The Voice | Summer 2014

Page 1

“Summer should be relaxing,

fun and engaging. Engaging in the arts is a great way to do all three.” Page 14

“School is out.

PTA & parenting is not.” Page 3

The Voice Texas PTA

Summer 2014

“Few things

are more American than the family road trip, kids in the back arguing about who crossed the imaginary line and Mom and Dad threatening to turn this car around!” Page 4

“Summer The Art of Saving Part 4: Savings Account, What Savings Account?” Page 11

“What should an effective PTA be

doing during the summer months to prepare for next school year? ” Page 2


Message From The Texas PTA President by Leslie Boggs, Texas PTA President

Family Time: A Thing of the Past or In Your Future? In PTA we talk a lot about parent or family engagement. I am amazed when dining in restaurants watching how many family members are paying more attention to their phones and iPads than to each other. Now don’t get me wrong! I believe in technology and believe we should embrace it, but at the appropriate times and places. Do we still value family time? I really hope so. I have many fond memories of time spent with my parents, and today some of my happiest moments are spent with my children, their spouses and my grandchildren. Summer provides an excellent opportunity for us to reunite with our families and spend quality time together. Read a book together. Go to a good movie and talk about it afterward. Enjoy the outdoors through sports or water activities and include a family picnic. There are so many ways to enjoy your family without it costing a lot of money. Texas is a wonderful state to take trips and explore our rich history and heritage. Whether you visit the Alamo, the Texas State Capitol Building, the LBJ Library, PanhandlePlains Historical Museum, The Bob Bullock Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, or other museums and music or art venues throughout our state, it’s all about making memories, talking and laughing together. I urge all of our families to use this summer to take a break from our normal routines and to invest in our greatest asset – our families! Here’s to a safe and fun summer. See you in Houston at LAUNCH: Summer Leadership Seminar 2014!

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CMYK / .eps

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Ask Leslie Dear Leslie, What should an effective PTA be doing during the summer months to prepare for next school year? ~ Anxious Annie Dear Anxious Annie, Summer is the best time to prepare for next year. First of all, take as many of your officers and members to LAUNCH: Summer Leadership Seminar 2014 in Houston as possible. LAUNCH: SLS 2014 is the best thing Texas PTA does to prepare PTAs for the next year. In addition to training, visit with your principal during the summer to make sure he/she and your PTA are on the same page. And remember, you can ask people to join during the summer. You don’t have to wait until “meet the teacher” night!

Have a question for the President? Send an email to with “Ask Leslie” as the subject and you could be featured in the next issue of The Voice!

CMYK / .eps

Texas PTA



Texas PTA

School is out. PTA and Parenting is not. by Kyle Ward, CAE, Texas PTA Executive Director The end of school always stirs up a lot of thoughts for me. My sons are growing up fast. One will be graduating from high school in a month, and my “baby” will enter high school in August and is counting the seconds until he can drive. And then my mind goes to PTA leaders and volunteers and how tired you must all be! What a year for PTA making a difference on thousands of campuses across Texas! The school year is so long and yet so short. I remember when I was in school how sad I was every May to tell my favorite teachers goodbye. They would always encourage me to come back and see them the following year, but it was never the same. Every teacher and PTA molded a young boy like me into a person with opportunities, the ability to evaluate a situation and make a decision and to make

a difference. Public school (and PTA) changes lives, and for the better. While we all appreciate completing projects, winding up a PTA officer term and watching children grow, mature and “spread their wings”, the end of a school year provides a time to reflect on the successes and memories. Did you notice I omitted failures? By the time the end of school rolls around, let’s focus on the positives! PTA, school administrators, teachers and students will take a little break this summer, but just around the corner all will be back on task again to start building our list of May 2015 successes and victories. As I am in preparation to have a college and high school student, PTA is also in preparation for a record 2014-15 school year. Until we meet in Houston in July, thanks for all you do to make every child’s potential a reality.

Texas PTA Debuts Top 10 Tips Lists In an effort to help our members with frequently asked questions, we created Top Ten lists. These lists compile some basic information on the most asked about PTA topics. We post these lists monthly, and we hope to answer the most common questions our members have. So far, we have covered elections and bylaws. In May, we will cover IRS revocation, and look for tips on board transitions in June! You can view past lists at Post your questions on our facebook page and you could be featured! Use #txptaTopTen Top 10 Election Questions: 1. Do I have to be a member and have a child at the school in order to run for a PTA position? No, you do not have to be a member or have a child at the school in order to run. You must however, become a member before taking office. 2. Do we need a nominating committee? Yes, your PTA should elect a nominating committee per your bylaws. The committee chair is chosen within the committee following the general vote.

4. What if we are not able to fill a position? The incoming Executive Board will fill the vacancy with an election by the board and fulfill the responsibilities of the vacancy until the position is filled. 5. Who runs the election meeting? The seated president will run the election meeting. 6. Can teachers serve on the board? Yes.

3. Can I join my PTA and vote at the same meeting?

7. Do the people who are slated by the nominating committee have to be approved by the board?

Yes, you can join at the start of the meeting and vote during the meeting. Your PTA should immediately report your membership afterwards to Texas PTA.

No, they do not need to be approved by the Executive Board or by the Principal. The slate is presented to the membership in advance of the election meeting.

8. I wasn’t slated for a position but I still want to run for office. You can run from the floor during the election meeting. 9. Who can attend a nominating committee meeting? Only those people who are on the nominating committee should be present at the committee meeting(s). 10. Which positions are slated by the nominating committee and elected by the general membership? Officers of the PTA should be slated and elected. All standing committee chairs are appointed by the president. See Top Ten Questions on Bylaws on page 13 3

Few things are more American than the family road trip with the kids in the back arguing about who crossed the imaginary line and Mom and Dad in front threatening to “turn this car around if you kids can’t behave.” We asked our friends at to share some ideas for making a road trip with kids fun for everyone-including moms and dads. These tips won’t necessarily keep the kids from fighting, but they might:

1. Bring a Map

It will come in handy if the GPS crashes and it can be great fun for kids. They can follow the progress of the road trip and look for nearby sites that might be worth a stop.

2. Pack One Essentials Bag

Put a toothbrush, jammies and one change of clothes for each family member into a single suitcase. It saves you from unpacking the entire car for every one-night stop. Don’t forget to toss in the bathing suits so the kids can head to the hotel pool and burn off some of that pent up energy.

3. Team Time

If you’re traveling to a sports tournament or club event, use FREE online signup sheets by VolunteerSpot* to easily organize parents for carpools, snacks, team meals and chaperones.

4. Bring Snacks

No matter how long the trip, food and drink are the keys to kid happiness. Choose water--it doesn’t stain when it spills--and leave the salty snacks at home. They just increase thirst, which increases drinking, which increases the need for potty breaks. Check out our healthy travel snack ideas on Pinterest. 4

5. Keep Kids Happy

Entertain kids the old-fashioned way with license plate bingo, ISpy and 20 Questions. Or entertain them the new-fashioned way with fun smartphone apps like Field Trip and Geocaching to discover cool and hidden things along your journey. You can even exercise in the car to help squirmy little ones burn off energy.

