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the Georgia

VOICE August 2012

What’s inside this issue? MESSAGES FROM: Georgia’s PTA President & Georgia’s State School Superintendent

ARTICLES ABOUT: Legislation, Reflections, Male Involvement, and Diversity & Inclusion

HELPFUL INFORMATION: Convention Leadership Training Awards Listing and Important Dates

Scenes from CLT 2012

Message from the Georgia PTA President


t the close of the 98th Annual Georgia PTA Convention Leadership Training held at the Classic Center in Athens – delegates left inspired, energized, and talking about their exciting plans for a successful 2012-2013 school year! Reflecting on the great three day schedule, the dynamic keynote speakers and special guests, outstanding musical performances, relevant and informative workshops, festive Banquet celebration, exhibitors extravaganza and welcoming location – this event was also a lot of fun!

PTAs and their teams, as well as the Georgia PTA Board of Directors, are gearing up for this upcoming school year. Our charge is to: • Understand the education reform landscape and its impact in the classroom, at school, in the home and community and to all students; • Comprehend our roles and responsibilities as an effective PTA – identifying and connecting needs to meetings, programs, projects, and events; • Ensure that family engagement, advocacy and membership encompass all that we do – so that all students remain at the heart of those whom we serve; • Collaborate with our teachers, principals, and superintendents; and • Connect to our community stakeholders. Our continued focus is to create a foundation of support for all students so that they transition to Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten to Grade 12, to Graduation, and to become college and career ready. This will be an exciting year for PTA and its critical role in the education and development of children and youth, targeted on academic achievement and school improvement. I am honored that you are all a part of the history of this amazing association and of the successes we continue to achieve – in the name of families and local school communities in Georgia. Together, we make every child’s potential a reality. Donna Kosicki, Georgia PTA President,

We are building bridges by every means possible and


with all levels of our association, maintaining our relevance as a voice for all children in Georgia.

GEORGIA PTA BOARD MEMBERS Front Row, left to right: Tom Graves, Neatie Green, Deirdre Pierce, Sonia Scott, Donna Kosicki, Rita Erves, Sandra Perrino, Cyd Cox, Isabel Sance, Cheryl White and Dewanna King Back Row, left to right: Susan Hayes, Georgette Backman, Lisa Richardson, Cindy Austin, Sam Shehane, Lisa-Marie Haygood, Bill Good, Adrian Watlington Cox, Lori Sweet, Patty Yohn, Richard Jones, Michelle Sandrock, Debbie Rabjohn, Irene Barton, Wendy Stewart and Laura Dobbs Not pictured: Karen Hallacy, Sally Fitzgerald, Reginald Forrest, Gina Pollitt, Carol Ranft, Cathy Wendholt-McDade, Sally Fitzgerald, Barbara Costello, Sally Markham, Otha Thornton and Leslie Cushman



Message from the Georgia State School Superintendent

Welcome Back to School


elcome back to school students, teachers and parents. The summer is drawing to a close and hopefully you’ve all had some time to relax and recuperate. We’re geared up and excited for a new school year. I know often times the summer seems way too short. But we’re excited for this school year. There are a lot of changes coming down the road, but they are good and very meaningful changes. Our teachers have been in training (some all summer) preparing for the implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.

We’re excited about other initiatives we have going on like the implementation of our College and Career Ready Performance Index. We’re truly hoping that with our waiver from No Child Left Behind, teachers will be able to put their focus back on the child in the classroom without being consumed with ‘will they pass the test?’ There’s so much more to accountability now than just the test. We’re hoping that teachers will enjoy teaching and that it will translate into students enjoying learning, which will translate into improved student achievement in the classroom. So, buckle up and let’s have a good ride this year. Dr. John Barge is Georgia’s State School Superintendent

Dr. John D. Barge, State Superintendent of Schools

Georgia PTA Dues On July 15, 2011 Georgia PTA convention delegates approved a fifty cents ($.50) increase to raise Georgia PTA’s portion of the member fees from $1.00 to $1.50. The increase is effective July 1, 2012, raising Georgia PTA’s portion of membership dues to $1.50. Since the last State dues increase 9 years ago, operating costs and the increased need for services and resources have far exceeded cost cutting measures and the ability to keep up with rising costs.

What this means to your PTA: Total National PTA and Georgia PTA dues per member = $3.75.

Your PTA/PTSA should: • Evaluate budget needs and determine if your PTA/PTSA can sustain its priorities, programs and services to parents, teachers and students without a dues increase to its members. • If it is determined that your PTA/PTSA dues should be increased, you must amend your bylaws. Amendments to local unit bylaws require: • 30 days notice to the membership of the specified change • Approval by 2/3 vote of the membership at a general meeting • One copy of the bylaws amendment is to be forwarded to Georgia PTA for approval • Bylaws become effective upon receipt of an approved stamped copy from Georgia PTA PTA remains an incredible value. For less than the cost of a movie ticket, PTA members belong to an association that uses its’ power and voice to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities.

FREE Bullied Videos Available NOW from Teaching Tolerance Bullying is among the most serious threats to our children in school, and if you attended our screening of Bullied at Convention Leadership Training, you know how powerful a tool against bullying this film can be. Bullied is a documentary film that chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. It can become a cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle and high schools for students and faculty alike. Until recently, the video was out of stock due to its high demand. To order your FREE copy of Bullied from Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance: 1) Go to http://www.tolerance. org/bullied. 2) Click the link to “order free materials” on the left side of the page 3) Enter your school’s zip code 4) Fill out the “Teaching Tolerance Orders” form, selecting your copy of Bullied at the bottom of the page Wendy Stewart, Diversity & Inclusion Chair,

2012 Convention Leadership Training Sponsors GOLD



Georgia Natural Gas True Blue Schools

GAcollege411 Georgia Student Finance Commission

AIM – Association Insurance Management, Inc.

