Page 1

the Georgia

VOICE October 2012

What’s inside this issue? MESSAGES FROM

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

Membership, Legislation, Bylaws, Family Engagement, Male Involvement HELPFUL INFORMATION

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

Message from the Georgia PTA President


chool is well on its way for students in all 180 school systems in Georgia! For PTA leaders across our state, the year began with Convention Leadership Training held July 2012 at the Classic Center in Athens. General sessions, dynamic workshops, inspirational guest speakers, exciting awards and celebrations, active networking, relevant resources, as well as a wonderful location are a few of the reasons why leaders are well prepared for a successful 2012 - 2013 school year. The last great event for this administration is Convention Leadership Training 2013, for which planning has already begun. Originally scheduled to be in Columbus, after careful review, the board of directors decided to move the event to a new location. Plan to join us July 11 - 13, 2013 at the Georgia International Convention Center. We are very pleased to announce that the CLT 2013 Core Committee will be united with PTA leaders in Columbus, under the direction of Tom Graves, 4th District Director. Since July 2012, several PTA notable events have taken place. On August 10, state board members attended a White House briefing on education and other topics facing children and a special Champions of Change panel session that recognized twelve PTA leaders from around the country for their outstanding work in improving the lives of children through involvement in PTA. From the state of Georgia, our own Deirdre Pierce was one of the twelve honored. September was a very busy PTA month, which included the Georgia PTA Board Retreat, Atlanta Braves Family Game Day, National PTA Emerging Minority Leaders Conference, Advocacy Conference, and District and Council PTA Leaders Training. Several board members also attended the GeorgiaForward event, which you can see a quick video clip at this link — Deirdre Pierce and Donna Kosicki! At our Board Retreat, board members agreed our foci of work are Family Engagement, Advocacy, and Membership. Through great resources such as our workshops, PTA Universities, our website, the Voice newsletter, new Webinars, and the upcoming Georgia PTA Emerging Minority Leaders Conference, we strive to assist our PTA leaders in their work toward student achievement and school improvement. When this school year is completed, what will be your PTA’s legacy? Can you see it? Were you able to respond to the issues and concerns with effective programs, projects, and events? If you haven’t had this discussion yet with your PTA team and Principal, it isn’t too late! Remember, tweak what you need to do now to reach your vision of success for the students in your school. This is an important year for effective family engagement, advocacy, and membership. Engaging families and schools, through education on the issues that affect students and our connections as PTA members, gets us on the pathway to support Georgia’s students so that they successfully transition to Pre-K, to K-12, to graduation, to college and career readiness, and to their hopes and dreams. Being a PTA member allows us to best serve you, and adds your voice to our voice — strengthening and validating the work we do advocating for equitable education in the best interests for all of Georgia’s students, families, and local school communities! Donna Kosicki, Georgia PTA President,


Georgia PTA attendees at the National PTA Emerging Minority Leadership Conference



Message from the National PTA President

Build Your Child’s Tomorrow in Today’s PTA!


elcome back to school and back to PTA! PTA has created a meaningful relationship with its member base, and as with any good relationship, it takes hard work and an ability to adapt to change to ensure the relationship lasts. This school year, PTA is taking a great leap forward with new and improved resources and services to help families, schools, and PTAs succeed in our changing and challenging world. We invite you to discover the many enhancements National PTA is rolling out to put children, educators, and PTAs on a fast track to building Today’s PTA. Just what is Today’s PTA? It is’s bold...and it’s now! Today’s PTA is on the move. In addition to National PTA’s established programs, like Reflections and Healthy Lifestyles, we will be introducing new initiatives, like a more powerful membership card and a digital version of Our Children magazine ( that anyone with internet access can read. National PTA will also be unveiling a newly designed, easier-to-use website, and we will be establishing a Schools of Excellence program to allow for continuous improvement that will make collaboration between schools and families even stronger and more effective. As we promised, we are using the financial resources you have entrusted to us to provide more value to you as we work together to ensure a bright future for our nation’s children! We welcome your comments and feedback on our efforts at Welcome to Today’s PTA! Together, we are building our children’s tomorrow. We are on the move–join us! Betsy Landers, National PTA President

November Issue of Our Children Available Online The online edition of Our Children, the PTA national 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.

October 2012

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

Translated Materials Available Did you know that we offer membership forms already translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Vietnamese on our website? You can download them and use them at your Local Unit. Go to leadership-membershipnews.html and look under Membership Resources.