6. Take a Picture--in the Parking Garage No one wants to ruin that vacation afterglow by a twohour trek through the parking garage trying to remember where the SUV is parked. Snap a photo of the parking spot before you unload the trunk and you’ll know exactly where to find your car when you return. For more, visit and download your copy of TravelingMom’s 101 Family Travel Tips. It’s free.

Check out our Pinterest boards full of car games! TravelingMoms & Texas PTA

Avoid the Summer Slide A Summer of Reading By Gloria Meraz, Director of Communications, Texas Library Association Numerous studies find that children can lose reading skills during the summer. This phenomenon is known as the “summer slide” and causes librarians and teachers across the country to spend at least a month reteaching materials to students.

The TLA reading lists are available at reading-lists. They include: •

2x2: Age 2 through 2nd grade

Texas Bluebonnet Award: Third through sixth grade

Tejas Star: Ages 5-12; bilingual

Lone Star: Sixth through eighth grade

Tayshas: High school

Maverick: Graphic novels

Spirit of Texas Reading Programs for middle school and high school

Lariat: Recommended fiction for adults

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS: Texas Library Association Reading Lists: Find a Library Near You: Getting Kids to Read: what-can-families-do-to-keep-childrenreading-during-the-summer.htm

The time spent on relearning skills is a month lost to a new year’s curriculum and learning time. Researchers have also found that “summer slide” losses can be cumulative over a youngster’s school years. Reading throughout the summer has proven to be one of the most effective guards against the summer slide and helps students make improvements in reading skills. School and public librarians across Texas partner to provide reading choices and programs for students year round. Through the Texas Library Association, reading lists are available for all ages (including adults)! The lists are crafted every year by professional librarians and educators who read thousands of titles to come up with annual lists designed to promote reading and a love of learning. During the summer, Texas public libraries proudly offer the Texas Summer Reading Club program to all kids. This year’s sciencethemed base for elementary students is “Fizz, Boom, Read!” and “Spark a Reaction!” for teens.

Promotional materials feature the artwork of some notable figures. Artist Dan Santat, the author of Sidekicks and the creator of the Disney animated hit, The Replacements, has developed materials for “Fizz, Boom, Read!” Illustrator Tim O’Brien, creator of the covers of the Hunger Games series and wellknown for his portraits of the famous celebrities and politicians, developed materials for “Spark a Reaction.” Coordinated through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, the Texas Summer Reading Program is free and has been a mainstay of summer learning in public libraries for over 50 years. School libraries support this effort and work to get kids to join in on the fun. Participating students receive bookmarks, reading logs, and certificates. Many libraries offer additional reading resources along with some materials to help use the reading program to enhance specific STEM skills. We encourage all parents to check out the TLA reading lists, visit their school and public libraries, and most importantly, join in all the reading fun.


This quiz can help your teen Get ready to roll For teenagers who are gearing up to earn a learner’s permit to drive, the process inevitably requires an exam to test knowledge of your state’s traffic laws. While some questions on state sites specifically speak to local laws, the following practice questions address universal, safe-driving practices. Test your teen’s awareness, then see how you fare after driving for all of these years. (Answers are at the bottom.) 1. You may drive off of the paved roadway to pass another vehicle: a. If the shoulder is wide enough to accommodate your vehicle b. If the vehicle ahead of you is turning left c. Under no circumstances 2. You are approaching a railroad crossing with no warning devices and are unable to see 400 feet down the tracks in one direction. The speed limit is: a. 15 mph b. 20 mph c. 25 mph 3. When parking your vehicle parallel to the curb on a level street: a. Your front wheels must be turned toward the street b. Your wheels must be 18 inches within the curb c. One of your rear wheels must touch the curb 4. Prior to entering a curve, you should: a. Activate your turn signal b. Reduce speed c. Brake hard 5. While driving on the roadway with single broken white line markings: a. You must stay within your lane b. You may cross it to change lanes c. You may change lanes only if in the left lane

6. When driving in a fog, it’s best to drive with: a. High beam headlights b. Low beam headlights c. Four-way flashers 7. What is the most important driving technique to avoid crashes when driving in icy or snowy conditions? a. Get off the highway as soon as possible b. Engage 4-wheel drive on the vehicle c. Reduce speed and increase following distance 8. A flashing red traffic signal at an intersection has the same requirements as which of the following? a. A slow sign b. A yield sign c. A stop sign 9. When two vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time, which one has the right-of-way when no signs or signals indicate rules? a. The car approaching from the right b. The car approaching from the left c. The car that is traveling faster 10. If, while driving, a tire suddenly blows out, you should: a. Grip the steering wheel firmly, slow down and exit from the traffic lanes b. Pump the brakes rapidly c. Brake hard and steer toward the right side of the roadway Sources: California Department of Motor Vehicles, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Georgia Department of Driver Services. See more at: Answers: 1. C; 2. A; 3. B; 4. B; 5. B; 6. B; 7. C; 8. C; 9. A; 10. A



Preventing Summer Learning Loss

Kim Kofron, VP of Advocacy for the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children By Kim Kofron, currently the VP of Advocacy for the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children and the Elementary Contract Services Director for Sylvan Learning of Austin. Ms. Kofron holds a M.Ed. from the University of Texas in Early Childhood Special Education. Most importantly, she is the proud mom of two students in Round Rock ISD and a PTA member. It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner. Like me you are probably striving to finalize the details of your child’s summer; making certain that there is a balance between relaxation, fun and preventing summer learning loss! Your child has worked hard during the school year to improve their math skills, increase their reading level and develop their writing techniques; you don’t want them to slip backwards over the summer months. In typing Summer Learning Loss into your web browser you will find that you are inundated with a variety of articles and activities related to what you can do with your child at home throughout the summer. But what really is summer learning loss and what is the best means for preventing it?

Summer learning loss is the loss in academic skills a child is demonstrating from the end of her current school year to the beginning of the next. According to the National Summer Learning Association, “all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer.” Most students lose

on average about two months of knowledge in math computation skills while low-income students can lose two months of reading skills as well (NSLA website). According to an online survey by Sylvan Learning (December, 2013), 88% of Moms with school-age kids consider themselves their children’s CEO, Chief Education Officer, leaving parents in charge of preventing summer learning loss. But for many of us, we may not even know where to start.

Summer Camps Summer camps are a great way for your child to learn new things, explore interests and work on independence. But with so many choices out there, how do you know which camps will meet your child’s needs?

The first thing to do is determine what you and your child are looking for in a camp. Do you want full day, part day, overnight, special interests, academic, etc.? The choices can seem endless.

You should also seek out Camps that are of a high quality. You’ll want to ensure that they are licensed through The Texas Department of State Health Services or other accrediting organizations. Camp Fairs and the internet are full of choices and can help you narrow your search. But you might find the best resource, next door. Literally, ask your friends, co-workers and neighbors what camps their children have liked and have had good experiences. Of course there are some basics to research. The cost, the student to adult ratio, meals, and how emergencies are planned for and addressed are all items to consider. Remember to involve your child in the process of finding the perfect camp, if they are excited about the camp it will be a success!