MR365 Education

August 2012




“The Magic of a Moment”


he National PTA Reflections program is an arts recognition program that provides children in pre-K through 12th grade with the opportunity to express themselves through the arts. Students have the opportunity to create a new work of art around this year’s theme, “The Magic of a Moment.” Entries can be submitted in any of six arts areas including: dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, and visual arts. This year, Special Artists pieces will also be submitted by State to National PTA for judging in each of the six categories. In Georgia this past year, approximately 20,000 students participated in the Reflections program statewide. Local schools should check with their council chairs for updates and guidance. Council’s must submit winning entries to the State level by Friday, December 7th. Please visit the website for more information regarding this year’s program.

Attention Reflections Chairs: Due to changes in the Reflections program, please be sure to check the Georgia PTA website for updated forms and rules.

Legislative News


ark your calendars now for the upcoming legislative events for the 2012-13 school year:

• Advocacy Conference: September 28, 2012 • Youth Advocacy Day: February 13, 2013 • PTA Day at the Capitol: February 27, 2013 Advocacy occurs whenever you speak up on an issue, whether it is advocating for your child in his or her classroom, speaking up on an issue at a school board meeting or talking to an elected official about a change you’d like to see. Everyone is an advocate at one time or another. Attending any or all of the PTA legislative events provides an excellent opportunity to develop stronger advocacy skills and learn about issues affecting your child.

Election Year Politics: PTAs are very popular during election years. Candidates view PTA meetings as a great opportunity to get before concerned, active parents. PTA is a non-partisan association so it NEVER endorses political parties or candidates. It can host candidate forums or ‘meet and greets’, where all candidates are invited, to provide an opportunity for members to meet candidates. It can also help conduct voter registration drives. PTA can take a position on a ballot issue if the association has an established position or resolution. This year there is a ballot issue on which PTA has taken a position. PTA strongly supports charter schools, those authorized by a local board of education, but opposes the Charter School Amendment that will be on the ballot in November. This amendment is not about existing charter schools; it’s not about charter systems; it’s not about giving local school boards the authority to create new charter schools (which they already have). This is a about a state power grab to usurp local control. More information about the charter school amendment will come out this fall but it is important that all PTA members know that we oppose this amendment.

Legislative Resources: During this year’s Convention Leadership Training, a variety of legislative workshops were offered including Advocacy 101, Election Year Politics and a Legislative Recap. The handouts for the workshops will be available on the Georgia PTA website. Another great source for legislative information is Capitol Watch. Capitol Watch is where daily articles on legislative issues are published during the legislative session (Jan-Apr) and intermittently throughout the year when news that impacts your child occurs. For example, when the law changed regarding what was required for a new driver’s license, the information was posted early on Capitol Watch. To access Capitol Watch, go to the Georgia PTA website and click on the flag icon on the left side of the page. It will bring you to the News page. All the articles are posted there. While you’re there, click on Grassroots and join. During the legislative session you will receive weekly reports updating you on what’s happening downtown. Start now building your advocacy skills and you’ll be amazed at the difference you can make. Karen Hallacy, Legislative Chair,




Coffee Break with the President-Elect

reetings all! Our theme for our recent 2012 Convention Leadership Training in Athens, Georgia was Building Bridges. The bridges that were built by a variety of resourceful workshops proved to be extremely beneficial to our attendees. However, we did not know that a group of Athens’ businesses would collaborate with Georgia PTA to create a colorful, blooming bridge! All in attendance at this amazing event will attest to the fact that it was indeed a beautiful sight to behold. A colorful assortment of beautiful, blooming hydrangeas totaling 264 were donated to Georgia PTA for CLT 2012. The complete list of businesses that made this happen are formally recognized as followed: 1. College Station Kroger/Athens, GA (Kelley Minish, Manager and Jon Llewallyn, Assistant Manager) 2. Flowers, Inc. Wholesale/Athens (Gary Cielaszyk, Owner) 3. Flowers, Inc. Retail/Athens (Lois Flynn, Manager) 4. Athens Florist/Athens, GA (Adam Green, Owner) 5. Barnett Shoals Publix (Carter Vaverek, Manager) We have included a picture of one of our special guests during the CLT 2012 Awards Banquet, Jon Llewallyn, Assistant Manager of College Station Kroger in Athens. This store honored our donation request and special ordered 100 flowers within days of our initial request. Included in photo, from right to left, is myself, Debbie Rabjohn, Georgia PTA 2nd Vice President and CLT 2012 Co-Chair, Jon Llewallyn, and Donna Kosicki, Georgia PTA President. Collaborating with the Community is one of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. The Athens’ business community came together to add to the beauty of our 2012 Convention Leadership Training. On behalf of the Georgia PTA Board of Directors, we extend our sincere appreciation for the contributions made by the Athens’ business community. Rita Erves, Georgia PTA President-Elect,

Stay Connected to Georgia PTA

High Five! Membership Incentives Announced The Membership Incentive for August, September and October will reward the Council that has the highest number membership increase over last year’s fall numbers (minimum 1000 members) and they will receive $500.00 for their Council. Lisa-Marie Haygood, Membership Chair,

A note from the Bylaws Committee… Did you know that your local unit bylaws actually help you with planning your calendar? Article X, Section 6 states that “Regular meetings of the board shall be held with the date and time to be fixed by the board at its first meeting of the year. Three (3) days’ notice shall be given of a cancellation or change of date or time unless emergency conditions prevent such notice being given.“ (Bold font added). Likewise, Article XI, Section 2 offers the same framework for your Executive Committee. So, at the first Executive Committee and Board of Directors meetings of the year, request that everyone bring his/her calendars and be ready to share input as to scheduling. Be mindful of working parents, your principal’s availability, and other special instances that board members may have. At the end of both of those meetings, you will have your meeting dates set for the year—allowing your team to focus on serving the students of your school! Irene Barton, Bylaws Chair,

We make it easy to be in-the-know!

