The Voice: Back To School 2015

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Texas Parent Teacher Association Summer 2015

page 20 Passion in PTA We had a great 2014-2015 PTA year and I am looking forward to what 2015-2016 will bring. We’ve carried out the back the future campaign and saw how eager parents, teachers and commYOUNity members were to back the future of our state’s children. Throughout the 84th Legislative Session we advocated for several bills and made large strides in education legislation. We would like to thank you for your attendance at Rally Day, your calls to action and your efforts in helping bills get passed on issues that include children’s health and safety, juvenile justice, school accountability and more.

We hope you learned many skills at this year’s Summer Leadership Seminar. Please reach out to your State Leaders, as well as, the State Office at 1-800-TALK-PTA with any questions you may have throughout the year. Whether your PTA is made up of over 400 members or 50 members, the recruitment process is year-round. There are students, teachers, school administrators, city leaders, business representatives and many others who can make great contributions to your local PTA. Never forget that your commYOUNity is ready to rally together and help back the future of our children.

Although we are not in session this upcoming year, rest assured Texas PTA will continue being a voice for each and every one of the five million students in our Texas schools.

In this issue of The Voice, you will get to see how one PTA passionately influenced a whole commYOUnity to join forces and support another commYOUnity nearly 200 miles away.

Texas PTA is excited to welcome all of our new and returning officers. Your efforts as you lead volunteers leave a tremendous impact in our schools.

You have the power to make every child’s potential a reality. Your PTA has the power to make a difference.

Leslie Boggs Texas PTA President 2

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CommYOUnity matters

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Legislative update & wrap-up Oustanding Educators of the Year Texas PTA Open House Getting your child on a sleep schedule Reflections 2014-2015 Ceremony Texas PTA Board Elections Talking to your Teen Power of the CommYOUnity Back to School, Back to Homework After School Recipes Thank you for LAUNCHing the School Year with Us Texas PTA Scholarship Opportunities

Dear Promoters of PTA , Where does the summer go? It seems just as we start enjoying a break from school, it’s time to start planning for going back. So that is why you are reading the official “Back to School” issue of this publication in August. Seize the moment with back to school, PTA! Now is the time to use the hype of school beginning to reach beyond the campus walls. Start engaging businesses and individuals in your communities to support PTA. And while it’s logical and important to ask for financial support and donations of certain items, the first goal should be to ask them to join PTA! We appreciate everything businesses and donors do for PTA. However, the best way to ensure a long term commitment is for them to invest in the principles of PTA – family engagement, parent education and advocacy. So how do we do that? Ask them to join! Last year we launched our back the future campaign. It’s still alive. PTAs, please do your part to have not only parents and educators on your campuses join PTA, let’s find the you in commYOUnity by asking our neighbors, family members inside and outside Texas, business and community leaders to back the future and join! Texas PTA is still behind California on total members statewide. Will you join me this year and change that?

Kyle Ward, CAE Executive Director

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Congratulations to our Communications Awards Winners for 2014-2015! Summer 2015 • Vol. 106, No. 2 408 West 11th Austin, TX 78701 • Kyle Ward, CAE Executive Director Darren Grissom Associate Executive Director Rolando Sepulveda Creative Design Specialist Brianna Vela Digital Media Specialist Texas PTA Board of Directors Leslie Boggs President Lisa Holbrook President-Elect Catherine Carlin, Vice President Field Service; Chris Zimmer, Vice President Leadership; Elizabeth Campbell, J.D., Vice President Membership; Heather Ashwell-Hair, Vice President Programs & Resources; Sheri Doss, Secretary; Beth Crymes, Treasurer Directors-at-Large Pierr Castillo, Frances Fass, Lee Guerra, Fred Henley, J.D., Dr. Sylvia Reyna, Neil Shelby, Dr. Greg Smith 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 1-800-TALK-PTA 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 C non-PTA products or services mentioned in this publication. M Reprint permission: Unless otherwise noted, PTAsY may reproduce and distribute the materials from The Voice without express written permission. Texas CM PTA materials may not be duplicated by any other organization or person without written permission MY from the editor. CY




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Carrollton-Farmers Branch Council of PTAs Clear Creek Community Council of PTAs North East ISD Council of PTAs Northside ISD Council of PTAs Northwest ISD Council of PTAs Richardson ISD Council of PTAs

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FREE Back-to-School Publications! Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The campaign offers free educational materials and online resources to encourage all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste. To order publications, go to our website at <>. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

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84th Legislative Session Wrap up One June 1, the 84th Legislative Session ended without the prospect of a Special Session. Texas PTA would like to thank everyone who responded to alerts about legislation, attended Rally Day, and followed the progress of the many policies that impact Texas children and youth. Thanks to you, progress was made in many areas of policy. Lawmakers did not make much progress with the much needed reform of public school finance – not for lack of trying by Representative Jimmie Don Aycock, chairman of the House Public Education Committee, who filed legislation - but choosing instead to delay dealing with the issue until the Texas Supreme Court rules next year. A $210 billion two-year budget was passed that cut business and property taxes by a combined $3.8 billion, putting an additional $1.5 billion into public schools in addition to enrollment growth, $800 million into border security and funding new investments in Pre-Kindergarten and mental health.