Preventing summer learning loss doesn’t mean our children should be in summer activities and camps that replicate the school day but rather, activities and camps that keep them thinking, exploring, and practicing the skills they have learned throughout the school year. Summer vacation is meant to be a time for your child to rejuvenate from the daily schedule and pressures of school and homework but also a time to explore what interests them as individuals and challenges them to continue to learn. 8

Activities and projects that can be done at home

Summer camps are great fun and experiences for children but they usually do not spend all summer at camp, so what do we do with them at home? It can be overwhelming to figure out how to keep them busy, active and productive throughout the summer.

Reading: • Join your public library and set a “Number of Books I’ve Read” challenge for your children. Once they reach their goal, they get a trip to the closest water park or another pre-set reward. Help your child find the type of books he might like best—mysteries, action, history, non-fiction, comic books, etc. • Family Book Club: for younger children take turns reading aloud to each other. Older children can read the same book at the same time, then have conversations about the various characters, plot and predict what is going to happen next. • For younger elementary students, have them sort the mail by reading who it is addressed to or make a game out of reading the menu at a restaurant the fastest by choosing what they want to eat. • For older students, have them research the video game they are interested in purchasing. • Going on a family vacation, have your children research what they would like to do once you arrive at your destination.

Math: • If you are going on a road trip, have your children map the distance and answer questions like, “which route has the shortest mileage?” or “What location is half way to spend the night?” • Cook with your children: any cooking project which involves measurements is math, plus it is a great life skill. • Help with Packing: no matter if your child is going over night to the grandparents or going to a week-long summer camp they can help pack. Have them figure out how many nights and days they will be gone therefore how many sets of clothes they need. • Calendar Math: Have your child count the number of days of summer, how many days until they go on vacation or how many days until friends come to visit. • While in the car you have a captive audience and it is a great time to play math games: count how many blue cars you see between home and the grocery store, estimate how many semitrucks you will see, then count them to determine who was closest, estimate the time you will arrive home—the closest estimate is the winner.

Writing/Spelling/Vocabulary: • Pen Pals: it may be a lost art in the age of texting and email but it doesn’t have to be. Start a pen pal relationship with a family member or family friend. • Summer Journal: using a simple spiral notebook, students can write a journal throughout the summer on their various activities over the summer. • Family Scrapbooking: if you have old photos or new photos from a more recent event or trip, your child can make a scrapbook, labeling the photos with special memories. • Word Games: scrabble, crossword puzzles, rhyming games and word games. • Create a Word Wall: for younger children as they learn a new word write it on an index card and tape it to the wall, poster board or even the fridge.

Advertise in The Voice! For the new rate and spec sheet, visit!

Photos from the state Reflections award ceremony are on page 29 Don’t miss the Outstanding Interpretation Reflections winners present their winning entries live at LAUNCH: SLS 2014! Add a ticket for the Legacy Brunch to your registration now! 9


The Art of Saving: Savings account? What savings account? By Daniel Philhower, Texas PTA Director of Finance

Does this sound like something you would say? If you’re like

76% of American’s who live paycheck to paycheck then this may sound familiar. A CashNetUSA survey asked people about how much money they had in savings to cover an emergency.

22% have less than $100 46% Have less than $800 27% Have no savings (, Johnson, 2013).

If parents are struggling to save, how can they teach their children this foundational principle of financial health? It may be easier than you think. The financial choices made by parents and the economic environment at large, can impact how children view money. In the spring issue of The Voice, we laid out the frame work for this year’s financial education series. Last quarter, we introduced methods to teach your kids “money doesn’t grow on trees!” and set the foundation we will build over the next few months. Texas PTA’s mission is to ensure that every child’s potential becomes a reality. That means that as a PTA family, we should invest in our children’s financial education because one day our kids will be running our businesses and government. In this article we are going to discuss savings and how to instill good saving habits in our kids. This fall we’ll dive into everyone’s favorite topic, budgeting, followed by a winter article on giving. These four foundations of financial literacy are key to ensuring

our children grow up to be self-sufficient citizens who can contribute to the tax base and are successful long into adulthood. Last quarter we suggested giving your kids an allowance to teach them that money is not endless. Before we start our discussion on saving, let’s first talk about the “value” of money. If you’ve implemented the principles discussed in the spring edition, then the next step is to associate your kids’ allowance with work. Kids as young as 6 can be given chores around the house to earn their allowance. Don’t change the allowance amounts, but rather teach your child that money is earned, not given. Doing so will instill a work ethic that will carry them into adulthood; not to mention the satisfaction of earning their own money will give your children a sense of pride in the work they do for you around the house. Some parents may not like the idea of chores, but what kids should understand is while they’re growing up they are citizens of your home. When they are grown and move out, they become citizens of the country (Dave Ramsey, 2014).

The four foundations of financial literacy are key to ensuring our children grow up to be self-sufficient citizens who can contribute to the tax base and are successful long into adulthood.


In either case, they need to work and earn their keep and contribute to the community; be that the household or the country.

piggy bank and the decline of what’s left on the savings chart.

Raising kids to be financially sound individuals can be as easy as establishing healthy habits. It is said that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. So we’ll take this a step further and say it can take just over 21 weeks to establish a lifelong habit of healthy saving. Now, a 21 week savings lesson may not work necessarily for your 6 year old, but it will work for the older “citizens” of your household. So let’s first start with your middle school to high school aged kids and we’ll modify the concepts for your younger children.

Use this also as a teachable math opportunity to subtract the savings amount. To ensure the student doesn’t lose interest in this lesson, pick an attainable goal to achieve within a month at most. The point here again is to establish a habit of saving with a prize at the end.

Assign appropriately aged chores for your kids to earn their weekly/monthly allowances. Give them an option to work “overtime” and earn more if your family budget can allow it. Just be careful not to underestimate our kids. They may just surprise you and go overboard with chores and expect a hefty allowance in return.

Once the student attains their goal, allow them to take their money and make the purchase themselves, and congratulate them on a task that few adults have mastered.

As a stipulation of receiving an allowance, require your tween/teenager to save each week. Talk to your kids and help them set a goal amount for an item that they want to purchase that costs more than their regular allowance.

Regardless of the amount being saved, the key is to save consistently and create a habit of healthy saving. Couple this with establishing a strong work ethic and your children will grow up to be financially-literate “citizens” of the greater community.

Let’s say an Xbox One is what your kids “just gotta have!” These game consoles are currently about $485. With this $485 as a goal, establish one day a week on which your child will set aside a pre-determined amount as savings. You can either open an account for your child or have an ol’ fashioned piggy bank. Though there is a sense of satisfaction in seeing a piggy bank get heavier and heavier as you save, opening an account for them may be another teachable opportunity to learn about banking. To establish a habit of saving, start small and work up, but have your child save consistently each week. For example, on week one your child could save $2. The following week, the savings amount is $4, then $6, then $8. By doing incremental savings each week, your child is establishing a healthy habit of saving….and getting the money they need to buy what they want. The table below shows how the incremental savings adds up. So in just over 21 weeks, your student will have the money needed to buy the Xbox One, and they’re on their way to a healthy fiscal understanding of savings. Establishing good habits with your teenager is a task in of its self. Accomplishing the same goal with your kindergartner is quite another undertaking. Apply the same concepts as with teenagers with your elementary students as well, just at a much smaller scale. Working with the allowance you’ve already established, teach your children the value of this allowance by associating the money with work. Even a 6 year old can share in the family chores. There are jobs that all children should do simply because they are good “citizens” of the house, but there are age appropriate chores for most children.