Bookmark our website: Like us on Facebook: Georgia PTA Follow us on Twitter: August 2012


Congratulations to our Award Recipients! OUTSTANDING LOCAL UNIT


Elementary, 750 and below 1st place – Garrison Mill Elementary School PTA 2nd place – Hillside Elementary School PTA 3rd Place – Mountain Road Elementary School PTA

Sandy Parris, Peachtree Ridge HS PTSA

Elementary, 750 and below 1st Place – Brookwood Elementary School PTA 2nd Place – Kennesaw Elementary School PTA 3rd Place – Little River Elementary School PTA Middle School 1st Place – East Cobb Middle School PTSA 2nd Place – Freedom Middle School PTSA 3rd Place – J. J. Daniell Middle School PTSA High School 1st Place – Johns Creek High School PTSA 2nd Place – Sequoyah High School PTSA 3rd Place – Archer High School PTSA


OUTSTANDING NURSE Mary Weathers, West Chatham Elementary School PTA

OUTSTANDING PRINCIPAL Diana Mills, Hickory Hills Elementary School PTA Elaine Daniel, Mill Creek Middle School PTSA Gifford Lockley, Savannah Arts Academy PTA

OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR Maggie Paoletti, Haw Creek Elementary School PTA

Alice Stouder, Deputy Superintendent, Cobb County School District May Howard Elementary School PTA Michelle Sandrock, Georgia Department of Education Lakeita Servance, Georgia Department of Education

HEARST FAMILY SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP Overall – Sawyer Road Elementary School PTA Standard 1 – Murdock Elementary School PTA Standard 2 – K. E. Taylor Elementary PTA Standard 3 – Hickory Hills Elementary School Standard 4 – Holly Springs Elementary School Standard 5 – George Whitlow Elementary School Standard 6 – Sope Creek Elementary School

STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Zhane Ford-Carter Edward Hodges Sarah Hojjatie Hiba Zafar

EXEMPLARY COUNCIL AWARD WINNERS Cherokee Council Douglas Council East Cobb Council Forsyth Council Gordon Council Marietta City Council Paulding Council South Cobb Council of PTA



For more information and to Register online, go to:



PRESIDENT’S MEMBERSHIP AWARD District 3 – Satilla Marsh Elementary PTA District 4 – Arnold Middle PTSA District 5 – Heard Elementary PTA District 6 – West Chatham Elementary PTA District 7 – Forest Park High PTSA District 8 – Freedom Park School PTA District 9 – Austin Middle PTSA District 10 – S. L. Lewis Elementary PTA District 11 – Clarkston High PTSA District 12 – Enota Elementary PTA District 13 – Indian Knoll Elementary PTA



PLATINUM AWARD WINNERS Barnwell Elementary School PTA Bascomb Elementary School PTA Blakeney Elementary School PTA Brookwood Elementary School PTA Cheatham Hill Elementary School PTA Dean Rusk Middle School PTSA Deer Chase Elementary School PTA Dodgen Middle School PTSA Findley Oaks Elementary School PTA Garrison Mill Elementary School PTA Hickory Flat Elementary School PTA Keheley Elementary School PTA Kittredge Magnet Elementary School PTA Mableton Elementary School PTA Mabry Middle School PTSA Montgomery Elementary School PTA Mountain Park Elementary School PTA Murphey Middle School PTA Mt. Bethel Elementary School PTA National Hills Elementary School PTA North Springs High School PTSA Picketts Mill Elementary School PTA Shakerag Elementary School PTA Sope Creek Elementary School PTA Spalding Drive Elementary School PTA Timber Ridge Elementary School PTA Toomer Elementary School PTA Walton High School PTSA Wilkinson Gardens Elementary School PTA

August 2012

Model PTA A. E. Beach High School PTSA Adamson Middle School PTSA Archer High School PTSA Arnold Mill Elementary School PTA Ashworth Middle School PTSA Avery Elementary School PTA Bloomingdale Elementary School PTA Brookwood Elementary School PTA Brumby Elementary School PTA Chattahoochee High School PTSA Cheatham Hill Elementary School PTA Clayton Elementary School PTA Cogburn Woods Elementary School PTA Collins Hill High School PTSA Cooper Middle School PTSA Dean Rusk Middle School PTSA Dickerson Middle School PTSA Dodgen Middle School PTSA Dunbar Elementary School PTA Dunleith Elementary School PTA East Cobb Middle School PTSA East Side Elementary School PTA Eastvalley Elementary School PTA Ellis Montessori PTA Esther F. Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts PTA F. D. Johnston Elementary School PTA Frank W. Spencer Elementary School PTA Freedom Middle School PTSA Garrison Mill Elementary School PTA George Whitlow Elementary School PTA Godley Station PTA Gould Elementary School PTA Groves High School PTSA Haw Creek Elementary School PTA Herschel V. Jenkins High School PTSA Hickory Flat Elementary School PTA Hickory Hills Elementary School PTA Hillside Elementary School PTA Holly Springs Elementary School PTA Hubert Middle School PTSA Indian Knoll Elementary School PTA Isle of Hope PTA J. J. Daniell Middle School PTSA Jackson Elementary School PTA Jacob G. Smith Elementary School PTA

