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the Georgia

VOICE December 2012

What’s inside this issue? MESSAGES FROM

Georgia PTA President, Georgia’s State School Superintendent ARTICLES ABOUT

Bylaws, Male Involvement, Bullying Prevention, Asthma Awareness HELPFUL INFORMATION

such as Important Dates and 2013 Convention Leadership Training Information AND MUCH MORE!

Message from the Georgia PTA President


hether credited to Sir Isaac Newton in a letter to his rival Robert Hooke in 1676, or by 12th century theologian and author John of Salisbury, the phrase “If I had seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” is a phrase that bears more meaning today than ever before. Giants come in many forms—young and old alike, all cultures and backgrounds, family members, teachers, administrators, community stakeholders, new and seasoned PTA leaders and members.

Since 1906, giants involved in the work of Georgia PTA target relevance, advocacy, effective engagement, inclusive membership, and collaborative partnerships. It is an unwavering roadmap that outlines our focus on the safety and well-being of all students, contained in the Vision, Mission and Values of this great association. It takes a lot of work to be a PTA leader in a local school community and includes training, effectual relationships, student and school needs assessment, written goals, relevant programs, connected resources—all of which begin with a plan and are needed to provide an outcome of success for all students and school improvement. When an unfathomable act takes place in a beloved school community, like Sandy Hook Elementary School, success takes on a new meaning and is found in thoughts and prayers, support, love, outreach, giving and understanding how we can provide a safer environment for our students. Today, the faces of giants are seen everywhere, their impact felt in every heart. In the months ahead, it is my hope that every Georgia school and PTA would: • Learn about and identify ways to provide support for the Sandy Hook community. Information is found in this newsletter, as well as on websites including National PTA ( and Georgia PTA ( and social media (FaceBook, Twitter). • Share information with your parents about ways they can be a part of an emergency crisis plan—have correct contact information on file, know what the security plan is, provide input to improve that plan, host discussions and roundtable sessions on safety and other issues. Enjoy the holiday season with families and friends, and rest up! We have a lot of great work together and ahead of us to finish this school year strong—to be filled with new achievements. In Newton’s ‘giants’ reference, it is understood by scholars that he was thanking those with unusually large achievements or reputations. As we hit the halfway mark in the school calendar, December 2012, the Georgia PTA Board of Directors wish to express our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to every giant who continues to do great things in schools, and in protection of our children. We are an association that stands on the shoulders of giants committed to ensuring that every child’s potential becomes a reality! Donna Kosicki, Georgia PTA President,

Ways to Help Sandy Hook Welcome Students to a Winter Wonderland When school resumes for Sandy Hook, it will be in a new building. Parentvolunteers are working to ensure that the students are welcomed back by a winter wonderland with the entire school decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. We encourage senders to be as creative as possible, remembering that no two snowflakes are alike. Please make and send snowflakes by January 12, 2013 to the Connecticut PTSA address at the bottom of this page.

Donating and Organizing Fundraisers for Sandy Hook Elementary School Donations will be accepted indefinitely to the Connecticut PTSA “Sandy Hook Fund” to provide ongoing support to the community. Please send checks to the Connecticut PTSA address listed at the bottom of this page. Group fundraising projects may include walka-thons, spirits days, pajama days, etc., which may be scheduled at your convenience. For student-run coin drives, please submit all donations by February 14, 2013. The Newtown community has requested only monetary donations at this time. For service or product donation inquiries, please contact newtownboe@ To contact Sandy Hook PTA, please email Please send all snowflakes and donations to: Connecticut PTSA 60 Connolly Parkway Building 12, Suite 103 Hamden, CT 06514




Message from the Georgia State School Superintendent

Georgia’s Future. Now! depends on you


he Department of Education recently launched “Georgia’s Future. Now!” as a way to unite efforts to improve student achievement and tell the story of the successes in public schools.

We have a lot of changes coming down the pike – from Common Core Georgia Performance Standards to new teacher and leader evaluations to Career Pathways for high school students. But what’s lacking is the ability to communicate in crystal-clear terms the vision, goals and solutions, along with our many accomplishments. Georgia’s Future. Now! is the total package – our train ticket to successful reform, and we need everyone on board. We need parents and other stakeholders engaged, involved and even disagreeing – but all headed in the same direction. The ultimate goal is to put all students on a pathway toward college and career readiness. Georgia’s Future. Now! will help us tell that story. For instance, many people don’t know that Georgia was a key player in the development of the Common Core, and now we’re joining nearly every other state to create an equal playing field across all state lines. These standards will challenge our students and elevate our teaching methods to meet the needs of the new global economy. They will not only test knowledge, but how to apply it in real-world problems. It’s rigor with relevance. We’ve taken the best research available and combined it with local input from educators across the state to come up with the Teacher and Leader Keys Evaluation System. Teachers need multiple measures with deeper meaning to improve performance – not a checklist of satisfactory or unsatisfactory. And we’ve added Career Pathways, inspired by business and economic forecasters, so our students can all be college and career ready. Employers demand it and students beg for it: relevant, experiential learning based on an area of interest that prepares each student for the world of work, whether they choose to attend college or not. We will align our offerings with critical areas and reward graduates with skills needed to get high-paying jobs. Parents will notice their children have a sense of direction, focus and eagerness to attend school. It’s time to stop tearing down public education and start building it up. Go to, download our toolkit and help us spread the message. Dr. John Barge is Georgia’s State School Superintendent

January Issue of Our Children Available Online The online edition of Our Children, the National PTA magazine, focuses on parents’ needs. Parents have clearly expressed the desire to get the information relevant to their lives in a quick-read, online format. PTA delivers to the web the same high-quality, relevant articles found in the print magazine.