Start again by establishing an end goal for your young children. For example, an $18 copy of the movie Frozen. Create a similar table but instead countdown from $18 every time they contribute to their piggy bank. Let them see the accumulation of the money in the

Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Total Saved

Money put in savings $2.00 $4.00 $6.00 $8.00 $10.00 $12.00 $14.00 $16.00 $18.00 $20.00 $22.00 $24.00 $26.00 $28.00 $30.00 $32.00 $34.00 $36.00 $38.00 $40.00 $42.00 $44.00 $506.00


Bylaws Questions

1. How do I get a current copy of my PTA’s bylaws?

4. How long does it take for Texas PTA to review bylaws?

6. What happens if we can’t fill all our positions right now?

9. Is it true that our bylaws now allow students to join PTA?

Complete the 10 second form. You will receive a copy of your bylaws on the current template, with the last reviewed and approved stamp date.

Texas PTA requests that you allow 6 – 8 weeks. We have just transitioned to a new volunteer bylaws review committee and expect to catch up on reviewing bylaws now.

Any positions not filled during the election by the membership become “vacant.” A vacancy is filled by vote of a majority of the executive board.

Yes, the minimum age requirement was removed from your bylaws. Texas PTA encourages middle school and high school PTAs to recruit students. Texas PTA will be publishing a series on recruiting and engaging student members in PTA. More information can be found on the student webpage.

2. How do we change something in our bylaws? A change to your bylaws is an amendment and requires notice to your members and a vote. Detailed instructions are found on the bylaws webpage. 3. What are Standing Rules? Standing Rules are not required. They contain details about day to day operations of the PTA.

5. Where can I learn more about how the new bylaws template affects my PTA? The new revised bylaws template contains several provisions to make it easier for your PTA. A recorded webinar and detailed listing of the amendments can be found on the bylaws webpage.

7. Who should I contact to check on the status of our submitted bylaws? Contact or 1-800-825-5782 and ask for Member Services. 8. Who should I contact if I have questions about my PTA’s bylaws? Texas PTA’s Member Services Department is happy to help. Contact us at bylaws@txpta. org or 1-800-825-5782.

10. How do we amend our PTA’s Standing Rules? Amendments to standing rules must be approved by 2/3 vote of your membership without notice or majority vote with notice. Standing Rules can be “suspended” when a temporary change is needed with majority vote without notice.


SUMMER ART ENRICHMENT IDEAS The summer is a great time to expose kids to various art forms. Kids can enroll in art camps and classes offered in your community. Educate your entire family in the arts by attending art festivals and visiting art museums while on vacation or exploring your own community. Below are some ideas to consider implementing with your own children or with groups of children in your neighborhood. Host a Neighborhood Art Event Reserve the community center and gather up art supplies from your neighbors and invite the kids to a day of art. This would be a great idea for the Fourth of July, when many communities celebrate together: • Assist the neighborhood kids in creating Fourth of July decorations to be displayed throughout the neighborhood or at the neighborhood Fourth of July party. Pinterest and have lots of inexpensive fun craft projects that would lend well for this activity. • Introduce culinary art by having the kids decorate cupcakes or cookies for the party. • Add a little more excitement by having a contest and parade of decorated bikes in celebration of the 4th of July. • Round up the kids in the neighborhood that play an instrument and encourage them to play a song together in celebration of our Independence Day.


You can facilitate any of these activities for any reason at all, and include kids of all ages. They are great ways to channel the energy, creativity and fight boredom that kids tend to experience during the summer months.

Artistically Document Summer Vacation • Talk to the local newspaper and encourage them to publish an article on how kids in the area spent their summer break. Then solicit photographs, drawings and stories from the local area kids. This activity exposes children to photography, visual arts and literature. • Journaling is a form of literature that anyone can undertake. Kids can write in their summer journal each day or week. Then at the end of the summer publish a book that turns their journal entry into a great story. • A documentary film of your child’s summer would be exciting to create and fun to watch. Teens may find this type of project especially appealing, as they would be able to edit the film using some of the popular software available. There are also several film contest and scholarships for which a film of this type, would serve as a great submission.

Host a Reflections Party Summer is the perfect time for kids to create entries for the Reflections Program, without the challenge of managing class and homework. They have plenty of time and inspiration is all around them. The theme for the 2014-2015 Reflections Program is: “The World Would Be A Better Place If...” Kids have lots of opinions on this topic! Gather up a group of kids from school or a variety of schools in the area and host a Reflections party. You can choose one or several arts categories for which they can create entries. You can solicit other parents willing to host a Reflections party and assign an arts category to each parent. By the time school starts, your kids will have their Reflections entries ready to submit. Information about the Reflections program can be found on the Arts in Education webpage.

Summer should be relaxing, fun and engaging. Engaging in the arts is a great way to do all three. TXPTA.pdf 1 1/24/2014 5:35:10 PM

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$10 $25

Name and Phone

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$25 $25 $25

Email: __________________________ Gift Cards will be returned to you by:

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Hyatt Marriott, Courtyard ** Applebee's Arby's Burger King Bruster’s Carl’s Jr. / Hardee’s Cheesecake Factory Chili’s, On the Border Maggianos Little Italy Chipotle Chuck E. Cheese Coldstone Creamery

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To reserve your free order forms and speak with a Fundraising/Planning Consultant call Toll-free 866.611.9701 or email us at


Your Voice: Advocacy Texas PTA Conducts Survey to Learn How Well ISDs Communicate Earlier this month Texas PTA conducted a member survey to find out how schools are communicating about the changes to graduation requirements, state-mandated testing, and community and student engagement evaluations. It is likely that the quality and timeliness of district communication may have been affected by the volume of changes that must be implemented in a very short period of time and the delay, in some cases, of guidance from the Texas Education Agency. Many of the comments submitted in the survey indicated that districts seemed to lack clear guidance and were often unable to answer specific questions parents have about the new policies. In spite of these challenges we believe that many school districts have communicated with parents and students. It is our charge at Texas PTA to continue to work with districts to foster and encourage communication between schools and families. Texas PTA will conduct a follow-up survey in a few weeks and will report any significant changes in results to the members of the committee. The School District Communication Survey Results are available in full at Many thanks to those of you who responded to this survey! 16

Need information on new graduation requirements and endorsements? The Texas Legislature last year created the new 22-credit Foundation High School Program, which allows students to earn performance acknowledgments and four-credit endorsements in specific areas of interest. More information about the new graduation requirements can be found in the documents listed below at • General Overview of Foundation High School Program--Feb. 2014 • Graduation Programs Side by Side • Foundation High School Program FAQs--March 2014 • Endorsement FAQs--March 2014 • Coming Soon: Performance Acknowledgment FAQs

Texas PTA Leaders Testify Before Education Committees President Leslie Boggs and President-elect Lisa Holbrook testified recently before the House Public Education and Senate Education Committees on the topics of new graduation requirements, Texas PTA’s Community and Student Engagement Evaluation Toolkit, and how well ISDs are communicating with families about these changes for public schools. Be watching for a follow-up survey later this month.

