Hello everyone and Happy Fall! (even though it is still 90 degrees)

I cannot believe it is October already. The back to school shuffle has slowed and we find ourselves back into our school routines. I hope you are all balancing what life has for you and that you are doing well. How are your children doing? For many of them, this is their first time back on a school campus in nearly 18 months. Remember to open dialogues and check in with them. It is the student voice that is needed within all of our advocacy efforts so it is important to have these conversations with them.

Whether you are a PTA or PTSA, please focus some of your programming and events on social/emotional learning. How are your members doing? This has been an adjustment for them as well as our children. Children and adults have all been through a lot and as PTA, we should try to offer support, trainings, and events to support them. It is important to remember that even if you are in an area that is not permitted back on campus yet, there are ways to still be there for our communities. We can have virtual events or even partner with a local library, church, rec center, civic center or other community centers to offer programming and events. You know your community best and will need to do those pulse checks to provide what is needed in the safest and most effective way possible.

Shout out of THANKS to all the custodians in our schools that continue to work hard daily to keep our schools cleaned and sanitized.

Happy National Principals Month to all of our Principals out there doing what they need to do to run our schools with everything going on and all of the daily changes.

September was PTA Membership Month. It is great to hear so many of our local units have kicked off the school year with a successful membership campaign. Congratulations and thank you. The more members we have, the larger the impact we have for our advocacy efforts. As a reminder, membership is year round so let's keep the momentum going! If you need help or ideas for your membership campaign, please reach out to our membership committee at membership@floridapta.org. There are resources available to help, click here.

Jennifer "Jen" Martinez
President | Florida PTA
LegCon 2022
Leadership Convention 2022
We are excited to share the news that the 2022 Florida PTA Leadership Convention will be held at a new TIME and a new PLACE next year! Please save the date and plan to join us on this new path!

July 21-24, 2022
The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

Registration will open on April 1, 2022
Early bird pricing is $99 and will run April 1- June 1, 2022
**You MUST register by June 1, 2022, to be a delegate**
A delegate is a registered attendee with voting privileges and is elected by your membership
and/or PTA Board.
Average room prices will range from $159-$309, depending on size, location, and style.
Parking is free for those staying at the resort and for anyone that lives close and choses 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!

The countdown is on for the 2022 “Find Your Path” Leadership Convention, July 21-24. 2022, at a new and exciting location in Orlando!! Whether YOUR path is in Membership, Mentorship, Advocacy or Education, in Section 7, page 7, of our newly revised 2021-2022 Kit of Materials, we have pulled from years of notes to facilitate your PTA’s decision in attending.

First, make sure to put these new dates of July 21-24, 2022, on your calendar, and second, as it is the duty of your PTA to invest in the FUTURE of your PTA, definitely confirm NOW that Convention is a line-item in this year's budget!
Budgeting can be tricky because some expenses fall in this current 2021-22 year’s budget, and others will come after July 1, which will need to be in your “interim” budget. It’s not that complicated though, to figure out how much to estimate. Registration will be about $100 per attendee and hotel expenses may be about $1,200 for 2-4 people sharing a room. Figure in about $36/per day for food for each attendee, travel to and from (gas/tolls), and there you have it!

Here are some previous estimates from around Florida for a PTA to send FOUR members (carpooling and sharing a room): from Miami or Pensacola $2,000, from Jacksonville $1,600, from Tampa $1,800.
Be sure to keep an eye out for registration links and more details as they come out, because you do not want to miss it! Here’s our direct link to all things Convention: https://floridapta.org/leadership-convention/
All forms and instructions for this year's Reflections program are on our website, as well as due dates for each county. Please join our Facebook Reflections page to join in the conversation, ask questions, make suggestions, and bounce ideas off of each other!

In order to participate in this program, you must register your local unit with National PTA. Click here to start!

Don't forget the Reflections Theme Search! Ideas are due to the state office by November 1st. See here for more information.
Awards & MemberHub
Award applications are open! 

Did you know you don’t have to wait to apply for an award! Visit ww.floridapta.org/awards to submit your applications or for more information.

Save the date & join us on October 20th for a Get Engaged Wednesday session all about Awards.

Has your PTA/PTSA reached 100% (or more) membership from last year? Apply for the Golden Early Bird Membership Award. Dues must be paid and received at the state office by October 1st.
Have you been wondering how to utilize MemberHub to its fullest capacity? Is your communication needing some help? MemberHub is Florida PTA's partner for membership and it provides so much more!

As you may already know, MemberHub is how you can sell your PTA memberships and pay your Florida PTA State Dues. MemberHub also has a robust communication platform, free website feature, ability to organize your community, and a fundraising module that can help you keep more. Book a one-on-one with Valerie Licata, CSM with MemberHub and Florida Membership Committee member. She can give you all the tips and tricks on how MemberHub can assist you in the 'business part of PTA' so that you have more time for the advocacy and programming that is the true work of local PTAs! 
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
A New Beginning with DEI

The start of the school year is an exciting time for new experiences. As you develop your plans for the year, consider how diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) will be incorporated into your daily PTA efforts. This takes conscious reflection and action, and should go deeper than a bulletin board display for a cultural month. It can all begin with your own self-reflection on what DEI means to you & your PTA, and what you would like to accomplish in making an impact on our diverse families and communities.

These resources will support your DEI journey:

As you continue throughout the year, remember to document and take pictures of your DEI events/programs so that you can apply for a Florida PTA DEI award at next year’s Leadership Convention. Also, be on the lookout for Florida PTA’s Get Engaged Wednesday events in which several will focus on different aspects of DEI. We are here to help!
School Nutrition
Throughout the pandemic, school nutrition staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that no child goes hungry. From the day our schools closed in March 2020, they never stopped. They served meals all over our communities from cafeterias, school buses, and drive through lines – any place they could find a child in need of a meal.