Call for Letters of Interest and Nomination Form On behalf of the Georgia PTA Nominating Committee, the links for Call for Letters of Interest and Nominating Form to apply for an officer position to be elected in July 2013 can be found on the Georgia PTA website. A list of officer positions, descriptions of service requirements and responsibilities are also included. Nominations for officer positions are only open to present and former Georgia PTA Board of Directors. To access the links go to

Reflections We have just had a very successful collection of all the Reflection artwork moving to the state level. At least 2,091 pieces are now at the state level and will be judged in the coming weeks. Thank you to all local schools and students who participated and made this “Magic of a Moment” possible. It is an exciting time as we prepare to see the many talents of Georgia students shine. Please look to our website for a list of winners at the end of February. Placement is not revealed until the day of the ceremony. Student winners will receive an invitation by mail to attend the Reflections Reception being held on Sunday, March 24, 2012 at the HIGH Museum of Art in the Woodruff Arts Center. Cindy Austin, Reflections Chair,

December 2012


Checklist to Help Prevent Violence in Schools 10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Violence in Your School Community 1. Talk to Your Children Keeping the lines of communication open with your children and teens is an important step to keeping involved in their schoolwork, friends, and activities. Ask open-ended questions and use phrases such as “tell me more” and “what do you think?” Phrases like these show your children that you are listening and that you want to hear more about their opinions, ideas, and how they view the world. Start important discussions with your children—about violence, smoking, drugs, sex, drinking, death—even if the topics are difficult or embarrassing. Don’t wait for your children or teens to come to you. 2. Set Clear Rules and Limits for Your Children Children need clearly defined rules and limits set for them so that they know what is expected of them and the consequences for not complying. When setting family rules and limits, be sure children understand the purpose behind the rules and be consistent in enforcing them. Discipline is more effective if children have been involved in establishing the rules and, oftentimes, in deciding the consequences. Remember to be fair and flexible—as your children grow older, they become ready for expanded rights and changes in rules and limits. Show your children through your actions how to adhere to rules and regulations, be responsible, have empathy toward others, control anger, and manage stress. 3. Know the Warning Signs Knowing what’s normal behavior for your son or daughter can help you recognize even small changes in behavior and give you an early warning that something is troubling your child. Sudden changes—from subtle to dramatic—should alert parents to potential problems. These could include withdrawal from friends, decline in grades, abruptly quitting sports or clubs the child had previously enjoyed, sleep disruptions, eating problems, evasiveness, lying, and chronic physical complaints (stomachache or headaches). 4. Don’t Be Afraid to Parent; Know When to Intervene Parents need to step in and intervene when children exhibit behavior or attitudes that could potentially harm them or others. And you don’t have to deal with problems alone—the most effective interventions have parent, school, and health professionals working together to provide on-going monitoring and support. 5. Stay Involved in Your Child’s School Show your children you believe education is important and that you want your children to do their best in school by being involved in their education. Get to know your child’s teachers and help them get to know you and your child. Communicate with your child’s teachers throughout the school year, not just when problems arise. Stay informed of school events, class projects, and homework assignments. Attend all parent


orientation activities and parent-teacher conferences. Volunteer to assist with school functions and join your local PTA. Help your children seek a balance between schoolwork and outside activities. Parents also need to support school rules and goals. 6. Join Your PTA or a Violence Prevention Coalition According to the National Crime Prevention Council, the crime rate can decrease by as much as 30 percent when a violence prevention initiative is a community-wide effort. All parents, students, school staff, and members of the community need to be a part of creating safe school environments for our children. Many PTAs and other schoolbased groups are working to identify the problems and causes of school violence and possible solutions for violence prevention. 7. Help to Organize a Community Violence Prevention Forum Parents, school officials, and community members working together can be the most effective way to prevent violence in our schools. 8. Help Develop A School Violence Prevention and Response Plan School communities that have violence prevention plans and crisis management teams in place are more prepared to identify and avert potential problems and to know what to do when a crisis happens. The most effective violence prevention and response plans are developed in cooperation with school and health officials, parents, and community members. These plans include descriptions of school safety policies, early warning signs, intervention strategies, emergency response plans, and post-crisis procedures. 9. Know How to Deal With the Media in a Crisis Good public relations and media relations start with understanding how the media works and what they expect from organization’s that issue press releases, hold press conferences, and distribute media kits. 10. Work to Influence Lawmakers Writing an editorial for the local newspaper, holding a petition drive, speaking before a school board meeting, or sending a letter to your legislator can be effective ways to voice your opinion and gain support from decision makers for violence prevention programs in your community. Working with other concerned parents, teachers, and community members, you can influence local, state and even federal decisions that affect the education, safety, and well-being of our children. This article plus other parent resources regarding preventing violence can be found on the National PTA website at =51521&userID=.