Message from the Georgia State School Superintendent

Welcome Back to School The school year is in full swing, and fall is upon us. So far, it’s been a busy year with many changes, from the implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards to the continued roll out of the state’s new teacher and leader evaluation tools. We want to challenge our students and elevate our teaching methods to meet the needs of the new global economy. We want to not only test knowledge, but teach students how to apply it in real-world problems. It’s rigor WITH relevance. We are also working hard to get our new College and Career Ready Performance Index ready. The index will let teachers put their focus back on the child in the classroom without having to worry about just a test score. There’s so much more to accountability than the test. We want to put the focus back on the children, which will ultimately lead to improved student achievement. But the only way we will be successful with these initiatives is if parents are actively involved in them. Please be sure to get active in your child’s school and encourage your friends who have children to do the same. Engaged parents can make the difference between a school that’s barely getting by and a school that’s thriving. The strength of your support is immeasurable. When we hit a bump, help us plow through it. You helped us carve this path, so please help us walk through it. Dr. John Barge is Georgia’s State School Superintendent

Dr. John D. Barge, State Superintendent of Schools

Bylaws Committee

The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Dues


our membership drives are hopefully still going strong as we look to grow that “one voice” that speaks for every child here in Georgia. The importance of membership cannot be overstated and we thank everyone who is involved in that effort. As we look at membership dues, there are a couple of key points to keep in mind:

• Georgia PTA does not offer “family memberships”. (Article V, Section 9 of your bylaws). For example, there cannot be anything like “Buy 2 and get the third half off” in your materials. Each membership must have an individual member’s name attached to it, and each PTA membership must cost the same as every other PTA membership in the association. Local units who want to maximize the number of memberships sold to a family may consider offering a “package” consisting of a pre-determined number of memberships, school calendar, spiritwear, etc. You may offer a discount to PTA/PTSA members for some other activity (festival, dances, cultural night, etc) as an incentive to increase the number of memberships purchased by a family unit. • It is permissible to offer an incentive on a broader basis. For instance, new members who join within a pre-defined time frame may be entered into a drawing to win a prize. Tickets to movies, sporting or cultural events, passes to a local museum, an electronic device, etc. are examples of items that can be purchased from your approved budget to boost your membership campaign. • Article V, Section 7 in the local unit bylaws states the amount of your membership dues. These are consistently applied across your membership base. You may also notice that the dues amount is underlined. This means that it is a “fill in the blank” that you can amend. Follow the procedures for a Bylaws Amendment in the Leadership Resource Guide, (starting on page 138 and also in your Bylaws (Article XVIII, Section 1). You may not add qualifying or descriptive wording such as “up to” or “no more than” or put step-up language into the document. Your membership is entitled to know the exact amount of dues it is paying for each member. Additionally, a current Board cannot obligate future Boards to particular action items which is essentially what a step-up provision is. Your amendment for membership dues can only consist of a new dollar amount, as presented and approved by your general membership. Questions? Please contact Irene Barton, Georgia PTA Bylaws Chair at



Coffee Break with the President-Elect

The Principal and the PTA A Powerful Partnership for Today’s PTA!


ne of the things I love most about my service as Georgia PTA President Elect is the opportunity it affords me to travel throughout the state and visit with many of you. I have never once left any of these visits without feeling even more passionate about the work that we do. I was particularly inspired and touched by one of my most recent experiences and felt compelled to share it with you. This event was a council presidents and principals’ breakfast. I received my marching orders from council leadership to speak on the topic of principals and the PTA. Their 2012-2013 theme is “Building Bridges,” so the question presented to the attendees was: “Does the vital role that the principal and the PTA play in a school setting affect whether or not the bridge is strong, sturdy and steady?” The answer was a resounding and unequivocal “YES!” A meaningful relationship between the principal and the PTA creates a bridge that will stand strong amidst the most turbulent educational challenges. Since its inception, the PTA’s Vision and Overall Mission/Purpose has not changed: To make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. A principal will make family engagement a priority in his/her school, and create an environment that welcomes parents into the schools, building that strong home-school connection. The PTA serves as the principal’s partner by supporting him/her, and together, they can achieve the PTA’s goal of a quality education and nurturing environment for every child. In attendance at this Douglas County Council event was the Douglas County High School PTSA President (Dr. Nicole Warren) and her Principal (Dr. Tim Scott). I had firsthand knowledge of fact that these two individuals had proven themselves to be a ‘walking talking, live commercial’ of the power of the PTA and Principal partnership. I also knew that they had faced significant challenges. Therefore, for a moment, I felt the need to go off script, put them on the spot, and engage them to share their amazing experience. The heartwarming story they told is as follows: Last year, the Douglas County HS transitioned a diverse student population with a new principal (Dr. Scott). The PTSA had been relatively inactive for a while, but Dr. Scott advised Nicole that his primary goal was to get parents more involved with their student’s academic and social life. Nicole strategically went to work and was eventually able to procure a dynamic leadership team. More and more parents became engaged and began to join PTSA, which resulted in a 755% membership increase. They had children that participated in the Reflections program and also had a state Reflections winner! After this Council event, I received an unexpected call and e-mail from Dr. Warren. She informed me that her phone had been blowing up from parents calling her to seek assistance. They had heard the story of an individual that they could directly relate to; a somewhat non-traditional PTA leader; a working mom with some amazing accomplishments and someone that had come to recognize the importance of working hard and smart. Yes, her story moved them to believe that they too could achieve this same high level of success. National PTA announced its new theme at our convention in San Jose, California this summer. In many ways, the Douglas High School PTSA story represents a new day and new way that we all can continue building TODAY’S 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,

