tools for local PTA leaders to implement more equitable approaches to family engagement and they will also advance this work in their own local communities. A key aspect of this initiative is shared learning and we are looking forward to also sharing the Fellows’ lessons learned with you. Please stay tuned for an update from Caridad later in 2020 as they progress in their Fellowship journey.
Founders' Day
Founders’ Day (February 17) is when we celebrate the legacy and work of our founders - Alice McLellan Birney, Phoebe Apperson Hearst and Selena Sloan Butler - to better the lives of every child in education, health and safety. It is a time to reflect and take pride in our achievements, and renew our commitment to be

  • a powerful voice for all children;
  • a relevant resource for parents; and
  • a strong advocate for public education.

Our founders represented women of imagination and courage. They had a simple idea—to improve the lives and future of all children. They understood the power of individual action, worked beyond the accepted barriers of their day, and took action to change the world for all children.

Click here to read a Founders' Day article by Executive Director, Jean Hovey.
Safer Internet Day
“Safer Internet Day encourages parents, students and educators to come together to discuss trending digital issues and empowers them to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. PTA has been working for over five years to address the online safety issues that are on the minds of families and connect them to tools and support,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Together with our PTA Connected sponsors, our association is proud to host events nationwide and share resources that help families navigate today’s digital world.”

Mission Moment from Sand Pine Elementary, Pasco County
The Sand Pine Elementary PTA in Wesley Chapel, Pasco County, voted to spend the year working on school beautification, using our Cultural Arts group. We wanted to have something fun and colorful for everyone in the school to enjoy. Our Reflections chair, Rebekah Street, designed the mural and along with parents, teachers and staff, our school came together to paint it. After completion, we hosted a School Beautification Day where our local community came out and worked on all the grounds, enhancing the mural area into a beautiful butterfly garden. The students are enjoying sharing how proud they are of our community!
Leadership Convention
Top Five Reasons to Attend Leadership Convention
Is Leadership Convention Expense Approved?
Awards
Happy New Year! Florida PTA Awards presents an opportunity to look back on PTA accomplishments as we continue planning for programs and activities ahead. It is an opportunity to consider which FLPTA Awards are best suited for your PTA/PTSA and begin to gather needed information for applications. Assuring that your PTA/PTSA is compliant in order to qualify for awards is an important step. Now is the time to confirm that the following requirements are met so you can take immediate action to follow up on any items that your unit may yet need to complete.

Election Time Reminder...
In the next several months, PTA must be vigilant about being a non-partisan voice. Florida PTA has a Guide for the PTA Advocate page on our website that will help you determine what is allowed/not allowed during election (or non-election) time. It also includes ten activities you can do to encourage voting in a non-partisan manner.

Another helpful resource can be found on National PTA's website , and this includes webinars and links to PowerPoint presentations.
Health & Wellness
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Cold or Flu?

How do you know if you have the cold or the flu? Symptoms of a cold are gradual whereas with the flu they are abrupt. With the flu, it is common to have fever, chills, body aches, fatigue, cough and headache. With the common cold, you rarely will have the symptoms common with the flu; however, you will have sneezing, nasal congestion and a sore throat. 

Both cold and flu are viruses so they are treated the same. With any cold or flu, it is important to stay home, increase fluids, and rest. Warm salt gargles work great for a sore throat. Modern research has actually shown that chicken soup can help the body rid it of the cold virus.

If you test positive for the flu within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, you can take an antiviral such as Tamiflu or Xofluza. Tamiflu is taken twice daily for five days and Xofluza is a one-time dose. Antiviral drugs work against viruses; they do not fight bacteria as antibiotics do. Antivirals will help make the symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever/chills, body aches, and fatigue) less severe and shortens the recovery time by 1-2 days. So it’s recommended to seek medical advice as soon as symptoms present.

If you have the flu, you will be contagious one day before developing symptoms and up to five to seven days after becoming ill. The Influenza virus can survive on surfaces, such as doorknobs and tables for up to 24 hours. The best prevention against colds and flu is handwashing .
Real Talk: For The Love of Children
To register to attend this event, please click here.
ShopPTA.com sells official PTA and PTSA logo apparel, membership items, awards, gifts and more. All products are offered through each of the participating State PTA organizations. Visit shoppta.com for all your PTA needs!