Coffee Break with the President-Elect

One of my Favorite PTA People – Ms. Margie, the PTA Bylaws Queen!


love to write about my favorite things and my favorite PTA people in the Voice Newsletter. In a previous article, I shared some memories of one of my favorite people, Jan Harp Domene, who passed away in February 2012. Sadly enough, we lost another PTA giant, Margie Britt (1973-1975 Georgia PTA President) in September 2012. Let me tell you how Margie earned a spot on my favorite PTA people list. Unlike my other mentors, Margie began guiding my steps many moons ago in an indirect way. The eldest of my 2 daughters is 29, which tells you how long I have been a servant volunteer for our Association. I was heavily involved in many activities at her elementary, middle and high schools. This pattern continued with my youngest, now a high school junior. Some of you may be able to relate to the work that I was primarily focused on — fundraisers, fall festivals, class PTA Mommy, etc. My focus did not shift much until I met the person who came to be known to my PTA colleagues and I as “Ms. Margie.” This was not a mundane introduction in that it was made over the telephone. It started out by just calling the state office and asking a few procedural questions that had arisen. The person on the other end of the phone was almost always “Ms. Margie.” There was never a question that she could not answer, and she always referred me to the written authority for the answers. She is the person responsible for teaching me the importance of reading and understanding governance documents. She became known to my PTA friends as the “Bylaws Queen.” As Ms. Margie and I continued to talk throughout the years, my keen interest in the procedural policies of PTA grew. I was teased by my PTA colleagues and eventually dubbed as a rookie “Bylaws Queen,” of sorts. There was no one that knew PTA better than Margie, and no one that loved this Association any more than she did. Margie was ill in the months following the last CLT that she was able to attend (2010), and she did not make it to CLT 2011 or 2012. I will forever cherish the time spent hanging out with her at her last CLT in 2010. She really knew her stuff (a walking, talking, live PTA dictionary), and she was very serious about the importance of taking in knowledge. However, she saw the need to also remain balanced. Although she worked hard and smart, she also played hard. Ms. Margie’s personality and mine were similar in that she too was the epitome of a free spirit. Regardless of how “off the wall” some of my questions may have been, she commended me for asking and always made me feel special. In Today’s PTA, the number of inquiry calls to the state PTA has been greatly reduced. Local units are encouraged to turn to their respective councils as their first point of contact with questions. I will remain forever grateful to the person behind the voice on the state office phone that helped thrust me into a series of PTA leadership roles. When I assume the role of Georgia PTA President, it is my sincere desire to live up to the highest standard of excellence in leadership that was set by my dear Ms. Margie. Rita Erves, Georgia PTA President-Elect,

In Memory of Ms. Margie Britt

Margie Britt presenting Gov. George Busbee with an Honorary Life Membership for finally funding kindergarten for every child in Georgia.

After the unification of both PTA congresses working together.

Margie Britt is 4th from the right; GA PTA past presidents during the 100 year celebration.

Margie Britt is seated second from the right, having fun after a PTA Day at the Capitol, which Margie created. Photos provided by Lesie Cushman

December 2012


Heralding City Schools Of Decatur LUs In D11!! Leaders, your diligence & teamwork has paid off!! Clairemont ES – up 35% over last year!! College Heights ECLA – up 148% over last year!! Decatur HS – up 52% over last year!! Renfroe MS – up 60% over last year!! Winnona Park ES – up 221% over last year!!! Congratulations!!! Submitted by Deirdre Pierce, your very proud D11 Director & Evelyn Johnson, District 11 Membership Chair

Help Students With Asthma Stay Healthy and In School


he change in weather can exacerbate some children’s asthma, keeping both parent and child home or at the doctor’s office. Asthma is one of the main illnessrelated reasons that students miss school, accounting for more than 14 million lost school days every year. As the most common chronic childhood disorder in the nation, it affects an estimated seven million children younger than 18. The American Lung Association (ALA) stresses the importance of good asthma management between student, parents, school nurse/teachers, and physician to help keep students healthy, in school, and ready to learn. “ALA is currently working with elementary schools across Georgia to implement Open Airways For Schools, a student asthma management program for ages 8-11.” said Ateya Wilson, Area Manager for the American Lung Association in Georgia. Training and materials are FREE, including facilitator materials and student incentives. Schools that participate will also receive supplies for their nursing office. A new web-based training program allows facilitators to learn about the program at their convenience. Open Airways For Schools (OAS) is designed to improve asthma self-management skills, decrease asthma emergencies, raise asthma awareness among parents/guardians and promote broader asthma management coordination among physicians, parents and schools. The program can be done in 4 sessions, and in as little as two weeks in a school or after-school setting. Teachers, school nurses, parents or volunteers can be trained to provide the program. Open Airways For Schools has major advantages:

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from the Georgia PTA Board of Directors and Staff! We wish you and your family peace, love and joy this holiday season! 6

• Decreased absenteeism due to asthma incidences; • Fewer attacks and decreased visits to the nurse’s office; • Improved classroom performance; and • Higher self-esteem. For additional information visit, email, or call 1-800-LUNG-USA, Option 1 or 770-434-5864.

About the American Lung Association in Georgia Now in its second century, the American Lung Association in Georgia is the leading organization in the state working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “fighting for air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association in Georgia, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-lungusa (1-800586-4872) or visit www.Lungga.Org. Article provided to Georgia PTA by Eve Neumeister, Georgia PTA Environmental Education Specialist and June Deen, State Director, American Lung Association in Georgia


Bylaws Committee

Reasons to Incorporate your Local Unit PTA


here are approximately 200 PTAs in Georgia that are not incorporated. While this is not required at the local unit (school) level, it is in the best interests of the officers, Board of Directors and the entire membership for the association to be incorporated. All of our PTAs are already organized as nonprofit groups under the IRS 501c3 designation, but incorporation is a separate process. Incorporating serves to protect the individuals within the group by limiting liability. Unincorporated nonprofit associations work best for informal, ad hoc situations where people come together to perform a community service or raise funds for a particular, and usually shortterm, goal. With the important work that PTA does year-round for our members, an incorporated unit serves its mission better.