Family and Student Engagement Evaluations Being Conducted Now in Your ISD HB 5’s Community and Student Engagement Evaluation acknowledges what we at Texas PTA know to be true: students do better when families are engaged in their school experience. It is also an acknowledgement that test scores are only one way to judge the success of a school and we are BIG believers in that. Texas PTA has created a free toolkit for use by PTA schools and school districts to assist in the implementation of the new evaluation requirement. The Toolkit offers a step-by-step guide that begins with establishing a local committee and ends with goal setting to increase engagement. The Toolkit includes a brief family survey that can be used to establish a baseline for engagement in your

district, resources for criteria to evaluate each of the 8 factors that must be considered, and information on PTA’s excellent programs and other resources that may be utilized to increase community and student engagement going forward. The Legislature has provided a unique opportunity for parents and schools to collaborate and support one another to create the best educational environment possible for our students. Texas PTA is committed to celebrating the many successes in our public schools and eliminating the challenges to effective family engagement. If you haven’t heard anything about this new evaluation, ask your principal or PTA president.

Did You Know? The state legislature passed a law that limits the number of benchmark tests that a school may administer in preparation for statemandated tests to two. Benchmark tests are tests that schools administer to prepare students for STAAR tests and high school End-of-Course tests. The new law allows schools to administer no more than two of these tests in each subject area that is tested. The number of benchmark tests administered varies from district to district, but many parents have expressed concern about the amount of time schools spend preparing students to take the state-mandated tests, so Texas PTA advocated last session for a limit on the number of benchmarks that may be administered.

LAUNCH: Summer Leadership Seminar 2014

If you haven’t heard about this on your campus, ask your PTA representative or your school administrator.

July 18-20 in Houston |

Important Dates:

Watch for upcoming emails about advocacy sessions and more:

April 22 | House Public Education Committee hearing at the capitol

• Meet members of the newly selected state Advocacy Committee • Find out why advocacy matters to you, your child, and your community • Learn about possible priorities for the next legislative session and give us your ideas

May 19-23 | Early voting period primary run-off election May 27 | Primary run-off election Feb. 26, 2015 | Texas PTA Rally Day at the Capitol 17

Get Connected! CALL



JOIN PTAs all across Texas for

PTA Connection Day

Call, text, or email the total number of members your PTA has recruited so far this year to Texas PTA on September 18, 2014!  Staff will be standing by to record your information and keep a running tally of our statewide total.  Watch the total rise on the Texas PTA website and know that your PTA is counted in that total!  Participating PTAs will be recognized on the Texas PTA website and will be eligible for a prize drawing.

LAUNCH your PTA into the 2014-2015 school year. JULY 18-20 | HOUSTON LAUNCH Summer Leadership Seminar features PTA training relevant to goals and challenges PTAs, parents and educators face.

Workshop topics include:

• Job-Specific PTA Training

• Special Education

• Family Engagement

• Diversity & Inclusiveness

• Membership Campaign Ideas • Gifted & Talented Students • Fundraising

• Graduation Requirements

• Communications • Advocacy

• Networking Opportunities • Parent Education

and more!

Last year, 3,300 Local PTA leaders, representing 993 Local PTAs from all over Texas attended our summer training event, and we can’t wait to welcome you to Houston!

Visit for all the details!

Gone to Texas Texas is one of the most ethnically diverse states in the US and continues to see constant growth, partly because of the attractive economy and job market. According to a Time magazine article written by Tyler Cowen, “The phrase Gone to Texas (GTT) was the expression once used by Americans fleeing to the Lone Star State to escape debt or the law – posted as a sign on a fence or scratched into the door of an abandoned home.” While you may not see Gone to Texas signs anymore, migration to Texas remains constant. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Texas Education Agency reported that enrollment in Texas public schools is continuing to “surge” with 5,151,925 students enrolled in 2013-2014, with the majority Hispanic for the third straight year. The Dallas Morning News reported that Texas’s major metropolitan areas are still some of the fastest-growing in the U.S. with Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land and Dallas/fort Worth/Arlington in the top 3. Texas PTA’s Campus and Multi-cultural Outreach Managers, Cecilia Ortiz and Debbie Agudelo-Garza are supporting volunteer leaders in Dallas and Houston to engage families and communities for student success.

Debbie’s Personal Experience Growing Up: Growing up in a household with immigrant parents, I felt that the expectation was held high for higher education, but there were several barriers that made it difficult for my parents to be involved in my school. It was almost as if school involvement for them was out of arm’s reach. Research has proven that parental involvement is a key indicator to student success, yet there are still some factors which make it difficult for the Hispanic community to be involved such as the lack of the English language, low educational attainment and the differences in culture.


Pe r s o n a l l y, I recall my parents expressing concern about a lack of communication with non-English speaking parents. There was also a misconception culturally how parents were not to cross that imaginary line that separated the parents from the teachers. I want to bridge that cultural barrier and help parents feel invited and welcomed at our schools through PTA.

Debbie’s Personal Experience as a Teacher: As an educator I continued to see disconnection between the school and the Hispanic community. In a perfect world, the vision would be to create a strong circle to bond all of the parties involved to help with student success. Many of the factors are cultural, again accepting that not everyone looks the same or even speaks the same first language. The Hispanic community continues to grow in Texas and the need for parent involvement is great. There has definitely been some positive changes in the education system that has opened new doors for parents to be involved. As the Campus and Multicultural Outreach Manager for Texas PTA in Houston, I am striving to build bridges.

How Texas PTA is getting involved: Cecilia believes that her interaction with members and the community has validated the importance of communication. Interacting with diversified communities has enabled her to assist and educate families

that come from countries where PTA is not the norm. One PTA member told Cecilia,

“PTA helped me recognize that family involvement improves student achievements.” By providing bilingual workshops and programs, Texas PTA has been able to reach out to diverse communities and reinforce the importance of a PTA membership. Walking into a meeting and educating parents, faculty,

administrators and the community of the importance of parent involvement and PTA, is something that she greatly enjoys. Educating and providing resources for all families, while assisting multicultural communities in finding their voice through PTA is inspiring. Families are empowered when they make a difference at the local, State and National level.

Outreach tips from Debbie and Cecilia • Be open, welcoming and encouraging • Utilize Texas PTA and National PTA resources and materials • Work with school districts to find interpreters for PTA meetings and programs • Translate written communications • Promote skill development • Encourage parent ownership

“I was not sure I could be part of the board, but after attending Summer Leadership Seminar, I know that I can!” -Maria Elena Gomez, Pleasant Grove PTA, Dallas



24/7 Access to State-Funded Math & Reading Programs

! E E FR

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Individualized learning for students Students love using these fun, engaging programs. Teachers and parents love them too because students can improve math and reading skills at home and at school.