Reflections The Reflections program is off to a great start! Local schools that are participating in this year’s “The Magic of a Moment” have all rules and information already circulating. Each school will have their own due date so please check with them directly. First and second place winners from the local schools will then have their artwork passed to the Council level for judging. These council due dates also vary, so please check with your council reflections chair for exact deadlines. We are excited to see the many artistic talents of our Georgia students! Cindy Austin, Reflections Chair,

Mandated Reporter Training Online training for the new Mandated Reporters: Offered by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, this free online training course is provided by Pro Solutions Training. To register, go to

Rita Erves, Georgia PTA President-Elect,

October 2012


Legislative News


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

• Youth Advocacy Day: February 13, 2013 • PTA Day at the Capitol: February 27, 2013

Deirdre Pierce — Honored as a Champion of Change Friday, August 10, several Georgia PTA board members from around the state travelled to the nation’s capital as part of a group of parents and education advocates for an all-day meeting with White House and federal government leaders on education and other topics facing children. In addition to the policy briefing, a special event was held where twelve (12) PTA members who were recognized as White House Champions of Change for their work in improving the lives of children through involvement in PTA and education. Georgia PTA’s very own Deirdre Pierce, 11th District Director and member of the Executive Committee, was acknowledged as one of the Champions of Change. Describing the events, Deirdre stated “It was an absolute honor to be at the White House to discuss a topic as important as our nation’s students, as well as to be recognized as a Champion of Change.”

Betsy Landers, National PTA President; Deirdre Pierce, Georgia PTA 11th District Director; Otha Thorton, National PTA President Elect

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 is on our website (, and 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 are 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,



10 Things You Should Know about the Constitutional Amendment on Charter Schools


elow is an educational write-up about the Charter School Constitutional Amendment that will be ballot initiative 1 on the November ballot. Georgia PTA opposes this constitutional amendment. The write-up found on our website does not state a position and is intended to be a public awareness piece. As such, it does not violate the Ethics in Government Act and can be printed using school resources or inserted in newsletters that go home on school buses. We are requesting that every PTA leader publish this article in your respective newsletters. If you publish your newsletters completely independently of the school and do not use any public resources, including sending the newsletter home on buses, you can add a Vote NO message to this write-up. If you are not sure whether any school resources are used, then just publish the article as it is written. You can download a Word document at If you have any questions, please contact Karen Hallacy, Legislative Chair, at The ballot initiative on the November ballot reads: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow local or state approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities”. The language is misleading. There is already both local and state authority to create charter schools. This amendment is solely to create a third authorizer, a politically appointed State Charter School Commission not accountable to taxpayers or voters. Here are some additional facts you should know: 1.

The amendment has nothing to do with charter schools authorized by local boards of education, conversion charter schools or charter systems. Local Boards of Education can already authorize charter schools and will continue to be able to do so regardless of whether this amendment passes.


The State Board of Education can also already authorize charter schools. It serves as a place where those denied locally can appeal. This won’t change regardless of whether the amendment passes.


This amendment will create an appointed commission which will cost a minimum of $1 million a year to operate. The Commission can authorize additional charter schools but will provide little oversight of those schools.


Students who attend state commission authorized charter schools will earn more funding from the state than students who attend local public schools (including traditional, locally authorized charter schools and schools in a charter system). According to the Governor’s office, traditional students are funded at an average of $4,290 while state authorized charter students are funded at an average of $5,230, or $6,392 if they attend a brick and mortar school.


Public education has experienced over $6 billion dollars in funding cuts since 2003. According to State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, authorizing schools through this new commission will conservatively cost the state an additional $430 million over the next five years.


Those funding cuts have resulted in 121 of 180 Georgia school systems shortening their school year to meet budget constraints. The cuts have also resulted in teacher and staff reductions, teacher furloughs, increased class sizes and program cuts.


This amendment is not needed as there are already over 110 charter schools authorized and operating in Georgia and more in the pipeline for approval.


According to the GA Department of Education data, charter schools do no better than traditional public schools and sometimes perform worse. In 2010-11, 73% of traditional public schools made AYP; 70% of charter schools made AYP. See Charter School Report at


State commission authorized schools do not require any parent involvement and they do not guarantee that parents will even be part of their governance, unlike locally authorized charter schools. Also, commission charter governing boards are not required to adhere to the ethics code or accreditation requirements that local boards of education are.

10. According to campaign disclosure reports as of today, funding for the campaign supporting passage of this constitutional amendment is coming almost exclusively (95%) from out of state donors including for-profit education management organizations who stand to benefit from the passage of this amendment. The funding opposing this amendment is coming 100% from within Georgia.