Protection From Personal Liability for the Group’s Activities If your group finds itself the target of a lawsuit, incorporation provides a level of protection. Nonprofit corporations can be sued—but their members and directors are generally protected from personal liability. This means that their money, houses, cars, or other property isn’t at risk. That’s not true of an unincorporated association—members of an unincorporated nonprofit association may be exposed to personal liability for the obligations of the association. Example: Your PTA incurs liability because a child falls during the fall carnival, and a judgment is entered for an amount greater than insurance coverage. The amount of the judgment that is unpaid becomes a debt of the nonprofit corporation, but not of the corporation’s directors, members, managers, etc. If the local unit is not incorporated, and the same circumstance occurs, then personal assets of the directors and officers are open for seizure to settle the debt.

Solicit Tax-Deductible Contributions When your association becomes a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation under the 501c3 IRS code, donors can deduct their gifts to your group on their federal and state tax income returns. This applies to both individuals and businesses who may want to assist your programming activities, but want the benefit of a tax deduction. While supporters of an unincorporated association can usually deduct their contribution, having the official IRS status eliminates any doubt or confusion among your supporters. Also, many foundations and government agencies limit their grants to incorporated public nonprofits.

Perpetual Legal Existence A corporation is a legal entity separate and apart from the people who manage, operate, work for or otherwise participate in its activities. It is a legal “person,” capable, on its own, of entering into contracts, receiving and maintaining funds and, generally,

doing anything a real person can do. This legal person is, in a sense, immortal, as the nonprofit corporation continues to exist as a legal entity despite changes in leadership caused by the resignation, removal or turnover of the people associated with it.

Protection from Advocacy Efforts Although nonprofits may engage only in limited political advocacy, these efforts may occasionally draw a nonprofit into an unwanted lawsuit. Incorporating can support directors and officers in defending the lawsuits and protect them from personal liability.

Common Misconceptions Given the reasons why it makes sense to incorporate, why do local units still choose not to? Here are two common objections with explanations to more thoroughly discuss the real advantages of incorporating: • Difficult & Expensive – You may have heard that the process of obtaining a lawyer, completing the paperwork, filing with the state, etc. is lengthy and expensive—often running hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Not so for PTAs! Georgia PTA has streamlined the incorporation process for our PTAs. To become incorporated, a local unit completes the Incorporation Request Form which is found on the GA PTA website and submits it, along with a $170.00 check payable to Georgia PTA. This fee includes $100.00 to the Secretary of State’s office for the initial incorporation fee, $40.00 for the publication notice and $30.00 for the annual registration fee. Then there is a simple annual renewal process, facilitated by the PTA State Office. You have already done a lot of the pre-work required to incorporate just by virtue of being a PTA – approved bylaws, election of officers, appointment of Board and other procedural items. So, for very little effort and low cost, you and your membership can receive a big piece of mind. • Existing Insurance – “We’re Covered” — As in the example above, a judgment against a PTA could possibly exceed insurance coverage. While we hope that there is never such a serious situation at your school, it is prudent to obtain the legal protection for your association. Also, even if you do have insurance, your unit may unknowingly engage in activities which are excluded by your general liability policy. (Since many local units maintain insurance policies with AIM, their list of events is referenced at In summary, incorporation is one of the most important steps a PTA can take to protect its officers and volunteers from being personally liable or responsible for a PTA’s debts or legal obligations. The existence of a corporation serves to establish protection for, and limit the liability of, the individual members of the PTA while performing PTA business.

Questions? Please contact Irene Barton, Georgia PTA Bylaws Chair at

December 2012


Falcons Family Fun Day Congratulations to the following top five schools who sold the most tickets for our December 30th Falcon Family Fun Day: 1st Place – Findley Oakes ES 2nd Place –Suwanee ES 3rd Place –Winnona Park ES 4th Place –Austin ES 5th Place –Arabia Mountain Spirit Booster Club Inc

How Do Your Students Get There Green? By joining The Clean Air Campaign’s award-winning initiatives! Implementing a Clean Air Schools program is a team effort. So, who better to educate your school community than the students themselves? The Breathe Easy student toolkits can empower a classroom or club to champion a Clean Air Schools program. Students will implement the toolkit using math, science and language skills all correlated to the Georgia Performance Standards. Written for grades 4th-8th, toolkits are available for the No Idling, Ride the Bus, and Pool to School programs. Get There Green challenges high school students to become transportation planners, working to solve the traffic and air pollution problems at their schools. Recognized as the 2012 Outstanding Educational Tool by the Georgia Planning Association, Get There Green is a service-learning student leadership initiative that can get your students thinking about real-world solutions to environmental issues. Click here to check out the efforts of last year’s winning school, Northview High School in Fulton County. Visit us online ( or email us at to learn more and sign up today! Joey Giunta School Partnerships Manager Clean Air Schools The Clean Air Campaign 55 Park Place NE, Suite 250 Atlanta, GA 30303 T: 678-244-7726 F: 678-244-7740

Thank you to the following schools for their efforts and hard work for helping with our Falcon Family fundraiser. 767 total tickets were sold yielding our GA PTA Local Unit and State Office earnings of $3,835.00 each and the Atlanta Falcons $26,845.00. Arabia Mountain Spirit Booster Club Inc Atlanta Unit Austin ES PTA Barnwell PTA Bethlehem ES PTA Burnette ES PTA Cedar Grove MS PTSA Chamblee Middle School PTA Chapel Hill ES PTA Collins Hill HS PTSA Columbia ES PTA Continental Colony ES PTA E F Garrison K-8 Evansdale ES PTA Evoline C West PTA Findley Oaks ES PTA Hawthorne ES PTA Hendricks ES PTA International Academy of Smyrna PTA JC Magill ES PTA