Don’t believe us? Watch and read about SUCCESS stories at While you’re there, check out more of the Texas SUCCESS website for tips and quick start information.

visit Texas SUCCESS provides access to state-funded online, computer adaptive programs that support grade 3-8 Texas public school students at all skill levels through 8/31/14.

Education Service Center, Region 20 serves as the SSI Support Center for Texas SUCCESS (877) 315-4918 (toll free) |


Introducing the S.T.A.R. Co-op

Sharing Tools, Accessories and Resources

Texas PTA’s new store! Introducing a cooperative marketplace for Sharing Tools, Accessories and Resources (S.T.A.R.) and get everything you need for your Local PTA. The S.T.A.R. Coop is your one-stop shop! We have resources and tools for your PTA leaders, accessories and gifts for your volunteers, KEEP CALM teachers, AND administrators, and family PRETEND members, as well as IT’S ON THE a little something for LESSON PLAN yourself. The S.T.A.R. Co-op will also be the best place to stock up on PTA apparel like volunteer T-shirts, polos, and men’s fishing shirts. Additionally, we have partnered with a few new vendors to bring you some incredible products. We are excited to highlight some new offerings we’ve put together! Don’t worry, resource guides, itemized receipt forms, membership dues envelopes and other PTA necessities are still available.


We have expanded our catalog of products to include more items for the men who are actively participating in our children’s education, as well as the bite-sized and fourlegged members of your family!

We have put together some items to help you do that all next year! We hope by providing tools to show appreciation, you won’t need to make a trip to Hobby Lobby every time you need to thank someone.

The Executive Collection

Pamba Toto Spotlight

We are excited to bring you a new collection of products that really make an impression. The Executive Collection will come at a higher price point than most of our items, but these products are designed to be high-quality gifts fit for principals, administrators, school board members, teachers, community members and your own PTA board!

Our effort is to further PTA’s vision of ensuring every child has a voice, not only in Texas but around the world.

The Appreciation Station Teacher appreciation week ends in May, but teachers, administrators and volunteers always deserve to be appreciated for all they do for our kids, and for your PTA.

The S.T.A.R. Co-op will now sell Pamba Toto products to empower children around the world to reach their potential.

There are two million orphans in Kenya, an East African country of about 30 million people. Some ens at sc of these can be found happ h t oo ha in Kenya’s Mathare l W Valley, three square miles inhabited by 90,000 people living in poverty.

stays at school... Unless your mom is in the PTA!

Pamba Toto is a grass-roots, female-driven nonprofit that raises money to rescue these orphaned children out of the Mathare Valley slum and put them on the road to success. Pamba Toto creates some amazing handmade jewelry, scarfs, art and home décor; all using fair trade materials. Many items are made by the children that are benefiting from Pamba Toto’s work in Kenya. Proceeds from The S.T.A.R. Co-op are used by Texas PTA to support and empower our Texas family of Local PTAs. We hope you can see the S.T.A.R. Co-op in its premiere venue: LAUNCH: Summer Leadership Seminar! Keep your eyes peeled for your chance to win some of these new products (before they are available) and discounts to use on your back-to-school purchases!

Shop the S.T.A.R. Co-op and support your PTA’s mission to ensure every child’s potential is a reality in Texas and

around the world!

2014 Science Teachers and Industry Workshop Learning about Chemicals and The Environment July 21-24 | Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) During the four-day program, teachers spend six hours a day being students again, participating in a broad spectrum of exercises, being part of a panel discussion, and touring a chemical plant and a recycling facility. We provide 6th - 12th grade science teachers with a more informed view of how chemicals are manufactured, and a more balanced view of environmental issues in Texas. Stipend available if attending all 4 days. To get more information, visit the Texas Chemical Council at 23


Summer Events Calendar from! Use this calender to look for events happening in your part of Texas, or something new that’s on the way to your vacation spot! Important Note: Event dates were correct at the time of compilation and are subject to change. Please confirm dates in advance by using the contact information listed or by contacting the local chamber of commerce or convention and visitors bureau. This is only a partial list of all the fun and exciting events Texas has to offer—for more event listings, visit

MAY 1-4—JEFFERSON: Jefferson Historical Pilgrimage Tour five beautiful and historic churches Friday and Saturday. Also enjoy Battle for Jefferson re-enactments, a craft fair, street dance, ladies’ tea, the Old South Ball, performances of the Diamond Bessie Murder Trial play and other living-history events. | 903/665-2513 or 903/200-5787 2-4—ARLINGTON: Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games Hosts a Highland dance championship, athletic competitions, Scottish food and ale, fiddlers, children’s activities, Ceilidh and more. Maverick Stadium, University of Texas at Arlington. | 800/363-7268 2-4—HUNTSVILLE: General Sam Houston Folk Festival Celebration of the life of Gen. Sam Houston features life-skill demonstrations, authentic 19th century dress, entertainment area and hands-on activities. Sam Houston Memorial Museum. | 936/294-1832 8-10—ABILENE: Western Heritage Classic This three-day event features a ranch rodeo and other activities that highlight Western history and lifestyles. Activities include a street dance, preview gala, the world’s largest bit-and-spur show, a Western art show, a chuck wagon cook-off, ranch rodeo, nightly dances, invitational ranch-horse sale, a working ranch-horse competition and children’s rodeo events. Taylor County Expo Center. | 325/677-4376 9-11—CRYSTAL BEACH: Texas Crab Festival This 29th-annual event features a boatload of Gulf Coast food, music and activities, including crab races, a gumbo cook-off, carnival games and wienerdog races. Gregory Park. 16-18—PASADENA: Strawberry Festival This 41st-annual event features live entertainment, a children’s area and the world’s largest strawberry shortcake, a mud volleyball tournament, barbecue cook-off, children’s activities, contests, wine tasting, vendors and more. Pasadena Fairgrounds. | 281/991-9500 19-25—FORT WORTH: Crowne Plaza Invitational This golf tournament, held annually at the Colonial Country Club since 1946, is the longest-running event on the PGA tour that’s still being held at its original site. | 817/927-4280


22-JUNE 8—KERRVILLE: Kerrville Folk Festival This Texas Hill Country-based international music festival features more than 100 songwriters and their bands. Includes concerts, arts and crafts, kids’ concerts, food and camping. Quiet Valley Ranch. | 830/257-3600 23-25—ENNIS: National Polka Festival Features authentic cuisine, sounds and costumes of Czech and Slovak heritage, parade, live bands, and arts and crafts. Downtown Ennis and Czech Halls. | 972/878-4748 SAN MARCOS: Viva! Cinco de Mayo and State Menudo Cookoff Includes music, a parade, state championship menudo cook-off and folklorico dancers. Hays County Civic Center. (2013 event was May 3-5)