October 2012


Family Engagement enhances student success and teacher effectiveness. A first step toward involvement is communicating with your child’s teacher. Effective communication consists of meeting with the teacher, being a positive partner in the learning experience, and keeping lines of communication open. See page 9 for tips to share with your families to increase communication and improve parent/ teacher relationships.

Family Engagement Family Engagement PTA Universities


arent Involvement/Family Engagement Certification will be held on Wednesday, October 24 or Saturday, October 27 from 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM at the Georgia PTA State Office. The information on both days is the same. Feel free to pick one day to attend.

Each interactive workshop will provide a brief overview of family engagement and the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Together we will learn how to implement the standards at each level and measure the effectiveness. Participants will learn the importance of both qualitative and quantitative data to plan effective programs and strategies to increase student achievement in your school. Finally we will discuss reports and awards available for Family Engagement including the Georgia PTA Hearst Award, Model PTA, Georgia Parent Leadership Award and the National PTA School of Excellence. After completion of this workshop, participants will receive a Family Engagement certificate! Don’t miss this opportunity! Sign in will begin at 9:30 AM for these workshops. There is no cost to attend, but please e-mail Patty Yohn ( so that we can make sure enough materials are available.

Parent Engagement Month is November 2012 — Do something special!


he Parent Engagement Program believes that parents, schools, families, and communities working together can create meaningful partnerships that ultimately lead to significant gains across the board in student achievement.

Visit the Georgia DOE Parent Engagement Program website ( for information about Parent Engagement Month including the Governor’s Proclamation, the Parent Engagement Resolution and lots of great GET INVOLVED activities and resources! The Parents’ Guide to Student Success was developed in response to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics that more than 45 states including Georgia have adopted. Created by teachers, parents, education experts, and others from across the country, the standards provide clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career. National PTA® created the guides for grades K-8 and two for grades 9-12 (one for English Language Arts/Literacy and one for Mathematics). The Guide includes:

Way to go Georgia! National PTA has notified us that Georgia has activated more PTA memberships than any other state.

• Key items that children should be learning in English Language Arts and Mathematics in each grade, once the standards are fully implemented. • Activities that parents can do at home to support their child’s learning. • Methods for helping parents build stronger relationships with their child’s teacher. • Tips for planning for college and career (high school only). Go to this website ( for Parent Guides and more information or visit the National PTA website. These guides are also offered in Spanish. Patty Yohn, Family Engagement Chair,



Family Engagement

From National PTA

Tips to Share with the Families at Your Schools

Building Today’s PTA: Win up to $6K for your unit!

amily Engagement enhances student success and teacher effectiveness. A first step toward involvement is communicating with your child’s teacher. Effective communication consists of meeting with the teacher, being a positive partner in the learning experience, and keeping lines of communication open, according to Suzanna Smith, an associate professor at the University of Florida. As part of the university’s Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, she offers these tips for communicating effectively with teachers:

Attention PTA Leaders!


• Offer to help by signing up to donate items or volunteer your time. • Provide information that will help the teacher get to know your child as an individual. Include relevant information such as allergies, behavior issues (tendency to be distracted, for instance), learning issues, or changes in family life. • Ask the teacher about expectations regarding homework and what to do if there are problems with homework. • Find out the best way to contact the teacher. Ask for times when it is convenient to talk. Don’t expect them to be able to talk if you happen to be at the school and run into them. • Write short notes (written or as an e-mail, if allowed) and follow up with a phone message to the school if you don’t get a response in a few days. Be sure to include your phone number and/or e-mail address. • Be diplomatic, especially in e-mail. Choose words carefully and avoid criticizing the teacher. • In e-mail communication, be brief, stick to the point, and don’t use animation, pictures or graphics. Stick to school-related information in e-mail. • Be positive and curious. Open with phrases such as “Can we talk about...?” Use “I” statements such as “I’m confused about...” so you don’t put the teacher on the defensive. • Don’t be afraid to talk to other school personnel if needed. A school counselor might be able to intervene if you are unable to communicate with a teacher. • Be a partner in your child’s learning. Assist with homework, help your child learn time management skills, talk about school matters at home. • Send a note of appreciation to the teacher when things go well in class (and mention this to the principal). • It may be difficult to hear what teachers have to say if they deliver bad news about your child. Try to focus on solutions and work with the teacher to come up with a healthy plan to help your child learn.