JHC Butler Elementary School PTA Johns Creek Elementary School PTA Johns Creek High School PTSA Joseph Knox Elementary School PTA Kemp Elementary School PTA Kennesaw Elementary School PTA K.E. Taylor Elementary School PTA Kincaid Elementary School PTA Lassiter High School PTSA Little River Elementary School PTA Mabry Middle School PTSA Macedonia Elementary School PTA Mason Elementary School PTA May Howard Elementary School PTA Mill Creek Middle School PTSA Mountain Road Elementary School PTA Mt. Bethel Elementary School PTA Murdock Elementary School PTA Nicholson Elementary School PTA Northwestern Middle School PTA Northview High School PTSA Peachtree Ridge High School PTSA Pooler Elementary School PTA Powers Ferry Elementary School PTA Pulaski Elementary School PTA Red Bud Elementary School PTA Savannah Arts Academy PTA Savannah High School PTSA Sawyer Road Elementary School PTA Sequoyah High School PTSA Settles Bridge Elementary School PTA Sixes Elementary School PTA Sope Creek Elementary School PTA Summit Hill Elementary School PTA Timber Ridge Elementary School PTA Tritt Elementary School PTA Varner Elementary School PTA W. C. Abney Elementary School PTA W. L. Swain Elementary School PTA Walton High School PTSA West Chatham Elementary School PTA West Chatham Middle School PTSA Wheeler High School PTSA White Bluff Elementary School PTA Windsor Forest High School PTSA Woodstock High School PTSA




Photos of Convention Leadership Training were taken by Lifetouch.

August 2012



Environmental Education Programs — Contributing to Student Success

educed budgets, increased classroom sizes, Common Core Standards, test results … the issues that our schools must interpret and integrate into their planning can seem overwhelming at times. So, why should schools continue with PTA-sponsored programs focused on environmental education? Because PTAs and environmental clubs and their parent volunteers recognize that these programs and activities can and do contribute to improving student success. According to the 1999 U.S. EPA publication, Environmental Education Advances Quality Education, environmental education (EE) is a “learning process that increases knowledge and awareness about the environment and develops skills that enable responsible decisions and actions that impact the environment.” While there are many types of valuable programs that EE committees can support, promoting those with a correlation to science standards demonstrates how your PTA can directly enhance the educational experience of students. Get your school community “soaring” with the Our Shared Forests (OSF) project. OSF and its Science Night Kits connect local education to global conservation through Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) -correlated lessons targeted to Grades 2-8. (Science curriculum is still under GPS for the 2012-13 school year.) OSF is a partnership of the Maquipucuna Foundation in Ecuador, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Georgia PTA and several EE centers throughout our state. The program guides students to value the importance of habitat in North and South America as they learn about neotropical birds that migrate between Georgia and Ecuador. Each of the 8 EE centers hosts educator workshops and stores the kits which are “checked out” for science nights, classroom lessons, assemblies, etc. From Columbus to Bainbridge; from Thomson to Athens, these kits are typically free of charge to borrow (a nominal deposit may be requested and certain activities may require disposable supplies) and include a booklet that describes the 22 simple and straightforward activity stations. No science degree required! – just a desire to make science relevant, fun and hands-on. OSF is a flexible program that can be scaled to meet your school’s size, depth of volunteer base and emphasis on science curriculum. For an informational brochure or more information, please contact Eve Neumeister at or Irene Barton at Another EE program with direct benefits to students is Clean Air Schools. Air pollution impacts everyone—especially children—and that’s why Clean Air Schools work to make a positive impact on air quality at their campuses and address practical traffic and safety issues. Over 350 schools in Georgia participated in the program last year. Initiatives like No Idling, Pool to School, Ride the Bus, Breathe Easy toolkits, and art contests are easy-to-implement, turn-key programs that engage parents, EE clubs, other service organizations and administrators. Free lesson plans that align with K-12 GPS are available to teachers. Identifying an individual champion from your school staff to support the effort is most often cited as the key to success. Consider not only your principal, but also your school nurse, PE coach, or a science teacher. Partner with your Health & Wellness Committee or Youth Services Committee to share the fun. Help improve student and community health by reducing traffic and air pollution at your school. Join the growing ranks of Clean Air Schools today! Visit for more information.

Local Unit Leader Resources Sharing Ideas The PTA Great Idea Bank is a social network which enables parents to interact and learn from each other. The best advice comes from peers, so use the discussion forum to share money-saving tips, ideas on how to be a more involved parent, fun activities to share with your kids, ways to communicate with your child’s school and more. The advice and discussion on these pages is directed by users. If you are also a PTA leader or active in your local unit, this idea bank is filled with ways to run PTAs more effectively.