JUNE 1-AUG. 16—CANYON: Texas Musical Drama Enjoy an evening of music, dance and entertainment provided by 80 professional performers every Tuesday through Sunday night during the summer. Dinner, catered by the Big Texan Steak Ranch, can be purchased before the show. Pioneer Amphitheatre at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. | 806/655-2181 6-7, 12-14—LOCKHART: Chisholm Trail Roundup This 42ndannual barbecue and music festival features a cowboy breakfast around a chuck wagon in courthouse square, a carnival, rodeo, pageants, auction, exhibits, food and craft vendors, live music, contests and the Grand Parade on Saturday morning. The barbecue and chili cook-offs take place the weekend before, June 6-7. Lockhart City Park. | 512/398-2818 7-8—SAN ANTONIO: Texas Folklife Festival This two-day celebration of Texas lifeways features authentic cuisine, entertainment and artisans. More than 40 ethnic groups represented in great food, music, dance and crafts. Institute of Texan Cultures at HemisFair Park, 801 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd. | 800/776-7651 13-15—ARANSAS PASS: Shrimporee The largest shrimp festival in Texas, now in its 66th year, offers live entertainment and dancing all weekend, as well as culinary events, carnival rides and a parade. Johnson Community Park. | 361/758-2750 or 800-633-3028 14—CROCKETT: World Champion Fiddlers Festival and Regional Steak Cook-Off Fiddlers of all ages compete for the World Championship title from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Also enjoy the antique tractor and classic car show and parade, arts-and-crafts vendors, the steak cook-off and dinner. Held annually on the second Saturday in June. Crockett Civic Center, 1100 Edmiston Drive. | 936/544-2359 14—EAST BERNARD: Kolache-Klobase Festival Features a full day of Czech music, food, arts and crafts, children’s activities and plenty of kolaches. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Riverside Hall. | 979/335-7907 26

14—JACKSONVILLE: Tomato Fest This festival—home to the world’s largest bowl of salsa (weighing 2,672 pounds)—features a tomato-eating contest, Chili’s Street Dance, live entertainment, a talent contest, history display, vendors, a tennis tournament and fishing tournament. Downtown, 526 E. Commerce St. | 903/586-2217 19-21, 26-28—ALBANY: Fort Griffin Fandangle With singing, dancing, pantomime and pageantry, this outdoor musical re-creates the look and feel of life in the frontier days of the Old West. Prairie Theater. | 325/762-3838 or 325/762-2525 26-29—LULING: Watermelon Thump Includes a parade, continuous live entertainment, world championship seed-spitting and melon eating contests, arts and crafts, car show and a carnival. Live musical entertainment includes performances by American Aquarium, Kevin Fowler, Bri Bagwell, Earl Thomas Conley, Wade Bowen, Jimmy Butler and Vince Vance and the Valiants. Downtown and Watermelon Thump Pavilion. | 830/875-3214 ext. 2

JULY 4—DALLAS: Fair Park Fourth Celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, patriotic performances, dancing water shows at the Esplanade Foundation, children’s activities and entertainment, and reduced admission to Fair Park museums. Fair Park. 4—HOUSTON: Freedom Over Texas Houston’s skyline is the backdrop for this patriotic celebration, which features headliner concerts, family activities and a fireworks blowout. Eleanor Tinsley Park. 4-5—KINGSLAND: Aqua Boom Enjoy two days in the Highland Lakes with parades, fireworks, water activities, arts-and-crafts vendors, food, live music, cook-offs, games and a street dance. Various locations. 4-6—GRANBURY: Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration This hometown festival includes a parade, decorated bike contest, old-fashioned games, arts and crafts, live entertainment, car show and a fireworks display. Historic downtown square. 7-13—LAMPASAS: Spring Ho Festival Celebrate the heritage of the community with an old-fashioned family festival that includes a parade, pageant, talent contest, museum exhibits, fishing derby, county fair, carnival, arts and crafts, barbecue cook-off, dancing, 10K and 1-mile runs, pet parade and more. On the banks of Sulphur Creek and Historic Hancock Springs. | 512/556-5301 12—WEATHERFORD: Parker County Peach Festival This annual event takes visitors on a trip back to yesteryear with old-fashioned fun, including lots of peachy treats, live entertainment on three stages, artsand-crafts vendors, children’s activities and entertainment, the Peach Pedal Bike Ride and a “42” domino tournament. Held on the second Saturday in July. Historic Downtown. | 888/594-3801

19—FRIONA: Cheeseburger Festival and Cook-Off Come to the official “Cheeseburger Capital of Texas” to taste what competitors cook up. Also enjoy live music, a car show, and arts and crafts vendors. Held the third Saturday in July. Friona City Park, 700 Main St.

29-SEPT. 1—WEST: Westfest This annual Czech polka festival is held each Labor Day weekend. Includes a parade, pageant, Sunday polka Mass, cultural music and dance, Kolache Fun Run, taroky contest, horseshoes, tractor pull and more. West Fairgrounds. | 254/826-5058 |

28-AUG. 3—LONGVIEW: Great Texas Balloon Race This annual event attracts the best hot-air balloon pilots in the nation and often the world. Enjoy a weekend of high-flying fun and excitement including concerts, vendors, special exhibits, air shows, a carnival and children’s activities. Runs concurrent with the U.S. Championships. East Texas Regional Airport.

30-31—BOYS RANCH: Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Rodeo + AdventureFEST In addition to highlighting the skills of the Cal Farley boys and girls ages 5 to 18, this event serves as the annual homecoming for Cal Farley’s alumni on the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Includes a rodeo, barbecue, and festival with games, vendors and more. | 903/753-3281 | 806/372-2341 or 800/687-3722

30-AUG. 3—PORT ISABEL/SOUTH PADRE ISLAND: Texas International Fishing Tournament Held for more than 70 years, this event creates an atmosphere of friendly fishing competition and wholesome family fun. Includes a family fair with contests and games, offshore and bay fishing competitions, a fish fry and food.

30-SEPT. 1—MARFA: Marfa Lights Festival Celebrates the mysterious Marfa lights with a parade, food and craft vendors, live music and street dances. Held on Labor Day Weekend. | 956/943-8438 CLUTE: Great Texas Mosquito Festival Features live concerts, a barbecue and fajita cook-off, horseshoe pitching tournament, the Mosquito Chase Run, arts and crafts, mosquito-calling contest and other competitions. Clute Municipal Park. (2013 event was July 25-27).

30-SEPT. 1—ALPINE: Big Bend Balloon Bash Be a part of the viewing crowd or lend a hand to help balloon crews as colorful balloons soar early each morning above Alpine and dance across the Davis Mountains. OnSunday evening is the Fire Glow and Concert at Alpine’s Buck Stadium, featuring the balloon pilots as they “play” their burners in a fun and memorable outdoor concert. Held on Labor Day Weekend. | 800/371-2971 or 979/265-8392 | 432/837-7486

AUGUST 5-9—DE LEON: 99th Annual De Leon Peach and Melon Festival and Tractor Pull This 100th-annual event features a carnival, food booths and vendors, live music and dancing, a parade, tractor pulls for kids and adults, 5K and 10K runs, “42” tournament, pageant, seed spitting contest and free watermelon on Saturday. Downtown and at the festival grounds. 254/893-6600 | 432/729-4942

SchoolKidz makes back-to-school easier than ever by providing hassle-free school supply kits and fundraisers. Personalized and customized kits No minimum orders Online and Paper ordering available Competitive Pricing / Discounts Free $200 Office Supply Pack Easy to use customer portal

7-9—DALHART: XIT Rodeo and Reunion This event originally started as a gathering of cowboys and their families who lived and worked on what was once the largest fenced ranch in the world. Since 1937, it’s been open to the public and became a local tradition featuring PRCA rodeo action, live music and dancing, parade, contests, pageants, and free barbecue, pork chops and watermelon. Rita Blanca Coliseum and Grounds.