October 2012

Your PTA local unit can win up to $6,000 for stellar membership growth in our Building Today’s PTA Contest. The National PTA Membership Committee has developed and officially launched a friendly competition among PTAs to grow and retain members. Top performing local units will have the opportunity to win up to $6k to invest in creating family engagement to grow and retain membership. Two lucky local unit winners will win complimentary registrations and travel expenses to the 117th Annual National PTA Convention & Exhibition in Cincinnati, Ohio. For official contest rules, go to ( Membership_Growth_Incentive_-_FINAL.pdf). Use our Today’s PTA resources ( marketing_resources.asp) including customizable membership applications, printable flyers, and advertising inserts to help you recruit new members. Open your next meeting with our signature Today’s PTA video ( and extend a personal invitation to join PTA from National PTA Honorary Membership Chairs, Tony and Lauren Dungy and National PTA President, Betsy Landers with our Local Unit Welcome video ( Good luck to your unit. Let’s grow Today’s PTA! Melanie-Luedtke Taylor National PTA Membership Committee Chair

When are Local Units tax exempt? The Georgia Sales and Use Tax Exemptions OCGA 48-8-3 (#56) states: (56) Sales by any parent-teacher organization qualified as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; If a local unit purchases items for its own use - it is taxable. If it buys something for resale, it is tax exempt. Exemption documentation required is a “Sales & Use Tax Exempt Certificate.” All vendors should be made aware of your sales tax exempt status. Do not pay sales tax on purchases for resale (i.e., wrapping paper, etc.) If you cannot locate your exempt certificate, please request a copy by sending an email to Please allow ten (10) days for processing.


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, 2nd Assistant Director, Carol Ranft 13th District Director, Susan Hayes Chair of the District Directors, Deirdre Pierce

Georgia PTA Braves Day


hank you to all of our local unit PTA’s who participated in this year’s Atlanta Braves Day. The total combined ticket sales for this event were 935 tickets which yielded a combined total fundraiser of $4,675.00.

The top five schools that sold the most tickets: 1st – Winnona Park Elementary

2nd – Mary Lin Elementary

3rd – Summit Hill Elementary

4th – Sawnee Elementary

5th – Vaughan Elementary Thank you to the listed participating schools: Avery Elementary Barber Middle Big Shanty Elementary Dacula Middle Dugan Elementary J.C. Magill Elementary Kennesaw Elementary Knox Elementary

Liberty Elementary Liberty Point Elementary Lovejoy High Mt. Carmel Elementary Northside Elementary Northwood Elementary Oak Grove Elementary P.B. Ritch Middle

Poole Elementary Roberts Elementary Russell Elementary Shiloh Elementary Teasley Elementary Varner Elementary W.C. Abney Elementary Woodland Middle

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

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


Georgia PTA Falcons Day


e hope to see everyone for more family fun for our 4th Annual Family Day in the Georgia Dome. The Georgia PTA and Atlanta Falcons have teamed up for a day of family fun as the Falcons battle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, December 30, 2012. Kick-off is at 1pm. PTA members and their families may purchase upper level ($55-$65 regularly priced) tickets for only $45 per ticket. Your PTA will receive $5.00 from every ticket purchased! Tickets may be ordered at promotion. Sales run from October 15th to November 16th. Local PTAs will receive their tickets November 28th to December 12th. WANT TO HAVE ACCESS TO VIP SIDELINE PASSES? Get your order in by November 9th. Five Local Units will be randomly selected for the opportunity to allow TWO people from their school to receive pre-game sideline passes and the opportunity to be in the player tunnel during player introductions! Tickets are limited, so submit your order early! Looking forward to lots of PTA/Falcons fun...Go Falcons!!! Dewanna King, Resource Development Chair,


New Ways to Recycle at Your School

Stay Connected to Georgia PTA

ake a little money for school programs and projects by collecting recyclables in your school and from your community. Help keep the environment clean, reduce waste and harvest very usable raw materials for production of new products.

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


RecycleBowl 2012 School Competition RecycleBowl is a fun, fair and friendly completion among grade schools in the US. The completion awards cash prizes – one winning school per state will receive a $1,000.00 prize, and the national winning school will receive a prize valued at $25,000.00. Public, private and charter schools are eligible. Competition includes bottles, cans and paper and lasts for 4 weeks from October 15-November 9. Everything you need to know is available at

Shoebox Recycling With Shoebox Recycling schools make $.50 per pound. The collection and shipping boxes are free and sent to the school via UPS. When they are full of shoes (about 40 lbs) the school calls a toll free number and they are emailed/sent a free UPS return label for pickup. They have great collateral materials as well. Schools are sent payment monthly! Everyone has extra shoes to donate and it is the easiest recycling/reuse project imaginable.