Leadership Resource Guide Want to know the specific duties of officers? Have a question about policy or procedure? Need report forms? Your Leadership Resource Guide is a great place to find those answers. You can access it online at leadership-resources.html

From 3rd grade science standards on conservation and pollution to high school courses on environmental studies and ecology, to Our Shared Forests and Clean Air lesson plans, environmental education programs support and augment classroom learning. Even with the many challenges facing our school systems in Georgia, let us not forget how important it is for our children to understand their role in environmental stewardship. A sustainable and clean environment contributes directly to student success and well being. Irene Barton, Bylaws Chair,



Diversity and Inclusion It’s back to school time again. Parents and caregivers across the state are pulling out school supply lists and going shopping, chasing around town for exactly those things their teachers requested. Pencils? Not just any pencils, pre-sharpened #2s. Paper? College ruled, 200 pages. Just enough isn’t good enough. We want to do all we can to make sure our kids are their most successful. Are you being as careful with the success and growth of your PTA?

Your PTA may recognize that your school community is diverse, and you may understand the importance of recruiting a diverse membership to grow your unit’s success, but are you doing all you can to be as inclusive as possible to ensure that those diverse members of your community feel welcomed and can successfully integrate in to your PTA? True inclusivity is the key to a successfully diverse PTA. California PTA offers the following “gut check” document to share with your board and assess how truly inclusive your PTA is. Membership Committee

Diversity and Inclusion: What’s the Difference? Inclusiveness takes your PTAʼs commitment to diversity up to the next level. You could be practicing diversity, but are you being inclusive?

A diverse PTA…

An inclusive PTA…

Invites all members of the school community to its meetings.

Seeks out individuals from under-represented groups and invites them personally by letter, phone call, or face-to-face meeting. Neighborhood coffee shops, banks, and grocery stores are great places to reach out to diverse groups of people.

Has membership that reflects the cultures of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Holds cultural awareness events that invite parents and students to share their traditions with each other through traditional food, dance, artifacts, crafts and games.

Understands that their school community may have a significant population for whom English is a second language.

Arranges for a volunteer interpreter to assist with communications at meetings and events, and also for translating printed materials.

Accepts that there is an increasing number of grandparents raising grandchildren and these caregivers have unique interests and needs.

Provides amplification and printed materials at meetings and events for people who are hard of hearing, as well as accessible seating arrangements.

Is aware that approximately 1 in 4 Americans will experience some form of short- or long- term disability in their lifetime.

Sponsors an educational event that allows members of their school community to develop understanding of issues and policies affecting students with disabilities and their families.

Acknowledges that many parents rely on a dualincome and are challenged by actively participating in their childʼs school day due to work obligations. Empathizes with families who struggle to find childcare so they may attend PTA meetings and events.

Provides and effectively communicates many ways to be involved, beyond being on-site during typical working hours. Asks all parents for meeting preferences, then alternates days, times, and locations of meetings to accommodate schedules. Arranges for activities and supervision for children during meetings and events by recruiting local teenagers to play games and read stories to children on-site.

Understands that some cultural norms may prevent parents from questioning the authority of school staff, even when asked to take part in a collaborative discussion.

Encourages friendly, informal exchanges between staff and parents, such as “coffee talks”. Provides alternative ways to give input, such as written response forms after these face-to-face sessions.

Knows that income does not affect the level of interest parents have in their childʼs activities at school.

Sponsors parent involvement activities that do not require fundraising or fees to participate, such as a social gathering where parents and children are provided with donated entertainment and food.

Diversity is counting all; inclusiveness is making sure that all are counted. Reprinted from the handout by Chuck Saylor (National PTA) from the conference "Targeting Diverse Populations and Building Inclusive PTAs" at the 2006 California State PTA Convention

California State PTA

The Communicator

January 2009

“Diversity and Inclusion: What’s the Difference?” is available for your PTA’s use on the Diversity page of the GA PTA website.

August 2012


Georgia PTA Board of Directors

Male Engagement

President, Donna Kosicki President Elect, Rita Erves 1st Vice President, Sonia Scott 2nd Vice President, Debbie Rabjohn Secretary, Cheryl B. White Treasurer, Rev. Richard Jones Parliamentarian, Laura Dobbs

Celebration of Men in PTA

District Directors 1st District Director, Vacant 3rd District Director, Vacant 4th District Director, Tom A. Graves, Jr. 5th District Director, Vacant 6th District Director, Georgette Backman 7th District Director, Cyd Cox 8th District Director, William J. Good 9th District Director, Lori Sweet 10th District Director, Sandra Perrino 11th District Director, Deirdre Pierce 12th District, 1st Assistant Director, Carol Ranft 13th District Director, Susan Hayes Chair of the District Directors, Deirdre Pierce

Standing Committees Asian Outreach, Gina Pollitt Bylaws, Irene Barton Diversity, Wendy Stewart Education, Neatie Green Family Engagement, Patty Yohn Health-Wellness, Adrian Watlington Cox Latino/Hispanic Outreach, Isabel Sance Legislation (State), Karen Hallacy Male Involvement, Reginald B. Forrest Membership, Lisa-Marie Haygood Reflections, Cindy Austin Resource Development, Dewanna King Technology, Lisa Richardson Youth Services, Cathy Wendholt-McDade Chair of the Committees, Patty Yohn

Specialists/Consultants Communications, Vacant Education Policy, Sally FitzGerald Environmental Education, Vacant Federal Legislation, Barbara Costello GA DOE Liaison, Michelle Sandrock Hospitality, Sam Shehane Survey Design, Sally Markham