Joseph Knox ES PTA Kemp Primary PTA King Spring ES PTA Knollwood ES PTA Lithonia MS PTSA Meadowview ES PTA McCleskey MSPTA National PTA EMLC Northwood ES PTA Norton ES PTA Panola Way ES PTA Poole ES PTA RD Head ES PTA River Eves ES PTA Suwanee ES PTA Teasley ES PTA Vaughan ES PTSA West Chatham MS PTA Wilson Creek ES PTA Winnona Park ES PTA WT Jackson PTA

Johns Creek ES PTA

Join our new Facebook Group to connect with Clean Air Schools and share ideas on pollution reduction at schools. Article provided to Georgia PTA by Eve Neumeister, Georgia PTA Environmental Education Specialist and Joey Giunta, School Partnerships Manager, The Clean Air Campaign



Who are Disabled American Veterans and why are they so important?


ne hundred and forty nine years ago, on a chilly morning in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a stirring and shocking speech of only 273 words. Those words eloquently described the sacrifices of the thousands of men and women who were fighting for a noble cause. Lincoln said, “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; but it can never forget what they did here.” Not only did we remember, but the Disabled American Veterans was founded on the notion that those who fight and are wounded and die for this country must not be forgotten. In that spirit, the roots of the Disabled American Veterans was founded. Maybe it was from the thousands of wives, mothers and children who camped on the wild prairie grass, on what is now called the White House lawn, begging President Lincoln to help those who were injured, or the families of those who lost husbands, brothers, and sons. We relish that Spirit at the DAV, we embrace it and help all of the veterans and widows and children who need our help. We are proactive and never wait for government or promises from others to help. We represent the interests of disabled veterans, their families, their widowed spouses and their orphans before Congress, the White House and the Judicial Branch, as well as state and local government with guidance on legislative issues. The Disabled American Veterans is not just a group or an organization that goes to parades and raises the flag, but is a live and prosperous family of men and women who are dedicated to helping those who need help. We understand the hurt and pain, because each one of us has suffered through these problems, and we know how we can help our fellow veteran or family member.

We also provide free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service and provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other agencies of government with our highly trained volunteer force of service officers. Because of the many services of the DAV, the taxpayer saves millions of dollars each year by allowing our volunteers to do the work of paid federal and state personnel. We are embodied in the seven corporal works of mercy as to how we give drink, feed, clothe, and welcome the homeless, visit the sick and infirmed, and bury the dead.

We do it because we are all brothers and sisters in the fight for freedom and righteousness. “Spaghetti Rich” Sestili Adjutant and PR Director Disabled American Veterans 995 Roswell St Marietta, Ga. 30060 404-683-2010

Samuel Smith Commander Chapter 17 Gainesville 1001 Adah Lane Lawrenceville, GA 30043 678-761-2330

Georgia PTA will be bringing more information on the DAV, and provide activity and event suggestions that Local Unit PTAs can do to honor, celebrate and recognize our Veterans. In Georgia, there are 700,000 veterans, of which 62,000 are disabled.

Our National Mission statement also says: We are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them, including the DAV free transportation to any VA hospital or medical facility.

December 2012


Georgia PTA Board of Directors 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

District Directors 1st District Director, Vacant 2nd 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 Director, Vacant 13th District Director, Susan Hayes Chair of the District Directors, Deirdre Pierce

Standing Committees Asian Outreach, Vacant Bylaws, Irene Barton Diversity, Dawn Small 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

Is It Just a Kid Thing — Bullying?


oday you read newspapers and watch television programs of students being bullied and harmed. Victims of bullying are bringing lawsuits against the School Boards. This situation has prompted some states to take a stand to prevent bullying and promote a safer school environment. Some school districts have adopted the ”no tolerance for bullying” because of the No Child Left Behind Act. This act states that students need a secure environment, free from the dangers and distractions of violence and lack of discipline. Many adults believe the myths and misconceptions that bullying is simply a child’s problem, which causes many adults to ignore the problem. To get started in Bullying can take the form of face-to-face attacks, bullying prevention, spreading malicious rumors, writing hurtful graffiti, or excluding a particular child. Bullying is very different we need to establish from normal conflict and rough play. clear guidelines Another misconception that I would like to mention is that only a small number of children are affected by bullying. I have found this to be untrue. I believe that almost every child in school can be affected and suffer for a long time.

for behavior and implement a school wide discipline policy that will deter most bullying.

Another myth, is that adults think they are already doing all they need to do. This is not so, when our children don’t feel that the adult will stop the bullying or do anything. The adult may dismiss the student’s report as tattling. This may cause the student to believe that they don’t take bullying seriously. The adult needs to commit to listening attentively when a student is reporting bullying, and then take action. Research shows that most bullying occurs on the playground and in the hallways. I want to state that prevention is the key. By increasing supervision and maintaining an adequate adult to student ratio, we can decrease potential problems. To get started in bullying prevention, we need to establish clear guidelines for behavior and implement a school wide discipline policy that will deter most bullying. Each school should have guidelines to follow when students are bullied. They may want to consider supervision at the restroom areas and more supervision on the playground. Also, at dismissal have teachers at their doors to help monitor halls. Please share this information and let’s all do a better job of prevention. Neatie Green, Education Chair,

Specialists/Consultants Communications, Vacant Education Policy, Sally FitzGerald Environmental Education, Eve Neumeister 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


Stay Connected to Georgia PTA We make it easy to be in-the-know!