ReCork Natural cork, the kind used in wine closures, is a perfect choice for recycling. It’s 100% natural, biodegradable and renewable. There is no reason natural wine corks should end up as garbage when recycled cork can become flooring tiles, building insulation, automotive gaskets, craft materials, soil conditioner and sports equipment. You can receive a collection bin for your school and collect wine corks and send them directly to ReCORK. Learn how to get started at Eve Neumeister, Environmental Education Specialist,

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

Local Unit Tool Kit 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 • Request Local Unit Records - Bylaws, Sales Tax Exemption Letter, EIN Letter, etc. • Forms

Recycle your shoes, find your SoleMate™ Shoe recycling for reuse allows your group to participate in a great cause in a no-cost, feel good way. It’s a simple way for your organization or school to make money: ShoeBox Recycling will pay $.50 per pound for paired, secondhand shoes. The new PTA membership card: How you get started: • Is printed on upgraded paper stock which will allow

• The Shoe-recycling program ishandwriting easy! We give you boxes. You with fill them andhome makeprinters; them and ease of printing mostup basic heavy-40 lbs. heavy (we are sustainable after all)! • Is produced as four (4) cards per 8.5 x 11 sheet;

• We give you a label and pay for UPS to bring them to us.

• Includes fields for member name, local PTA unit name, • We send you checks cut monthly based onyear, the and pounds shoes collected. You make your membership localof unit ID number;

network of recyclers happy,• Includes the planetboth happy, generate money the and National PTA Logo andfor theyour Stateschool. PTA Logo;

Have you found

multiple colors and graphics enhancing PTA’s visual image; your• Includes SoleMate?

a ‘carrier’ messages the their benefits of membership Our shoe recycling program is• Includes the opportunity forthat recyclers to find SoleMate. Put a and explains the activation process; simple note in the shoe and trace the path your shoes take to meet their new feet. Shoes are for reuse around the globe, putting landfills on diets is not worn • Reminds members theyand are teaching a memberworn of their local unit,out. State PTA and Nationalform PTA;to submit and you are on your way. Contact Karin Zarin to get started. There is a simple Marketing and promotional suggestions available to ensure a successful program. • Contains aare unique member ID number which must be used to activate the card.

Karin Zarin contact info:, 678-650-0415

October 2012

• Just Between Friends • 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.


Save t he Date

2013 Convention Leadership Training July 11-13, 2013 Georgia International Convention Center Atlanta, GA Who should attend? PTA/PTSA Officers including: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary; Parliamentarians; PTA /PTSA Committee Chairs; Principals; Superintendents; Teachers Why should I attend? This year the bar has been raised and we have pulled all the stops out. Not only will you receive dynamic training, you will get to experience the best PTA time in Atlanta. You will not want to miss the new and improved workshops; welcoming kick-off party, dynamic banquet, array of exhibitors and all the surprises we have in store—for you and your PTA team.

Save the date for the 2013 Convention Leadership Training. Visit our website often for more details about exciting new training opportunities and information on the conference location and hotels. Georgia



Community Alliance Partner (CAP) PTA Member Benefit Provider Program Together We Can encourage Support and Membership to PTA

Attention PTA Leaders! Is your PTA looking for a great way to earn money for your school and encourage support and membership to your PTA? If you answered YES, then the Community Alliance Partner (CAP) program is a great way to get started.

The CAP program and The CAP program - in partnership with Georgia PTA - provides local businesses with a way to offer PTA member benefits and report card rewards that drive traffic to their business and encourage support and membership to your PTA and PTAs around Georgia. Businesses participating in the CAP program will be featured on Georgia PTA’s NEW GAPTAPerks. com benefit provider website, which is available to all 300,000 plus PTA members.

How Much Does It Cost A Business to Participate In the Program? Businesses that sign up to become CAP PTA Member Benefit Providers receive a Introducing 3 month trial of the CAP program at CAP PTA Member Benefit Provider Website no cost to their business. After the 3 month trial the business is charged $180 per year.

How Does Your PTA EARN Money? Of the $180, for every business your PTA signs up, your PTA receives $50 and $25 is donated to Georgia PTA’s Reflections and Scholarship fund. Your PTA and Georgia PTA will receive this money every year for as long as the businesses remain signed up to the program. Questions? Contact Randall Ware, Cap Coordinator,, 678-732-4315

B-I-N-G-O Night for Family Fun. Can PTAs do that? Bingo games for which your PTA does not charge participants to play and does not award cash prizes or prizes worth more than $15 per game is considered to be Recreational Bingo. Non-cash prizes cannot be exchanged or redeemed for money. Recreational bingo games are not considered gambling under Georgia law, so your PTA may hold them as often as you like. Other types of bingo are considered gambling and therefore require a permit or license from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Annual Bingo Fundraiser – This is a special exception for nonprofit school organizations, and PTAs are included under this exemption. The GBI will issue a one-time permit for one bingo session during the calendar year free of charge. Keep in mind that only one permit will be issued per school or PTA; not to both during the same calendar year. Your PTA must apply for the permit by letter on school letterhead signed by the principal and PTA president. The permit must be posted in the location where you hold the bingo. The GBI will send you instructions along with your onetime permit. Allow at least two weeks to receive the permit. Terry Sosebee, GBI - Bingo Unit 3121 Panthersville Rd. Decatur, GA 30034 404-244-2600 phone 404-270-8529 fax Please note: The permit will only be issued once between January 1 and December 31, which obviously overlaps two school years. Plan ahead!