Industry-leading profits Free catalogs, order forms, and marketing materials Customized prize program for students No minimum orders 23—WICHITA FALLS: Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred Includes an endurance ride, criterium races, cycling road races, Wee-Chi-Tah 10K and Half-Marathon Trail Runs, and a consumer show.

Call us at 1-800-975-5487 for more information or visit | 940/322-3223 29-30—BRADY: World Championship Barbecue Goat Cook-Off This is the longest-running goat cook-off in Texas. Also includes an arts-and-crafts fair, washer pitching tournament, the Goat Gallop 5K/10K Fun Run and Walk, a street dance and children’s games. Richards Park. Held on Labor Day Weekend. 325/597-3491 |

Award Winner Our Teacher Tailored School Supply Kit Program earned the P.T.P.A. Seal of Approval for our service.


State Reflections Award Ceremony In April, Texas PTA awarded our state Reflections Outstanding Interpretation, Overall Award of Excellence, Award of Excellence, Awards of Merit and Honorable Mention winners.

Primary Award Winners

Intermediate Award Winners

Middle Junior Music

Middle Junior Photography

High School Film 28

Middle Junior Visual Arts

Middle Junior Literature

Middle Junior Dance

High School Visual Arts

High School Literature

High School Photography High School Dance

Middle Junior Film

High School Music

Congratulations to the talented winners! To see the amazing art pieces, look29 for #ReflectionsFridays posts on Facebook!

Get involved!

(local church, community center, student organizations, or in your residence hall)


Don’t go home right away

Use the career/academic counseling center.

Sit in the front of the class.

Talk to your roommate

Communicate, be proactive, & don’t be passive aggressive.

Study regularly

Don’t wait until the night before the exam, get some sleep instead!

Get to know your hall staff if you live on campus. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Work hard your 1st & 2nd year. Raising your GPA after that is difficult. Get to know your professors.

Let yourself take study breaks.

Unplug when you walk across campus People DO face plant while texting and walking. Take the opportunity to say hello to new friends.

Look both ways before you cross the street… yes, really! Don’t text or surf the web in class. (We know it’s tempting!)



Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

This means that a college or university can not release any information to the parent with out express consent of the student.

If you call the university, they will not answer questions about grades or attendance. 30


You’ll miss out on inside jokes & study sessions turned movie marathons that happen on the weekends.


Student can grant access to some things like the financial offices if someone will be paying part of tuition, etc. Calling the residence hall staff to ask if your student is in their room violates FERPA.


Pac need for co take

You don’t need (a room for) a TV bigge

Laptop > ta

Unless you want to ma and late night trips t

Tips on Going to College From the Pros


Christina Gaona, an event Services Manager at Baylor University and Meredith Conrey a Program Coordinator at Sam Houston University have years of experience in student programs in higher education. Here is thier best advice for parents and students getting ready to for college. We know it can be a tough transition, but these tips can help guide you through the process.


Don’t hover.

Don’t call everyday.

Let your Student handle their own problems.

Don’t call the university. (See FERPA) Coach them through the process.

Buy your student a good winter coat so they don’t wear their high school letter jacket... yes, really!

GETHE O T K R R Research scholarships.

ck what you ollege, and then e half.

and won’t have er than 20 inches.


ake last minute to the library.

Discuss how much fun money is allotted per month.

Set aside some money for school spirit apparel — nothing is worse than wearing apparel from the wrong school. It’s okay if your student doesn’t have a car their first year on campus.

Take advantage of the free events and activities on campus.

If you can, book a hotel (ahead of time) for Parent’s Weekend.

It’s okay to go out with friends and not spend lots of money. Get a good pair of walking shoes and rain gear! No one wants to sit through class with wet feet! 31

Welcome to the Family! Join us in Welcoming these New PTAs:




Kennedy-Curry Middle School PTA Alderson Elementary PTA Bess Rankin Elementary PTA Vista Dolphins PTA Cardwell Career Prep PTSA

Dallas Lubbock Arlington Elgin Irving Grand Prairie Dallas Denton

Clay Iglehart Lisa Wade Maria Y. Nava Curtis Craig Latoshia Morris Diana Hernandez Ty-Yeace Thomas Alison Chapman

Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy PTA

Douglass Dolphins Hilltop Montessori PTA Mae Stevens PTA Medrano Dragons PTA Burges Mustangs PTSA DeZavala Elementary PTA Houston Senior High School PTSA Eastern Hills Senior High PTSA

Copperas Cove Stephanie Huckabee

Dallas El Paso Fort Worth Arlington Fort Worth

Gloria Altamira Roger Chavira Tracy Halliday Venetia Wilson Nekedra Anderson

Web Corner Websites for Parents, Kids and Teachers*

Common Sense Media


Ever wish your kid could unwatch something? We’ve all been there. That’s why we’re here. You know how much today’s media and tech can affect kids. We’ll give you the scoop on the latest entertainment and tech so YOU can decide what’s right for YOUR kid. As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, we’re here for you.

iCitizen allows you to efficiently follow and speak out about issues that mean the most to you. You will know more about your elected representatives and have a simple way to share your views — all from the palm of your hand. Make your voice count.

The Voice Summer 2014 • Vol. 105, No. 2 7600 Chevy Chase Drive Building 2, Suite 300 Austin, Tx 78752 •

Texas PTA Board of Directors: President - Leslie Boggs

President-Elect - Lisa Holbrook Vice President Field Service - Catherine Carlin Vice President Leadership - Chris Zimmer Vice President Membership - Elizabeth Campbell, J.D. Vice President Programs & Resources Heather Ashwell-Hair Secretary - Sheri Doss Treasurer - Beth Crymes Directors-at-Large: Pierr Castillo Frances Fass Lee Guerra Fred Henley, J.D. Dr. Sylvia Reyna Neil Shelby Dr. Greg Smith Executive Director - Kyle Ward, CAE Editor-in-Chief - Melissa Day Designer - Catherine Sneed The Voice, the official publication of the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers, is published four times a year — fall, winter, spring and summer. Call 512-476-6769 or visit us on the web for more information. Disclaimer: Articles and advertisements in The Voice do not necessarily represent the viewpoints or policies of Texas PTA. Texas PTA does not endorse non-PTA products or services mentioned in this publication. Reprint permission: Unless otherwise noted, PTAs may reproduce and distribute the materials from The Voice without express written permission. Texas PTA materials may not be duplicated by any other organization or person without written permission from the editor.

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