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STARRING EXCELLENCE – Paths to Great Leadership Educational Workshop and 39th Biennial Convention

Need a copy of your bylaws? Logo? Sales tax exemption letter? What District? What Council? Look in your Tool Kit. Find the information you need in the Local Unit Tool Kit on our website, (left vertical bar). • Capitol Watch

Saturday, February 23, 2013 – 8:30 am – 2:00 pm Peachtree Christian Church 1580 Peachtree Street NE at Spring Street, Atlanta GA 30309

• Request Local Unit Records - Bylaws, Sales Tax Exemption Letter, EIN Letter, etc. • Forms • Just Between Friends

• Electronic Meetings • Governing Documents • Types of Motions and Voting • Membership Exam tentatively planned • Election of GAP Officers 2013-15 NAP Representative – Maurice S. Henderson, President – National Association of Parliamentarians

REGISTRATION FORM NAME ______________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS ___________________________________________________________________________ CITY __________________________________________ ZIP CODE ____________________________

• Leadership Resources • Local Unit Information (LU#, EIN#, Council, District) • Logos and Graphics • Member Benefits • Membership Card Template • National PTA • Submit Officers/Chairs 2012 - 2013 Website ID and Password - Until further notice, use last year’s ID and Password to access the National PTA and Georgia PTA locked documents on websites. To find it, look on the back of your 2011-2012 Membership Card. New to PTA and don’t have one? Ask your Council officers for help.

PHONE ______________________________ EMAIL _______________________________________


(Make check payable to Georgia Association of Parliamentarians).


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______ Member ($35.00) ______ Non Member ($40.00) ______ Student ($10.00)

ng Leader i d


*Registration Fees Includes continental breakfast, lunch, and materials

Registration Deadline is February 14, 2013 Mail Form and Check/MO to: Valerie K. Martin, Education Chair, 4725 Walton Crossing Dr. SW #1104 Atlanta, 30331, 404-754-6611; Corliss Baker, President, 404-438-7803 Additional parliamentary materials will be available for purchase.

Convention Leadership Training 2013

Plan ahead for 2013 CLT! Join us in Atlanta on July 11-13, 2013. December 2012


District 11 – DeKalb County Council of PTAs proudly announces…


enderson Mill Elementary School was honored to receive certification as a STEM school from the Georgia Department of Education and is now officially a STEM school. This was thanks to Principal Dr. Jackson, the teachers, administration, staff, Foundation, PTA, parents, students, and community supporting this initiative.

The STEM program at Henderson Mill Elementary focuses on a cross-curricular, critical thinking approach to incorporate STEM into all content areas. They offer the students opportunities to participate in unique programs such as Engineering is Elementary, Small Fry to Go, a school-wide garden, and LEGO Build to Express, along with incorporating STEM concepts with the common core standards. In addition, the school has many influential business partners to help support the STEM program. Awards were given by Northrup Grumman and the Atlanta Hawks Foundation to help build the school garden and support the Small Fry to Go program. AMEC Engineering of Tucker designed and built a one of a kind rain collection system for the garden. These partners also volunteer their time at Math and Science Nights and offer staff professional development. The school has a STEM Lab that includes renovations donated by Haworth Office Furniture, Office Images and Synergy. They also have an outdoor classroom built by parents. The parents help support the school through the PTA and a Foundation whose mission is to fund STEM related activities. Congratulations Henderson Mill! Submitted by: Deirdre Pierce, 11th District Director & Marcia Coward, President, DeKalb County Council of PTAsh




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Convention Leadership Training 2013 Mark your calendars to join us for the 99th Annual Georgia PTA Convention Leadership Training to be held on July 11-13, 2013 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, GA.

Stop the Bullying Activity for Teachers


his simple activity can help establish an effective climate for learning and serve as a gentle reminder of the effects of hurtful actions. Provide each student with a small paper cutout in the shape of a human, or have a students cut out their own paper figures, and ask student to write their names on their cutouts. Have students form a circle and pass their cutouts to the person on their right. As the cutouts are passed around the circle, have each student make a small crumple or tear in the cutout or add a pencil mark on it. When the cutouts have made their way around the entire circle, have students try to repair their cutouts by flattening, erasing, or taping. After the cutouts are repaired, discuss the activity. Talk about the effects of unkind words and hurt feelings. Display the cutouts on a classroom bulletin board. From Education World Neatie Green, Education Chair,

Visit for more information.


Georgia PTA « THE VOICE CAP PTA Member Benefit Provider Program Attention PTA Leaders! Is your PTA looking for a great way to earn money and encourage support and membership to your PTA? If you answered YES, then the Community Alliance Partner (CAP) program is a great way for your PTA to do that!

Introducing The CAP program and The CAP program - in partnership with Georgia PTA - provides your PTA with a win-win way to engage local businesses and encourage support and membership for your PTA. Businesses invited by your PTA to participate in the CAP program will be featured on Georgia PTA’s NEW website as a CAP PTA Member Benefit Provider.

Giving Back To Businesses In Your Community Businesses that sign up with your PTA to become a CAP PTA Member Benefit Provider receive a 3 month trial of the CAP program at no cost to their business. After the 3 month trial the business is charged $180 per year.

Earning Money With The Cap Program? For every business signed up by your PTA, $50 is donated to your PTA and $25 is donated to Georgia PTA’s Reflections and Scholarship fund. This money is paid out to your PTA every year for as long as the business remains signed up to the CAP program.