October 2012


Thank you to Dr. John Barge for his strong support of education and his opposition to Amendment #1 on the November ballot.

Dear Dr. John Barge, It is not very often in life that someone will risk everything to stand up for something that they truly believe in. We want you to know that we understand the risks you are

Health & Wellness

taking, and are so very thankful to have a leader like you

Important Dates

overseeing the educational welfare of Georgia’s children. We appreciate all you have done, despite the odds and mounting opposition. We are proud to serve along side of you to ensure one voice for every child. Sincerely, The Membership of Georgia PTA

Thank you to everyone who attended the Georgia PTA Advocacy Conference on September 28th. Thank you to the Legislative Team for putting together such an informative day of information and to Terry England, 108th District Rep, for speaking to our group.

1. October is National Farm to School Month. Our state farm to school lead is Erin Croom. She may be contacted at 2. The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is a part of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institute of Health. The main job of this organization is to raise awareness about obesity & weight control. For information & materials, please call (877) 946-4627 or e-mail WIN@info.niddk. 3. The third annual Drugs Facts Week (NIDA) will be held 1/28/13- 2/13/13. For information go to www. 4. President Obama is scheduled to issue a proclamation naming October “National Substance Abuse Prevention Month”. For more information, please contact the White House Office of National Drug Policy. Adrian Watlington-Cox, Health & Wellness Chair,



Male Involvement

Too Big to Fail


oo Big To Fail written by Andrew Ross Sorkin is the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system….and themselves. Well, I am not going to expound any further on the content of that book except to say…PTA and one of its by-products, Male Involvement is “TOO BIG TO FAIL”. I trust by now you have established your male involvement chairs at each local unit, council, and district. The work that is entrusted to each of us should be approached with OUR CHILDREN in mind first and foremost. We can not drop the proverbial ball on this most needed program. I had the pleasure of attending the Male Forum sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, September 22, at the Atlanta Metropolitan State College. To say the least, it was a fantastic event. There were many vendors (Watch D.O.G.S., All Pro Dads, IRS, Clayton County Board of Health, Georgia PTA, Image Fatherhood Consultants, etc.) in attendance. Each of them expressed their heartfelt concerns for male involvement and ways to assist in helping bring male involvement to fruition across the state of Georgia. Please be advised that Georgia PTA and All Pro Dads will sponsor an Atlanta Falcons Family Day in December. There will be an opportunity for your male involvement chairs to attend a Georgia PTA University soon. As Male Involvement chair, I will be coordinating a male membership drive called “Back To The Future”. Stay tuned for more details later. Also, please mark your calendars for the “Million Fathers March…I took my child(ren) to school today” event. The event is scheduled for the first day back to school after the Christmas break. Again, Georgia PTA and male involvement is “TOO BIG TO FAIL”. We don’t have Wall Street and Washington to bail US out. ALL WE HAVE IS OURSELVES. Reginald Forrest, Male Involvement Chair,

Georgia PTA ‘s Neatie Green, Education Chair, participated with 150 education policy leaders from throughout the state of Georgia in the Georgia Forward 2012 Education Summit. The summit focused on Early Childhood Education and Teacher Quality and Retention.

October 2012

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: (a) Group contact with children regarding growth problems common to all children. (b) Children who experience difficulty in school, and work with the teachers to provide a supportive environment. (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. Neatie Green, Education Chair,


HomeSchool Academy, October 10

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. 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, biofacts like bones and fun activities to your students. This popular program gives your students 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 members of the Georgia PTA 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.

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: Animal Outsides October 13, 17 or 25 Toddlers ages 2 to 3 and their adult caregivers learn how different species’ body coverings help animals succeed in the wild. Book a program today on

Stroller Cubs: Serious Scales, October 20 or 24 What’s one thing snakes, lizards and turtles have in common? Scales! Bring your little one to learn more about scaly reptiles during a special program tailor-made for infants to 2-year-olds. Book a program today on

Wild Encounter: Lions, October 20 Come face-to-face with one of Earth’s top predators – the African lion. Meet the “king of beasts,” and enjoy an exclusive opportunity to feed one of the Zoo’s charismatic big cats. Please note: Lions are carnivores. Participants may handle meat and will use “meat sticks” to feed. Book a program today on

Boo at the Zoo, October 20, 21, 27 and 28 Atlanta’s favorite fun family Halloween festival returns! Explore magical paths, sample sweet treats, meet a whimsical cast of costume characters and more on four fun-filled days with more than 1,500 animals from around the world. Costumes encouraged! Activities run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stay tuned to for event details.