National PTA Officers Residing in GA NPTA President Elect, Otha Thornton GA PTA Past President and NPTA Board of Directors, Leslie Cushman



n Friday, July 13, 2012, at the Classic Center in Athens, Georgia during General Session One of Convention Leadership Training, President Kosicki stood on stage behind the podium facing hundreds in attendance. As she began introducing the GAPTA Board of Directors, one by one each of them received a hearty round of applause from CLT attendees. Then the Male Involvement Chair was announced, he stepped forward from the rank and file to be recognized. As he glanced behind him to the President holding up his finger in a way that begged for permission to say something, as loud as he could he asked: “will all males in attendance please stand up and be counted because many did not think you would be here.” As each male, African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic, etc., began to rise to his feet the thunderous applause grew to a deafening quake. There was fist pumping, yelling, barking, stomping, and clapping signifying ceremoniously that males are here to stay. Throughout the halls, corridors and workshops at the Classic Center during the entire weekend, males were present. As Male Involvement Chair, I can’t fully express how pleased and excited I was to witness such a wonderful turnout of so many men at this year’s CLT from across the state. For those of you who attended, Mr. Charlton Bivins, from“500 Men Standing In The Gap” or Mr. Bryan Davis, from All Pro Dad’s workshop, I hope you were able to glean many truths and strategies to use within your respective area of responsibility. Remember, if what you’re doing is working, don’t try to fix it. However, we can all use a little stretching…step outside the box and compound the effects of your already great work. With the start of a new school year just a few weeks away, there will be lots of work to do in order to ready our playing field at home and within our Local PTA Units, Councils and Districts. At home I want to challenge all males to ready their schedules to be a part of the annual “Million Father March” where fathers take their child(ren) to school on a prescribed day (TBA). I want to encourage you at each level of PTA to seek to establish a Male Involvement Chair. Keep the momentum, excitement and ideas flowing as you ready males across the state to join you this school year to help conquer the ills that plague and impede progress for OUR children. On the other hand, ready the males to help you expand upon the already established programs and events. Have you considered your strategy for engaging more males and having them join your Local Unit? Have you considered what their role would be after joining? Will you be able to confidently convey the benefits of being a part of GAPTA to potential male members? Remember to make your membership pitch relevant to males, create more volunteer opportunities and special events for dads and males, let them know that there are tangible money saving benefits through GAPTA and NPTA (visit the websites). Ask the women in your PTA to invite the men in their children’s lives to join PTA. Seek male members in the community. Now that you’ve attended CLT, and all that it was exceeded your expectations, by passing the rigors of each workshop you attended, by having your strategic plan on paper for engaging more males in record numbers, and by having readied those around you, you will be able to experience the level of success you have prepared for. Let’s make this a record year involving males. Stay tuned to GAPTA website for upcoming events, membership campaigns/drives and other incentives. Again, should you have any question or concerns, feel free to reach out to me. Reginald Forrest, Male Involvement Chair,


BRIDGING THE GAP: Win-Win Collaborative T.E.A.M.


uring our 98th Georgia Convention Leadership Training (CLT) held in Athens, GA our total 2012 Raffle earnings for our GA PTA Student Scholarship Endowment Fund yielded $1,636.00. Previous earnings were: 2011: ($833), 2010 ($662), 2009 ($1492). THANK YOU to each Raffle Committee member volunteer for your devotion and hard work; as well as to every PTA delegate, Business Sponsor, Partner, and Donor for all of your in-kind (basket, cash, gift card/certificate, etc.) donations and point of sales contributions for the success of this note worth cause.

Community Alliance Partnership – CAP Program 98 PTA Delegates registered for our “Win-Win Collaborative T.E.A.M…Grow Your Mind, Grow Your Money” workshop at this year’s CLT. Dewanna King, GA PTA Resource Development Chair and Randall Ware, Community Alliance Partner (CAP) Coordinator / GA PTA Partner, presented about: • National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships (Standard 6: Community Collaboration) • National PTA Phoebe Apperson Hearst Family-School Partnership Awards (PTA Hearst Awards) • Best business practices and strategies for interviewing potential partners • Knowing your PTA target market • Utilizing online methods of marketing your PTA • Ways of staying connecting with partners and parents. Many of the (T)ogether (E)veryone (A)chieves (M)ore win-win strategies for long term PTA partnerships were covered during the CAP presentation; and questions were generated that continue to stir the quest for more work shop give away prizes, and side bar dialogs. If you would like to sign up for your PTA’s FREE CAP account; and, learn more about how the CAP Program can benefit your PTA. Go to Dewanna King, Resource Development Chair, and Randall Ware, CAP,

“NEW” PTA Membership Card for 2012-2013

The new PTA membership card: • Is printed on upgraded paper stock which will allow handwriting and ease of printing with most basic home printers; • Is produced as four (4) cards per 8.5 x 11 sheet; • Includes fields for member name, local PTA unit name, membership year, and local unit ID number; • Includes both the National PTA Logo and the State PTA Logo; • Includes multiple colors and graphics enhancing PTA’s visual image; • Includes a ‘carrier’ that messages the benefits of membership and explains the activation process; • Reminds members they are a member of their local unit, State PTA and National PTA; • Contains a unique member ID number which must be used to activate the card.

August 2012

2012 Emerging Minority Leaders Conference September 21-23, 2012 • DoubleTree Washington, DC - Crystal City The PTA Emerging Minority Leaders Conference offers the perfect opportunity for you to continue building a national network of peers and to learn how to overcome the challenges you face as a PTA leader, community advocate, parent and/or caregiver. For six years, PTA’s Emerging Minority Leaders Conference has encouraged the development of new PTA leaders who can succeed in building bridges to ethnically diverse families to engage with PTA. Now in its seventh year, this conference has emerged as the premier family engagement program for training ethnically diverse leaders to serve underserved school populations. Destination Leadership VII: Excellence in Action is the leadership conference you will not want to miss. We hope you will join us in Washington, DC September 21–23, and encourage other dedicated parents in your school community to attend. You’ll learn about the issues that face ethnically diverse families in our nation’s school systems, develop your leadership skills, and have a chance share your experiences with others. You want to attend this conference if you: • Are an emerging minority leader • Are interested in increasing your leadership skills to grow as a PTA leader and child advocate • Want an opportunity to share information and resources with fellow emerging minority PTA leaders • Want to learn strategies for engaging ethnic minority communities and schools Learn more at emerging_minority_leaders.asp.