Introducing CAP PTA Member Benefit Provider Website

Sign Up Today! Follow the steps below to sign up for your PTA’s FREE CAP Account: • Go to • Click on CAP PTA Sign up / Login • Click on Sign up for CAP Questions? Contact Randall Ware, Cap Coordinator,, 678-732-4315

December 2012

L to R: Susan Hayes, Debbie Rabjohn, Santa Philip Dorris, Donna Kosicki, Lisa-Marie Haygood

The Tradition Continues… Cherokee County Council of PTAs held their 5th Annual Principals and PTA Presidents Holiday Luncheon on December 6th, 2012. Freedom Middle School hosted the event; this year’s theme was “Believe”. Principal, Mrs. Karen Hawley along with her PTA board transformed their cafeteria with beautiful hues of teal, pink purple and white, making the room warm and welcoming Winter Wonderland. Thirty-seven Cherokee County Principal’s along with their PTA presidents were in attendance to celebrate their schools accomplishments. The Freedom Middle School Chorus provided the entertainment. A delicious lunch was provided follow by a beautiful dessert display with a chocolate fountain with all the trimmings and of course the Holiday lunch annual Red Velvet cake! The video of Virginia’s letter to the editor was shown and a special visit by the Jolly Old Saint Nick himself which provided smiles all around the room. Thank you to Freedom Middle School’s Principal, PTA board and the Student Ambassadors for hosting another memorial event in Cherokee County. Debbie Rabjohn, 2nd Vice President Georgia PTA,




LOCAL UNIT MEMBERSHIP INCENTIVE The Membership Incentive for November, December and January will reward the Local Unit that has the highest number membership increase over last year’s numbers.

The winner will receive $500.00 for their Local Unit. Contest ends January 31, 2013. Questions should be directed to Lisa-Marie Haygood, Georgia PTA Membership Chair at



School In House Support For Students


chools offer several in-house activities to support students and their families. If your child is experiencing problems at school you might want to contact one of the following. 1. Counselors provide expertise in terms of knowledge of the child within the school. They also work with the teacher to provide a supportive environment for the child during transition. Counselors work with the individual child or work with the child in small groups. Specifically the counselors work in the areas of:

Male Involvement

A Few Good Men


ll across our great state of Georgia are Good Men. However, I am asking that a few of you join me in Kansas City, Missouri, for the 2013 National PTA Male Engagement Conference on February 8-10, 2013. The conference will offer tips and best practices in creating and enhancing male engagement strategies to ensure the academic and social success of all children. The conference will offer leading national male engagement speakers who will give keynote and workshop sessions designed to share resources to create male engagement in education and in PTAs, to reduce bullying, and to bring dads and male mentors into schools nationwide.

(a) Group contact with children regarding growth problems common to all children.

PTA will partner with Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) on the conference.

(b) Children who experience difficulty in school, and work with the teachers to provide a supportive environment.

Please note registration opened in early November at $99.00 per attendee. The Embassy Suites Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri is $125.00 per night.

(c) Parents contact to discuss various aspects of the school programs and identify needs of children. (d) Consultation with the administrator about students and needed changes for them. (e) Referrals to outside agencies when needed. 2. Special Education Teachers can provide consultation concerning possible strategies and ways to identify learning or behavioral problems. They can also assist with brainstorming possible alternatives. 3. School Psychologists can provide consultation concerning child development, learning styles, and emotional development. 4. Speech/Language Pathologists provide remedial services to children with specific speech and /or language disorders. Disorders are identified through administration of a speech/ language proficiency examination. The age of the child and severity of the particular communicative disorder determines the length of therapy sessions. The ultimate goal of the program is to help children achieve their maximum communicative potential. 5. School Nurses serve as a consultant to parents, students and teachers. The nurses help our children achieve maximum health and wellness. The nurse is always willing to assist when medication is necessary at school. However, she must adhere to certain safety measures for the protection of your child. School policy requires a medication form from the child’s physician be given to the school to inform the nurse of the medication to be given.

To not attend this conference will be an opportunity missed. An opportunity that is sure to equip you with what you need to be a more effective male engagement chair, dad, mentor, etc. I trust you are as excited as I am about attending the conference. “It feels a lot like Christmas� all over again anticipating the opportunity to share the wonderful gifts each of us are blessed with. As a result, we will all leave the conference with many more gifts than we could have ever shared. For more details please visit the National PTA website and click on the 2013 Male Engagement Conference banner or call me at (706) 589-6875 or email me at ptadistrict8@ I look forward to seeing, talking and sharing with you in Kansas City, Missouri. Reginald Forrest, Male Involvement Chair,

Neatie Green, Education Chair,

December 2012


Zoo Atlanta Updates


re you involved with planning or fundraising for student field trips at your school? Zoo Atlanta is the perfect destination to supplement what your children are learning in the classroom! The Zoo offers a variety of on-site options for Pre-K through university students with Self-Guided Field Trips as low as $9/person. Instructor-led Guided Tours, Field Trip Programs and NightCrawler overnights offer more in-depth opportunities to support STEM in the classroom. All programs are aligned with state standards. Can’t come to us? The Zoo can come to you! Our ZooMobile outreach program can travel up to a 65-mile radius of metro Atlanta. A trained educator presents an exciting program using live animals, hands-on teaching tools and fun activities. This popular program provides students with a connection to animals and conservation without ever leaving the classroom! Visit or call Education Reservations at 404.624.WILD to reserve your program or learn more. As an official partner of the Georgia PTA, active Georgia PTA members receive 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.


Wild Encounters: Giant panda 11 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 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 black-and-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.

Wild Encounters: Komodo dragon 12:45 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Get closer than ever before with a behind-the-scenes 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 for tickets and details.

Wild Encounters: African elephant 1:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays 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.