Boo at the Zoo Family NightCrawler, October 20

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS & CAMPS Keeper for a Day – Elephants and Warthogs October 6

Keep the Boo going – spend the night in the Zoo on a family adventure! Meet some of the Zoo’s creepy crawlers before trickor-treating, pumpkin painting, myth-busting and more. Book a program today on

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

Keeper for a Day – Australia and Carnivores, October 27

Adventure Cubs – Animal Outsides, October 9, 16 and 23

Girl Scout Workshop, November 3

Fur, feathers and scales galore! Toddlers and their favorite grownups explore the wide world of body coverings, and learn how animal outsides help wildlife succeed. Dates listed are for series classes only; single-day programs are also available. Book a program today on

Girl Scouts explore the Zoo, meet animals up-close, and work on Scout requirements. Scouts can earn Petals, Try-Its or Badges. Come on your own, or bring your entire troop! Visit zooatlanta. org for more information.


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


Keeper for a Day – Elephants and Warthogs, November 3 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

Adventure Cubs – Australian Adventure November 6, 13 and 20 G’day, mates! Two to 3-year-olds and their favorite grownups go on an Outback adventure featuring animal friends from the Land Down Under. Dates listed are for series classes only; single-day programs are also available. Book a program today on

Adventure Cubs SINGLE DAY: Australian Adventure November 7, 10 or 15 Toddlers ages 2 to 3 and their adult caregivers take a closer look at the wildlife of Australia in this single-day alternative to the popular Adventure Cubs series. Book a program today on

Stroller Cubs: Fabulous Fur, November 7 or 17 Bring your little one to learn more about animal fur, from fluffy manes to tiny whiskers, during a special program tailor-made for infants to 2-year-olds. Book a program today on

Wild Encounter: Kangaroos, November 10 Meet Earth’s largest marsupial species – the red kangaroo! Get to know the mob at Zoo Atlanta, and enjoy an exclusive opportunity to feed them some of their favorite treats. Participants must be 8 years old or older to feed the kangaroos. Book a program today on

HomeSchool Academy, November 14 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 – Australia and Carnivores November 17 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

October 2012

Membership FAQs How does Georgia PTA know how many cards to send a PTA unit? The quantity of membership cards you receive is based on your PTA unit’s membership total for the past year. What if we need more cards? Complete the Additional Membership Card Request Form. More cards will be sent to your unit if membership dues have been received in the state office as defined on the form. How often should our PTA send in the dues? Monthly – Dues should be submitted into the Georgia PTA State office to be received by the last business day of each month. Please submit the dues using the Dues Transmittal Form. Do we have to pass out membership cards to our members? Absolutely – It is your responsibility to give the cards to each member when they join. In addition to serving as proof of membership and eligibility for numerous member benefits, the membership card includes the password and username to password protected sections of Georgia PTA and National PTA websites. What constitutes Target Membership? Target Membership is the total number of students plus staff by the end of the first week of school. For example, if your enrollment is 300 students and you have 95 staff persons, your target membership goal is 395. There are various Target Membership Awards presented each year by Georgia PTA. What are the keys to a successful yearlong membership campaign? An enthusiastic, organized membership committee with a comprehensive plan for an ongoing membership drive that clearly communicates the value of someone’s investment in PTA membership are the critical factors. Membership is not about the “stuff”; it’s about making a difference in the lives of all children.


Webinars The webinars will be held at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm on the days listed. • November 1, 2012 – Family Engagement (Patty Yohn) • January 10, 2013 – Advocacy (Karen Hallacy) • February 7, 2013 – Nominating Committee

Important Dates to Remember

• March 7, 2013 – Elections


PTA Universities


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

The PTA Universities are held at the Georgia PTA State Office. Check our website for more details and how to RSVP.


District 4 Fall Conference

• October 24, 2012 – Family Engagement


Family Engagement PTA University

• October 27, 2012 – Family Engagement


District 6 Fall Conference

• November 3, 2012 – Report Writing


Family Engagement PTA University


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


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

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


Membership Community Partnership Award – form and community partners list due

Georgia Emerging Minority Leadership Conference

• May 2, 2013 – Transitioning the Teams (Donna Kosicki) • June 6, 2013 – Planning the New Team (Rita Erves)

• November 10, 2012 – Male, Asian and Latino Involvement

November 3:

Report Writing PTA University


Male, Asian and Latino Involvement PTA University


Silver Membership Award – Target Membership achieved and dues sent to the state office

• February 2, 2013 – Diversity, Rural Involvement • February 9, 2013 – Financial Review

Mark you calendars now! The tentative dates are March 22 and 23, 2013. Check the Georgia PTA website often for updates and more information.

The Voice Official publication of the Georgia PTA A Branch of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers

December 7:

State Reflections Entry Deadline


PTA Day with the Falcons - Falcons vs. Buccaneers

Georgia PTA 114 Baker Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30308

Thank you to the 2012 Convention Leadership Training Sponsors GOLD



Georgia Natural Gas True Blue Schools

GAcollege411 Georgia Student Finance Commission

AIM – Association Insurance Management, Inc.

MR365 Education




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.


Georgia PTA's The Voice_October 2012  

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

Georgia PTA's The Voice_October 2012  

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