Hello again Florida PTA!

We had a plethora of information to share with you this month so it took TWO Newsletters to get it all in! Our committees and county councils are hard at work and ready to serve you. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for support. The support network we have is what sets PTA apart from any other organization. We are here and we are ready to educate, engage and empower!

feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others.

What is a compassionate person?
To be compassionate is to feel deeply for another person as they experience the ups and downs associated with life. To be compassionate is to not just tell someone that you care, but also to show them that you care by being there before they even ask for it.

Collegiate Winner: 2nd Place Brenna Smith
Beta Epsilon Chapter, Western Illinois University 

Learn more here.

Jennifer "Jen" Martinez
President | Florida PTA
Get Engaged Wednesdays
Mark Your Calendar!

October 14th is our next Get Engaged Wednesdays discussion entitled "PTA Advocacy". We have two discussion times: 12 & 7 PM. To register, click the link below!

Leadership Summit - North Area November 7
Other area Leadership Summits will be coming soon! Save the date:

Central: January 23rd 
Central Counties:  Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Bradford, Clay, Marion, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, Volusia, Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Lake, Orange, Seminole
West Counties:  Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Hardee, Sarasota, DeSoto, Highlands

South: February 20th 
East Counties: Brevard, Osceola, Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin
South Counties:  Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Lee, Hendry, Collier

Zoom Into Membership!
We had such a great time at our first Zooming Into Membership Event in September! Thank you to all who joined us. If you couldn't make it, don't worry. You can view the recordings of our two sessions at the links below.  As promised, we are also including all of your questions, as answered by our AMAZING panelists! Click the link to access the FAQ.

The fun, fellowship, and amazing ideas continue at our second Zooming Into Membership Event - Getting (Virtually) Engaged! You will here direct from other local units on how they have successfully navigated the virtual environment by creating engagement opportunities with their school communities, including events, membership, fundraisers, and more! We look forward to seeing you!

November 18, 2020
11am & 7pm (the same content will be featured on both)

11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) - Register in advance for this meeting:
07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) - Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Engagement Tips
Engagement Tip: It's that time of year for many of our districts: Parent/Teacher Conference time! While you can safely assume that your families who are learning from home have gained access to Zoom or whatever virtual meeting platform your district uses, some of our brick & mortar learners and their families may not. In fact, it is possible that lack of technology access played a role in their decision to learn in person. If your district is holding conferences online, consider hosting a Conference Cafe. Technology should not stand in the way of a caregiver's ability to collaborate with their child's teacher and advocate for their education. In the Conference Cafe​, PTA, possibly in cooperation with the school, can set up a socially distant room with internet connected computers to allow families to conference with teachers in a clean and reliable environment. PTA volunteers can serve as tech support and ensure that workstations are properly cleaned between uses. Encourage caregivers to bring their own headphones.

Engaging Students - Don't miss the opportunity to continue the PTA relationship with families as they leave the elementary school PTA and continue on to our PTSAs by reaching out to incoming 6th grade families! We all know that as families transition to the older grades, keeping PTA relevant can be tough as competing activities grow. This is a great time to let our students, who are more worldly and engaged than ever, know that PTSA is a place where their voices are heard, and amplified. Consider hosting a regular student forum of PTSA members where you ask them what issues matter most to them. Don't just let that information sit; encourage your students to share with your council and state representatives. Maybe they can even join us at LegCon 2021!
Membership...Join Today!
Awards Information
Breaking News - The Early Bird Membership Awards deadlines have been extended! We recognize that this year has been unique to say the least, and that your membership campaigns may not have kicked off quite as quickly as in previous years. We know that you are doing amazing work and want to make sure that you are rewarded. You must apply to win!  The new dates are:

Gold Award - November 1, 2020
Silver Award - December 1, 2020
Bronze Award - January 8, 2021
October is...
October is National Bullying Prevention Month 

Research shows that one of the most effective ways to prevent bullying behavior is to create a positive school climate. School climate encompasses everything that contributes to a student's experience with a school—from the physical building to policies, staff and peer culture.

Use the Connect for Respect (C4R) Toolkit on the National PTA website to guide your PTA/PTSA in engaging students in improving the school climate and reducing bullying.
Unity Day is Wednesday, October 21st! Promote a day at your school, whether brick and mortar or virtually, to wear and share orange to show that we are together against bullying, and united for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. 

ORANGE provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER Center. “Whether it’s hundreds of individuals at a school wearing ORANGE, store owners offering ORANGE products, or a community changing a landmark to ORANGE, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the supportive, universal message that bullying is never acceptable behavior.”
Red Ribbon Week is October 23-31!

In 1988, the National Family Partnership introduced Red Ribbon Week to play a role and provide leadership in the area of drug awareness and prevention. Red Ribbons are used as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.

To learn more, visit this website.
School of Excellence
National PTA School of Excellence recognition program opens the lines of communication and critical thinking within school communities to make data-driven decisions that yield positive, long-term results.

National PTA's School of Excellence enrollment application is open! Please visit this website for more information on the program and what you need to apply.

The deadline to apply is October 15th.
Attention High School Seniors
Did you know that if you are a member of a local PTSA unit you can apply for a Florida PTA Scholarship? That’s right, we have scholarships!!! We are giving out scholarships to high school seniors who plan on attending a university, trade/vocational school, community college, or private college.
In the coming months the Florida PTA website will have more information on the process for applying for the scholarships. We are proud to announce that with our fundraising efforts this year, we are able to award more than 6 scholarships! So keep those donations coming in for the scholarship fund and let us continue to grow our scholarship opportunities. If you have any questions, please email me at scholarship@floridapta.org.

Have you seen Miss Mary? #smashthecat #savethecat

Donate to the Scholarship fund now!
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