This year, school breakfasts and lunches are available at no charge to all students. Demand is greater than ever, but our school nutrition heroes are struggling. Across the state, staffing shortages, quarantines and isolations have reduced their capacity and ability to get meals to kids that depend on them. No Kid Hungry Florida is encouraging PTA leaders to provide parents with information about school nutrition careers in your districts.

School nutrition programs in every Florida school district are looking for friendly, dedicated, and dependable individuals who enjoy working with food and children. Careers in school nutrition provide satisfying opportunities to contribute to the learning potential of students by providing delicious and nutritious meals. Opportunities come with the chance to work a similar schedule to your children with great hours, no weekends or school holidays. Positions may also include competitive wages, opportunities for professional development, and benefits (depending on the school district and position). Please consider sharing this infographic with your PTAs and parents. If you have any questions, please reach out to Arianne Corbett at No Kid Hungry at arianne@leadinghealth.com.
Learning Disabilities Awareness Month
October is Learning Disabilities (LD) Awareness Month. Did you know that one in five students learns differently because they have dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, executive function difficulties or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? During this month the Florida PTA is asking each of you to teach yourself or one person something new about learning disabilities.

Click on this link from Reading Rocket to learn more information on learning disabilities:

Also, visit our web page to find resources on how to host a dyslexia night at your school:

Thank you to Shore Acres Elementary School PTA for sharing their resources with us!

The Florida PTA continues to advocate for students with disabilities. We recognize that Specific Learning Disabilities have significant educational implications and we encourage local and state education agencies and institutions of higher education to require pre-service and ongoing training on: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and other SLDs, the warning signs of dyslexia, appropriate instructional approaches, the use of early screening for dyslexia and successful approaches to communicating with families.
October Happenings!
Communities celebrate Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day for a variety of reasons, but safety is always at the core. This year, use your event to promote the importance of walking and biking safety for the entire community, starting with the trip
to school. Take action using one or more of these ideas to connect your event to broader community safety goals.

The 2021 National Red Ribbon Week Theme is Drug Free Looks Like Me™. The Theme is a reminder that everyday Americans across the country make significant daily contributions to their communities by being the best they can be because they live Drug-Free!

Visit the Red Ribbon Week website at https://www.redribbon.org/
Did you know that when National Bullying Prevention Month was initiated in 2006 it was called something else and was only a week long, not a month? It has now evolved into a month-long event to prevent childhood bullying and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

Visit their website to learn more!
Call For Resolutions
To view our Resolutions Procedure Guide, please click here.
E-Learning Opportunities
There are some great resources from National PTA that you can take advantage of right from your own home. Check out these e-Learning courses! https://www.pta.org/home/run-your-pta/elearning
Membership Has Its Benefits!
Being a PTA member has its perks. Please visit this page on the National PTA site to see how you can take advantage!
What Makes the "PTA Difference" So Much Better for Schools?
The Power of PTA: PTA Makes a Difference

Over 120 years, PTA has helped solve some of the biggest issues facing America’s children. Many of the structures all children benefit from today—child labor laws, universal kindergarten, the National School Lunch Program and the juvenile justice system—were accomplished as a result of PTA members’ advocacy.
And it’s not just at the national level. Our state and local PTAs change lives too. Florida PTA members helped to defeat a piece of state legislation that would allow for-profit management companies and other corporate interests to take over public schools, keeping children’s educations from effectively being bought and sold. Washington State PTA worked to secure the passage of several major state education reforms, improving the day-to-day lives of children across the state. The impact of PTA is felt far and wide across our country.

Click here to learn more.
Where in the World is Jen Martinez?
Meet "Flat Jen"!

Where in Florida is Jen Martinez? The real Jen Martinez is on the move, visiting PTAs across the state. As our Florida PTA President, Jen would love to be everywhere and participate in each of your PTA events; unfortunately, there’s only one Jen, but we found a solution - Meet Flat Jen! Flat Jen is our fun way to make sure that President Jen never misses an event, meeting or PTA function. We want PTAs across the state to include Flat Jen, and her trusty sidekick Flat Miss Mary, in your trainings, take her to your meetings, and make her a part of your parent events. Keep Jen on the move year-round and take pictures. Post your pics on social media using hashtag #FLPTAJEN so that we know where Jen has been spotted - make sure to share your local unit name!

The unit that has the most hashtag appearances with Flat Jen will receive a special award at the 2022 Florida PTA Convention. If you didn’t receive a Flat Jen during our convention this year, you can use the template attached and create your own happy cutout. All participants are encouraged to keep Jen going! Let’s make sure that Flat Jen has an educational, fun, interactive and inclusive experience this year!

National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Listening and Learning Session
National PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships have transformed family engagement at all levels of the educational system. PTA leaders like you were an integral part of the adoption of the standards and now we invite you to engage in this work again. Since the last revision of the standards, we have seen changes that call upon PTA to invest in their relevance and impact – and we’re inviting you to be a part of this legacy!

How have you used the Standards to enhance family engagement in your community? What do you want the future of family engagement to look like? Join us for a 60-minute focus group to share your thoughts and opinions about family engagement, as well as your experience using the National Standards for Family School Partnerships.

Please pre-register to attend:
Oct 13, 2021 08:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

We have also requested information on a specific Florida Listening event; stay tuned for more information.
Looking Ahead
We look forward to seeing you throughout the year at our various events, whether in-person or virtual, there is sure to be something for everyone! If you have any questions about any of the events, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at: info@floridapta.org

This upcoming year is also an election year for Florida PTA so be sure to be on the lookout for the Nominations form to come out soon.
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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!