Winter Safari Day Camp December 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28; January 2, 3 and 4 Kindergartners through 5th graders bundle up with the animals for a wildlife adventure during winter break. Highlights include Zoo tours, animal encounters, hands-on learning and much more. Registration and details are available now on zooatlanta. org. Reserve your spot or learn more on

Adventure Cubs: Backyard Georgia January 8, 15 and 22 What animals live in your backyard? 2 to 3-year-olds and their favorite grownups encounter mammals, reptiles and more in an exploration of Georgia wildlife. Dates listed are for series programs only; single-day classes are also available. Book a program today on

HomeSchool Academy – January 9 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

Keeper for a Day – Elephants and Warthogs January 12 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 two of the Zoo’s most popular species in this hands-on program focusing on elephants and warthogs. Participants must be 14 or older. Book a program today on

School’s Out! Safari Day Camp: Furry Winter Friends January 12 What’s the wildlife wearing this season? Find out how animals keep themselves warm and cozy during this special one-day installment of Safari Day Camp.


Adventure Cubs SINGLE DAY: Backyard Georgia January 19 Toddlers ages 2 to 3 and their adult caregivers learn more about Georgia wildlife in this single-day alternative to the popular Adventure Cubs series. Book a program today on

Keeper for a Day – Australia and Carnivores January 19 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 Australian animals in the morning, then head to carnivores for a fascinating afternoon. Participants must be 14 or older. Book a program today on

Teacher Workshop: Growing Up Wild (Pre-K) January 19 NEW! Zoo Atlanta is now an approved entity with Bright from the Start (BFTS) and, starting in 2013, will offer professional development workshops to strengthen science knowledge and provide age-appropriate teaching strategies for beginning teachers. This workshop will include activities to build on children’s sense of wonder about nature and wildlife. Participants will earn six BFTS credit hours.

Stroller Cubs: Animals in Winter – January 23 or 26 Bring your little one to learn more about how animals survive the winter chill during a special program tailor-made for infants to 2-yearolds. Book a program today on

Family NightCrawler: Year of the Snake January 25 Make your New Year’s resolution all about snakes! Meet some slithery ambassadors up close to learn what snake species live in Georgia, the difference between poison and venom, and a snake’s role in the ecosystem. Wake up for a continental breakfast and an exclusive tour of the Zoo.

HomeSchool Academy – February 13 Join Zoo Atlanta for an afternoon of learning and discovery designed specifically for home school students. 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

Family NightCrawler: Love Birds – February 16 How do peafowl woo the ladies? Which of our animals serenade their potential mates? Learn the answers to these questions plus many more about animal flirts through interactive lessons and hands on activities. Wake up for a continental breakfast and an exclusive tour of the Zoo.

Adventure Cubs SINGLE DAY: Babies, Babies, Babies February 16 Let’s talk cubs, joeys, pups and chicks! Toddlers ages 2 to 3 and their favorite grownups discover the wild world of baby animals in this single-day alternative to the popular Adventure Cubs series. Animals are observed on exhibit with their families. Book a program today on

Keeper for a Day – Australia and Carnivores February 16 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 Australian animals in the morning, then head to carnivores for a fascinating afternoon. Participants must be 14 or older. Book a program today on

Stroller Cubs: Amazing Australia February 20 or 23 Bring your little one to learn more the wildlife of the fabled Land Down Under during a special program tailor-made for infants to 2-year-olds and their parents. Book a program today on

Keeper for a Day – Elephants and Warthogs February 2 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 two of the Zoo’s most popular species in this hands-on program focusing on elephants and warthogs. Participants must be 14 or older. Book a program today on

Teacher Workshop: Giant Pandas and the Asian Connection – February 9 Teachers learn more about giant pandas and the wildlife of Asia, find out more about conservation efforts at home and abroad, and get useful curriculum that can be applied in class to engage students in Asian animals and culture. Learn more on

December 2012


Webinars The webinars will be held at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm on the days listed. • January 10, 2013 – Advocacy (Karen Hallacy) • February 7, 2013 – Nominating Committee • March 7, 2013 – Elections • May 2, 2013 – Transitioning the Teams (Donna Kosicki) • June 6, 2013 – Planning the New Team (Rita Erves)

Important Dates to Remember

PTA Universities The PTA Universities are held at the Georgia PTA State Office. Check our website for more details and how to RSVP. • February 2, 2013 – Diversity, Rural Involvement

December 30:

• February 9, 2013 – Financial Review

PTA Day with the Falcons - Falcons vs. Buccaneers

January 15:

Applications due to Nominating Committee for Georgia PTA Board of Directors

February 2:

PTA University – Diversity & Rural Development


PTSA Day at the Capitol


Founder’s Day


PTA Day at the Capitol

• March 2, 2013 – Military, Special Needs and Youth Involvement

Georgia Emerging Minority Leadership Conference Plans are being made to include the Georgia Emerging Minority Leadership Conference in coordination with the 2013 Convention Leadership Training which will be held July 11-13, 2013 at the Georgia International Convention Center. Check the Georgia PTA website often for updates and more information.

March 8:

Georiga PTA Scholarship Application Deadline PTA Reports are due to State Office, District and Councils

12-14: National PTA Legislative Conference, Washington, DC

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

Thank you to the 2012 Convention Leadership Training Sponsors

Atlanta, GA 30308 404-659-0214 or 1-800-PTA-TODAY Fax: 404-525-0210




Georgia Natural Gas True Blue Schools

GAcollege411 Georgia Student Finance Commission

AIM – Association Insurance Management, Inc.

President: Donna Kosicki Editor: Susan Hayes

MR365 Education




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.


Georgia PTA's The Voice_December 2012  

The December 2012 issue of The Voice. This publication is a resource for the PTA leaders across Georgia.

Georgia PTA's The Voice_December 2012  

The December 2012 issue of The Voice. This publication is a resource for the PTA leaders across Georgia.