Happy February Florida PTA!

I hope you are all doing well. It does not seem possible that it is February already. This year and term seem to be flying by! February brings many emotions to all of us and each emotion affects us differently. Please take the time you need to pause, take a deep breath, release, and remember your WHY. Why did you get started in PTA? Why did you raise your hand to be a PTA leader? Why do you feel so passionate about the largest and oldest child advocacy association in the nation? I am looking for people to share their stories with me so I can share some recaps in our upcoming newsletters. Please share your "Why" story or stories with me at president@floridapta.org. I look forward to reading them and sharing quotes - without names unless you say I can share your name in your email. I feel sharing our stories brings us closer together. Through sharing our stories we realize that many of us have similar stories and have more in common than we know.

Shout out to all of our members that attended our annual Legislative Conference "LegCon" event. Thank you for continuing to carry your passion to Tallahassee (virtually or in-person) and advocate for ALL Children. Advocacy is the heartbeat of our association and we strive to turn our passion into action, now more than ever! A special thanks to our awesome Legislative Committee for their hard work in planning and executing the event. Our advocacy team has been hard at work through committee weeks and the legislative session. We are using our united PTA Voice to make a difference for ALL Children!

February also brings us time to reflect on why our amazing founders came together so long ago. Founders' Day (February 17) is when we celebrate the legacy and work of our founders—Alice McLellan BirneyPhoebe Apperson Hearst, and Selena Sloan Butler—to better the lives of every child in education, health, and safety. Our founders started without school buildings and that is currently where many of us find ourselves, continuing to seek new ways to educate, engage and empower our families, schools, and communities, beyond the school building. I know we continue to make our founders proud with our continued advocacy efforts and dedication to our mission. Look for our special Founders' Day eblast to come out on February 17, 2022. Look for some interesting historical features that we will share on our social media.

February also brings us Valentine's Day. This day means something different to all of us. I ask that on February 14th, at a time convenient for you, take a moment of silence and/or reflection, and think of our 17 members that lost their lives in the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland Florida in 2018.

With thanks and appreciation,
Jennifer "Jen" Martinez
President | Florida PTA
Happy Valentine's Day Florida PTA
Leadership Convention 2022
Florida PTA Leadership Convention
July 21-24, 2022
The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
The resort is located at:
1500 Masters Boulevard, Championsgate, FL 33896

Due to the location and popular demand of this resort, hotel reservations are now open so members attending can reserve their room(s).
Book now to ensure you have a room onsite, no funds are needed to reserve a room at this time.

Please use this link to the Florida PTA special hotel pricing page. Make your reservations now to ensure your PTA discounted pricing. Booking through the resort online or directly with the resort will not allow you to take advantage of the discounted pricing. Many of the suites and villas are booked already, book today to ensure you have a room on site.

Average room prices will range from $159-$309, depending on size, location, and style. You can arrive early or extend your stay with the reduced rates depending on room type and availability.

Parking is free for those staying at the resort and for anyone that lives close and chooses to drive over daily.

The resort fee has been reduced to $9 and when you book your hotel room it will be reflected in the pricing.

All workshops, ticketed events, exhibitors, and General Meetings will be in one building located within just steps of each other. This hotel has ELEVATORS and lots of restrooms! We know that sounds silly, but it is a refreshing change of pace for us.

Stay tuned for more details and information!

We look forward to seeing you there!
#FindYourPath

Would you like to order a #FindYourPath shirt for Leadership Convention?

Click this link to place your order.
"How Do You PTA Today?" Leadership Summit
Increase Your Membership/Awards
Visit the Florida PTA Awards page to check out and apply for all of our Awards! There are awards given for membership levels, programs, volunteers, and much more!
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Survey
We’re glad to see you! The Florida PTA Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee is on a daring quest to collect data about the demographics of PTA members in Florida. This data can help us determine the direction of our committee and help us plan how to better serve you. Our target audience involves everyone who is registered as a PTA member. This is why we chose you! You are our greatest asset! Don’t worry, your data is just for Florida PTA. Your information will not be shared with third parties, and your identity will remain anonymous. We promise!

To help us out, please click here to access the survey.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Heart Month, Month of Love
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Since February is known as Heart Month and Month of Love…what better time to do a check to see if your Local PTA Unit really reflects the diverse community of your school’s culture. Have you at least done one activity? Have you contacted parents and members? Have you had conversations with members that have not attended PTA meetings in person or on zoom to find out why? Have you sent out communications in languages that are common in your school community? Most of all, have you been inclusive to all members? It’s not too late to start, and we are interested in the amazing work that you are doing!  

To continue reading this article from our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, please click here.
Safe Driving Tips
So, you have a teen who’s learning to drive? Perhaps they just passed their knowledge exam, or maybe they just got that coveted full license… Whatever the scenario is, you (as a parent or caregiver) serve an important role in their driver journey, and a vital function in the safety choices they will make when driving. The operation of a motor vehicle is one of the most dangerous activities your teen will face during adolescence. Traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of preventable death or serious injury for teens. It’s with experience, smart decisions, and positive parent/caregiver influence that we can ensure our teen driver gets home safe.

To continue reading this article, courtesy of Melissa Valido, Coalition Leader - Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition, please click here.
Purple Star Training Opportunity
There will be a Purple Star Training opportunity for schools interested in getting a head start in having a POC trained in military connected student and parent transition at their location. Training is next Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30-1:30 EST. There are 5 modules and participants can fill out a survey at the completion of each module that leads to a certificate once all 5 are completed on Thursday. 

The handbooks will be made available digitally upon registration and the training will be conducted through Zoom. 

This would fulfill one of the pillars of qualifying as a Purple Star School once Florida gets started. This is offered by a grant from the state of Alabama. 

Membership Has Its Benefits!
There are many benefits of becoming a PTA/PTSA Member. But many times we look at the “What do I get out of being a PTA/PTSA Member?”
While National PTA offers discounts to Members, It’s great to come up with benefits at your Local Unit!
 
Here are some Ideas that you may find beneficial:
 
  • Create Partnerships within your local community that will benefit your PTA/PTSA Members.
  • Offer Membership Perks to Families for Free Entry or Discounted Entry to PTA/PTSA hosted events.
  • Give PTSA Student Members a discount on School Events.
  • Host a School Wide Incentive and/or Class Incentives for reaching a Membership Goal.
  • Provide the Teachers and Staff within your school a sign for their door to proudly display that they are PTA/PTSA Members.
  • Offer Grants to the Teachers and Staff for Joining.

Being a PTA member has its perks. Please visit this page on the National PTA site to see how you can take advantage!
Food Future Hack
Looking Ahead
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