Zoo Atlanta Updates


oo Atlanta enjoyed meeting many Georgia PTA members during the Convention Leadership Training July 12-14 at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. For those unable to visit the Zoo booth or attend our SPARKS workshop, you have the opportunity to learn how the Zoo can work with your PTA to support family engagement and enhance learning in the classroom by attending Educator Appreciation Day on Saturday, September 22. As an official partner of the Georgia PTA, one active Georgia PTA member per family receives FREE admission to the Zoo on Educator Appreciation Day. All accompanying guests receive $2 off general admission. Present your current PTA membership card upon arrival to receive the discounted rate. Visit to learn more. Additional Georgia PTA membership benefits include a $10 discount towards any Zoo Atlanta Membership or Rare Care animal sponsorship through July 1, 2013. Redeem by calling 404.624.5662 and referencing member code GAPTA. The discount is not available online and cannot be combined with other offers.

Happenings At Zoo Atlanta REGULAR ACTIVITIES

Zoo Atlanta is REAL LIVE FUN. Don’t just see the Zoo; do the Zoo! By all means, enjoy over 1,000 of the world’s most amazing animals, but make sure to take full advantage of exciting daily activities like keeper talks, training demonstrations, wildlife shows, and up-close-andpersonal animal encounters. Gorilla and orangutan feedings run at 2 p.m. and 2:45 daily; check your Zoo map for a listing of other animal feedings and opportunities available every day. Cost: FREE with the price of general admission. Visit zooatlanta. org for tickets or directions.

Now open! Giraffe Feeding – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily Stand eye-to-eye with one of Earth’s tallest land mammals. Make your visit a trip to remember with an exclusive new giraffe feeding encounter unlike any other ever before offered at Zoo Atlanta. Times may be subject to change. Visit for more details.

NEW! Wild Encounters: African elephant – 1:30 p.m. daily

NEW! Wild Encounters: Komodo dragon 12 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays NEW! Get closer than ever before with a behind-thescenes experience. It’s lunchtime for the world’s largest lizard species – and you get to help! Meet and get a chance to feed a Komodo dragon during an exclusive encounter. Times may be subject to change. Visit zooatlanta. org for tickets and details.

NEW! Wild Encounters: Giant panda – 11 a.m. daily NEW! Get closer than ever before with a behind-the-scenes experience. Meet and get a chance to feed one of the Zoo’s world-famous blackand-white bears during an exclusive encounter never before offered as part of a regular trip to the Zoo! Times may be subject to change. Visit for tickets and details.

SIGNATURE EVENTS Wild on the Rocks: Tips for Training Your Significant Other September 13, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Husbandry doesn’t have anything to do with husbands. Or does it? An 8,000-pound elephant doesn’t do anything she doesn’t want to do. Find out how and why Zoo Atlanta keepers make training fun for the animals, and go home a convert to positive reinforcement! Guests enjoy a special demonstration before the program. Reservations include two complimentary beverages, light hors d’oeuvres, exhibit tour and theater seating. Programs are designed for adults; content may not be suitable for children. Visit for reservations.

NEW! Get closer than ever before with a behind-the-scenes experience. Meet and get a chance to feed one of the giants of the African savanna during an exclusive encounter. Times may be subject to change. Visit for tickets and details.



Play the Animal Way – September 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Giants of Africa Deluxe NightCrawler – August 25

Entertain your inner wild thing in the wacky world of animal enrichment! Watch your favorite Zoo animals investigate the most colorful treats of the year, and try a few activities yourself at stations throughout the Zoo. Highlights will include special feedings, crafts, keeper talks, training demonstrations and more. Stay tuned to for event details. FREE for Zoo Atlanta Members and children under 3; FREE with general admission.

Towering above us at 20 feet tall, the giraffe is Earth’s tallest land mammal. Weighing up to 900 pounds, the spectacular eastern bongo is Africa’s largest and most impressive antelope species. And the longest black rhino horn ever measured was 4.9 feet long! Spend the night in the Zoo, and learn more about these superlative species. In the morning, enjoy a behind-thescenes peek at the savanna exhibit, followed by an exclusive opportunity to feed one of our African giants! Book a program today on

Girl Scout Day – September 29, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Join other Girl Scouts for a special day at the Zoo! Girl Scouts and their families can take advantage of discounted admission to enjoy a self-guided tour of the Zoo, a SWAP, and private animal encounters. Zoo Atlanta participation patches will be given to every Girl Scout who attends the SWAP, while supplies last. Visit the Scout page at to learn more.

