Where did September go? I suppose time flies when you are having fun! 
October is the month to bring awareness to many issues that are relevant to the mission and purpose of PTA. October is Dyslexia Awareness Month, LGBTQ History Month, and Mental Illness Week.
Each of these has stigmas and misunderstandings that result in bullying. When people think about bullying many imagine something like this: one child yelling at another to give up their lunch money, the reality is much different. Bullying isn’t limited to physical abuse – verbal, emotional, and cyber-bullying are also common.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyber-bullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.
As PTA, we must strive to create a positive school climate that encompasses everything that contributes to a student’s experience.
To assist us, National PTA has a program, Connect for Respect (C4R), to help students, parents and educators to create school climates full of safe and supportive peer relationships. 
As you bring awareness to your membership and community on the importance of bullying, remember our mission: To make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.

Lawrence Clermont
President, PCCPTA
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say
“It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.”
Then there are those who see the need and respond.
I consider those people my heroes.”  
Fred Rogers
Election Season is upon us and I hope that you are all ready to make informed decisions. PTA is a nonpartisan organization but we are also the largest child advocacy organization in the nation.  PTA only takes a position for or against legislation or constitutional amendments if we have a position statement. Our position statements are approved by our membership.

Florida PTA opposes any tax limitation by  constitutional amendment which would limit the progress being made in attaining the state’s goal for education and for programs that promote the welfare of children and youth.

Amendment 1 (Homestead Exemption Increase Amendment) and Amendment 2  (Permanent Cap on Nonhomestead Parcel Assessment Increases Amendment) are  proposed constitutional amendments that contain provisions limiting taxation. Amendment 5 (Two-Thirds Vote of Legislature to Increase Taxes or Fees Amendment) requires a supermajority vote of both houses of the legislature to impose, authorize, or raise a state tax or fee.  Florida PTA believes that limitations can be imposed through legislation since statutes can be repealed or amended and therefore more adaptable to Florida’s changing needs. 

All three amendments specifically exclude school districts from seeing reduced revenues.  However, government bodies such as counties and municipalities may see a reduction in their revenues. Counties and municipalities often provide services for children and are now even providing school safety support. These services could be limited if these amendments pass.  Should a financial crisis or a natural disaster occur, communities could see previously available resources diverted away from children.  This could cause children to arrive at school with substantial needs unmet.

As the nation’s largest volunteer child advocacy organization, our scope extends beyond the schoolhouse and speaks for ALL CHILDREN within their home communities as well.


Raegan Miller, VP of Advocacy
Membership matters

If you are a PTA local unit member you already see the importance of being a child advocate. The next step in your personal advocacy for all children is to invite a friend, a relative, or perhaps a business associate to join you! Take a few moments and share your PTA story with them! In some cases you may have to dispel the notion that PTA is “ just for fundraising” . Share a program you attended or an issue you are concerned about. 
The membership challenge this month is to bring along a friend! Increasing membership numbers is adding to the voice for all children! Your voice is important, your voice is strong, your voice speaks with others for all children.

Barbara Pace, Membership Chair

AWARDS…Do I really need to think about that now?
I know it is the beginning of the year and the last thing you are thinking of is applying for awards.  I get it. You are trying to get new members, kick off your fundraiser and get your budget approved.  Even though all of these things come first, I want you to keep ‘awards’ in the back of your mind.  Our local units do wonderful, impactful programs and we, Pinellas County Council, want to hear about them.  
Please refer to each individual application form for the complete criteria. Applications may be submitted by a local PTA/PTSA in good standing. Applications must be received by April 18th, 2019. No late applications will be accepted. Applications are accepted throughout the year. This year we have an early bird awards deadline of Friday, December 21st. If you submit just one application by December 21 st , your school will be entered into a special drawing. Don't worry if you miss the early bird deadline, you still have till Thursday, April 18, 2019 to submit.  Please remember to submit the awards as you go!

