Happy March Everyone! Spring is almost here!

March always seems to be a busy time; middle of the school year, programs, events, advocacy, spring break, and of course our real jobs and life itself. No matter how busy we get, we need to remember to stop and smell the roses, take that deep breath of fresh air and a take a little time for self care. We cannot pour from an empty cup, so we have to take the time to rest, relax and recharge, so we can replenish our cups. We are mid-way through our unprecedented school year...how are you doing? How are your members doing? Remember our communities are going through some tough times right no so it is good to check in with them so they know their PTA is still here for them. Thank you so much for all that you are doing for ALL Children; you are appreciated!

We are currently gearing up for the virtual National PTA Legislative Conference March 9-11th and our playbook is nearly finalized for our first Florida PTA March Madness Virtual LegCon March 21-23rd. Have you registered for this very important advocacy event? I hope you have. Advocacy is the heart of PTA and we are turning our passion into action. We will have great speakers and presentations throughout the event. The legislature has officially started and we find ourselves already busy tracking bills. During LegCon you will receive a detailed update on what to look for this legislative session. Florida PTA continues to have team members in Tallahassee every week using our ONE VOICE to Advocate for ALL CHILDREN. While some bills that we oppose will still move forward despite our advocacy efforts, our voice is there, and we are being heard.

My word for you this month is fortitude:
mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.

Keep up the great work. I know it is not always easy or fun, but we are PTA Strong and here for each other. That is what makes us family and has kept our association going for over 123 years.

Jennifer "Jen" Martinez
President | Florida PTA
Get Engaged Wednesdays
Upcoming GEW:
March 17: ZOOMing Into Membership
March 24: NONE
March 31: Treasurer Check In

Please join Florida PTA's Legislation Committee members in the "locker room" for an advance look at our annual Legislative Conference. What is it? Why you should go or send "players" and prepping for your game day plays virtually.

This event will be held on a Monday rather than a Wednesday.

When: March 8, 2021 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Register in advance for this meeting:

Wait, a Get Engaged Wednesday on a Monday?
Due to National PTA LegCon, we have moved the event to Monday.
For more information, including recordings of past sessions, please visit our website.
Reflections Winners

Congratulations to all of the Florida Reflections winners! All entries were amazing which made choosing finalists very tough! Please see this link to all Award of Excellence and Award of Merit winners in all categories. Award of Excellence selections have advanced to National PTA!
Advocacy
Our virtual LegCon event will take place March 21-22! To register, please click here.

Our Legislative Committee has been hard at work. Please click here to view the latest updates!
Awards
In this not-so-typical year, we on the Awards Committee are guessing that you hosted some not-so-typical programs. Don’t forget to apply for awards for those programs and check out more awards that you can apply for on the Florida PTA website https://floridapta.org/florida-pta-awards/. We bet there is something that your unit qualifies to apply for. If you have any questions, please feel free to email awards@floridapta.orgawards@floridapta.org.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Please view this month's article on Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

"The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live."
Membership Matters...
From Impact Florida
"School districts across Florida have been hard at work selecting instructional materials as part of this year’s English language arts adoption. Impact Florida and TNTP brought together a cadre of eight districts to collaborate with each other to ensure they select high-quality materials that fit their needs." Click here to read more about how High Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) can be a game-changer!
School Food Market Program
Now more than ever, ensuring children access to wholesome food is critical. Schools, being the hub of the community, are a vital part of the solution. The School Food Market model successfully provides students and their families ease and comfort in accessing food in over 65 Orlando area schools. 

A statewide collaboration of organizations has joined together to expand this program which increases food access and awareness, while alleviating stigma and empowering students. The School Food Market becomes part of the campus culture.

Six schools from across the state will be selected for the School Food Market Pilot Opportunity. If your school/district is interested in being involved in the pilot, please enter your information here .

For a more detailed explanation of the School Food Market Program, click here to access the Florida School Food Access Toolkit and here for a news story on Orlando's program.
Children's Week 2021 at the Capitol
Join us and become a part of the annual and signature Children's Week Florida event, Celebration of the Hands!

Each year since 1986, early learning programs, schools, and individual families across the state, have created children’s hand artwork for a stunning visual display at the Capitol Rotunda during Children's Week Florida. These beautiful hands serve as a reminder to legislators, advocates, and visitors of how thousands of Florida’s children, youth, and families are impacted by decisions made during legislative session.

Children’s Week Florida, with the help of our community Partners, proudly invites you to be a part of this time-honored tradition and have the hands of your little loved ones included in this event. Visit the Celebration of the Hands webpage or click to download the instructional flyer for more information..

Questions? Visit the Children's Week website, send an email to info@childrensweek.org, or call 850-487-6300.
Leadership Convention 2021
#LCFamilyReunion

ARE YOU READY FOR FLORIDA PTA’s BIGGEST FAMILY REUNION?
One awesome event, Two ways to experience it!
Announcing our 2021 Leadership Convention will be a Hybrid event.
You may choose to attend in person or virtually!

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 (expires June 1st), Regular: $105 (until June 30th),
Students 21 & younger: $50
Non PTA-members: $150
*Fees are the same regardless of how you choose to attend

Stay up-to-date on Leadership Convention details, including workshops and schedules, by visiting https://floridapta.org/leadership-convention/
We can’t wait to see you there!!!
Thanks To Our Sponsors!
Follow us on social media!
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!