Panda Birthday Bash Family NightCrawler – September 1 Spend the night in the Zoo, and celebrate the birthdays of giant pandas Lun Lun, Yang Yang and Po! Commemorate your favorite black-and-white bears with games, crafts, cake and animal encounters, and find out why China’s national treasure is worth a ton of festive fun! Book a program today on


Adventure Cubs – Creature Quarters – September 11, 18 and 25

Summer Safari Day Camp and Quest Camp — August 1 – August 10

Some animals live high in the trees, while others live underground. Two to 3-year-olds and their favorite grownups learn more about creature quarters. Dates listed are for series classes only; visit to learn more about single day options. Book a program today on

Immerse your children in an award-winning day camp adventure packed with tactile learning, outdoor exploration, exclusive tours, crafts, new friends, and over 1,500 animals from around the world. Register or learn more on Adventure Cubs – Animal Appetites – August 7, 14 and 21 Would you have dinner with an elephant? Do you eat the same foods that tigers eat? Two to 3-year-olds and their favorite grownups find out what’s on the menu in the animal kingdom. Dates listed are for series classes only; visit to learn more about single day options. Book a program today on Adventure Cubs SINGLE DAY: Animal Appetites – August 15, 18 or 23 Toddlers and their adult caregivers find out what’s on the menu in the animal kingdom in this one-day alternative to the popular Adventure Cubs series. Book a program today on Stroller Cubs: South America – August 25 or 29

HomeSchool Academy – September 12 Join Zoo Atlanta for an afternoon of learning and discovery designed specifically for home school students. The HomeSchool Academy is a unique program allowing students to explore animal and science concepts in a fun, interactive environment. Programs are grade-appropriate and include games, activities, Zoo tours and animal encounters. Book a program today on Adventure Cubs SINGLE DAY: Creature Quarters September 15, 19 or 27 Toddlers and their adult caregivers learn more about animal homes in this one-day alternative to the popular Adventure Cubs series. Book a program today on

From rainforests to grasslands! Bring your little one to learn more about the animals of South America during a special program tailor-made for infants to 2-year-olds. Book a program today on

Stroller Cubs: Feather Fun – September 22 or 26

Keeper for a Day – Australia and Carnivores – August 25

Small Carnivore Deluxe NightCrawler– September 29

Spend the day helping zookeepers with their daily routines of food preparation, cleaning, and animal care. Meet some exciting animals along the way, and learn what it takes to be a zookeeper! Hang out with our Australian animals in the morning, then head to carnivores for a fascinating afternoon. Participants must be 14 or older. Book a program today on

What makes a carnivore a carnivore? Learn more about the residents of Zoo Atlanta’s Complex Carnivores exhibits, featuring bush dogs, binturong and fossa. In the morning, enjoy an exclusive opportunity to feed one of our carnivorous creatures! Booka program today on

August 2012

Take flight! Bring your little one to learn more about our feathered friends during a special program tailor-made for infants to 2-year-olds. Book a program today on


10th District Award Recipients

Important Dates to Remember

s the 10th District Director, I gave parents and students from each Council in the 10th District an award during the 2012 CLT District Meeting. Scripted below is why a parent & student in the North Fulton Council were recipients. The information was written by the council presidents – Debbie Roth & Inge Robb of North Fulton Council.



Denise Hackman has been a visionary and a guiding force for the PTA and the students of Northwestern Middle School. It was under her leadership that the school went through the process of becoming a PTSA. They not only gave students the right to become members, but encouraged them to participate in PTSA activities and vote to determine what programs would be supported by the funds they generated. It was also under her leadership that Northwestern Middle School PTSA earned the Outstanding Local Unit Award from North Fulton Council in 2009 and 2010 and from District 10 in 2009. She is currently taking her enthusiasm for report writing and sharing it at the council level serving as the Reports Chairperson for the North Fulton Council PTA.


PTA University – Reflections PTA University Workshops begin at 10am RSVP to


PTA University – Reflections


Membership Visionary Award – dues for 400 members to state office


Membership Pacesetters Certificate – dues for 300 members to state office

September 15:

PTA Day at the Braves – Braves vs. San Diego Padres at 7:10pm


Advocacy Conference, 8:30am-2pm, State Capitol, Atlanta


Committee Chairs due online


PTA Audit/Financial Review due to state office


Membership Early Bird Certificate – dues for 200 members due to state office


Platinum Membership Award – Target membership form and dues to state office

October Julia Helman recently graduated from Johns Creek High School and will be attending UGA in the fall. While at JCHS, she was a member of the PTSA and regularly attended their meetings and events as a reporter for the school paper and was the author of an article describing the programs the PTSA sponsors. Not only was Julia active within her PTSA, but her mother served as an officer on the PTA for three schools including President at one, her grandfather was President of a local unit PTA, and her great grandmother was active in her children’s PTA. Julia was the President of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), lettered in varsity soccer and cross country, was elected Homecoming Queen, volunteered at the Drake House and North Fulton Charities, interned at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, and worked as a waitress, nanny, and soccer referee all while maintaining a 96.2 GPA. She has been selected by the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce as an Emerging Leader. Sandra Perrino, 10th District Director,


If your PTA’s fiscal year end was May 31, IRS 990 Filing Verification Form is due.


Gold Membership Award – Target membership form and dues to state office


Membership Oak Tree Award – form and school staff list due to state office


Membership Community Partnership Award – form and community partners list due

The Voice Official publication of the Georgia PTA A Branch of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Georgia PTA 114 Baker Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30308


404-659-0214 or 1-800-PTA-TODAY Fax: 404-525-0210 President: Donna Kosicki Editor: Susan Hayes Information from this newsletter may be excerpted for other PTA publications at the local, council and district levels as long as credit is given to Georgia PTA and any byline that may appear with the item must be included.



The Voice - August 2012  

Georiga PTA's publication, The Voice, published August 2012.

The Voice - August 2012  

Georiga PTA's publication, The Voice, published August 2012.