 Administrator Award                                                    Outstanding President Award 
Adopt or Mentor a PTA/PTSA Award                        
Community Service Award                                           Outstanding Support Staff Award 
Environmental Award                                                   Outstanding Teacher Award
Excellence in Advocacy Award                                    Outstanding Volunteer Award .
Golden Participation Award *                          Partnership Award
Health and Safety Award                                              President’s Theme Award
Legislative Advocacy Award  *                                   Social Media Award
Literacy Award                                               Student / Student Group Participation Award
Membership Award                                        Website Award

 *These PCCPTA awards are not in competition with other local units; you can earn them just by being great advocates, leaders and being involved. You must complete these applications; start completing these awards immediately as they will continue throughout the year.

Your local unit may also be eligible for  Florida PTA  and  National PTA  awards. Check the awards section of your Kit of Materials or visit their websites for more information. 
Terri Lyn George,
VP of Organization
Thank you to the following schools for registering your PTA on the National PTA Reflections website!

Académie Da Vinci
Athenian Academy
Brooker Creek
Curlew Creek
Douglas L. Jamerson Elementary
Dunedin Highland Middle
Gibbs High School
Joseph L. Carwise Middle 
Largo Middle 
Madeira Beach Fundamental
Oakhurst Elementary
Osceola Fundamental High School
Pasadena Fundamental 
Ridgecrest Elementary
Seminole Middle
Shore Acres Elementary
Southern Oaks Elementary
Starkey Elementary
Tarpon Springs Fundamental

If you know your local unit is participating in Reflections this year and you do not see your school listed, please make sure your Reflections chair has registered at  www.pta.org/reflections .  “Register with National PTA”
 Also, have them email me their information so I can add them to my email list  r eflections@pccpta.org.

All information on how to run Reflections at your school is on the Pinellas County PTA website,  www.pccpta.org/reflections
You still have time to participate!

       Reflections Turn in Dates:  Thursday, November 29 th   
12 to 5pm – Stavros Institute
12100 Starkey Rd, Largo, FL 33773

  ·    Film Production
·    Literature
·    Music Composition
·    Photography

Our meetings are held each month (sans Dec). Please join us  this month as we kick off a fantastic new year for all our schools.  

Location: Highland Lakes Elementary (Cafe) 1230 Highlands Blvd. Palm Harbor, FL 34684
Treasurer’s Corner
Have you….
Sent in a copy of your Financial Review to Florida PTA? It was due September 30 th to  audit@floridapta.org
Sent in a copy of your tax confirmation to Florida PTA? Send to  990@floridapta.org
Sent in your Insurance Packet? If not you CANNOT do any PTA business until the packet, with your late fee, is sent to our Insurance Chair. If you have any questions, please email  insurance@pccpta.org
Please remember that EVERYONE has a fiduciary responsibility, not just the treasurer. Please follow the best practices set forth. You are all a steward of monies given to you to best serve the children of your local unit.

Debbie SS, Treasurer, PCCPTA
What did Ridgecrest's PTA Board focus on? We focused on increasing membership.

How many students does Ridgecrest have? Our student population is 738.

What was your membership goal? Our goal was to increase our membership to 300 by the end of 2018-2019 academic year.

How did you begin to increase your membership so quickly? Our team started working on incorporating membership drive into every event from the time school started. We set up a booth on Staff Welcome Breakfast Day and our principal emphasized the importance of PTA and encouraged both teachers and parents to join PTA at the Welcome Breakfast and Back to School Night. We had a PTA manned booth at both Back to School Events. We have a PTA specific Facebook page and Ridgecrest PTA website and we uploaded the membership flyers on both.

What other forms of communication do you have? We have a "PTA only" bulletin board, we inform our parents and staff of upcoming PTA events.

Have you leveraged relationships of those around in your community? Yes, our PTA has also reached out to the community and local businesses for support. PTA events are shared in our local neighborhood newsletter every month. We put PTA membership packets in the front office on display, in plain view for parents that are volunteering, bringing students in late or signing them out early, dropping off items, or coming up for conferences .

Do you have a Newsletter? Yes, we do. Our newsletter informs parents about PTA events and activities, thereby motivating them to participate.

Yasmina P.-PTA President (2018-2019) Ridgecrest Elementary School.
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