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Out of nearly 6,300 proposed bills, lawmakers approved 1,323 the fewest since Gov. George W. Bush’s first session in 1995. Two leaders in the legislature announced their retirement – Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock and Rep. Sylvester Turner. Turner is running for mayor of Houston and Aycock is returning to retirement with his wife of almost 50 years, Marie. Senators Kevin Eltife and Troy Fraser have announced their retirement. Others will no doubt announce their plans in the weeks and months to come. Thomas Ratliff, Vice-Chairman of the State Board of Education (SBOE) announced he will not run for re-election. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, completing his first session in that office, declared he will not be a candidate for governor in 2018. Although the 84th Legislative Session has come to an end, Texas PTA is continuously working to advocate for our children. Visit to read our priorities in early education, juvenile justice, health and safety, school accountability, school choice and student assessment.

Elementary Teacher of the Year Austin Aeschbacher Skyview Elementary Richardson ISD

Elementary Principal of the Year Angela Sugarek Mylie E Durham Elementary Houston ISD

Secondary Teacher of the Year Sebastian Espinoza Stephen F. Austin High School Austin ISD

Superintendent of the Year Dr. Bobby Burns Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

Congratulations to our Outstanding Educator Award recipients!

Secondary Principal of the Year Dr. Lance Hamlin Blalack Middle School Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

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Getting your child on a normal sleep schedule After summer months of staying up late for movie nights and waking up mid-morning for batches of pancakes, it becomes difficult to get children on back to school sleeping schedules. The flexibility of summer sleeping habits comes to a halt as soon as the school bell rings. It is important for students to prepare their bodies for the mental and physical learning they will be accomplishing over the school year. According to Atlanta-based Pediatric Emergency Medicine Doctor Dr. Amita Shroff, school-aged children should be getting more than the recommended 8 hours of sleep. 3-6 Years Old: 10 - 12 hours per day 7-12 Years Old: 10 - 11 hours per day 12-18 Years Old: 8 - 9 hours per day Based on these recommendations, children need to be going to be no later than 9 p.m. Here are a few tips on how to help them Adjust bedtime by 15 minutes per night — As a family, work to gradually adjust everyone’s bedtime by 15 minutes per night. This will help children meet their ideal sleep schedule while creating better habits for you as well. Enforce an electronics curfew — Try to have all electronics turned off at least an hour before bed. Because children take about sixty minutes to wind down to sleep, don’t allow them but most now have smartphones and other gadgets that allow them to text or play games late at night. Try to have them unplug at least an hour before bed.

Apply the 4-7-8 breathing technique — to help the body relax, tell your child to breathe in for a count of four, then hold for a count of seven and release for a count of eight. Repeat four times before going to bed (and do the same in the morning). Add fun to bedtime — read a book and create an environment that kids want to go to at night. Fun touches can include handpainted light bulbs or glow-in-the-dark paint, which can be used to write secret messages your children will see when the lights go out. Reserve their bed for sleeping - While reading is great, Kyle P. Johnson, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Oregon Health and Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, suggests having kids read in a separate chair or bean bag, so that the bed is used only for sleeping. Nix any caffeine - Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep children up at night. It is best for children to not have any caffeine, but if they do, it should not occur after lunchtime. Set the mood - Another way to promote good sleep is to think about the room itself. “Nightlights are okay, but otherwise, you should keep the room dark, cool, and quiet,” says Aneesa M. Das, MD, a sleep expert at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus. Resource: Child Sleep: Recommended Hours For Every Age. (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2015, from parenting/guide/sleep-children? Texas Parent Teacher Association

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Texas students make the world a better place by Brianna Vela, Digital Media Specialist

“The World Would Be a Better Place if…” was the question on children’s minds across the state of Texas this year. Reflecting on their own experiences, students in grades K-12 used their artistic abilities to bring to life the 2014-2015 theme of the National PTA Reflections program. Through Reflections, students have the opportunity to create original works of art in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Out of the submissions from PTAs in Texas, 421 students received state-level recognition for their interpretation of how they would make the world a better place. On June 13, their award ceremonies, categorized into Primary, Intermediate and Middle Junior, were held in the Austin Independent School District Performing Arts Center. Students and their families traveled from every corner of the state to accept their awards and be recognized by Texas PTA President Leslie Boggs. “This day (the ceremony) is all about the children, their success and their potential becoming a reality,” Boggs said. “Seeing the excitement of not only those students but their families sharing in their success is a phenomenal experience for me as Texas PTA President.”


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The first group of students were Kindergarteners, 1st and 2nd graders. They arrived bright and early with their families to accept awards in the Primary Category. Nicholas Jackson (2nd grade) of Clear Creek ISD, used the popular trend of the “selfie” to create his film, “I Can Make the World a Better Place all by my ‘Selfie’.” “I am extremely proud of him for making it to this level,” his father Nathan Jackson said. “He worked hard and had some neat ideas when putting the video together.” Nathan’s video included series of photos of himself showing how he would make the world a better place through sharing books, helping others and recycling. The next ceremony honored Intermediate students, grades 3-6, for their interpretation of “The World Would Be a Better Place If…” Red Oak Council of PTA’s Jax Dwyer (4th grade) used his passion for photography to show how a family of meerkats portray power of unity. “Families are able to do things together and that makes the world a better place,” Dwyer said.

Texas PTA Arts in Education Liaison Sheri Doss is an avid advocate of creativity in schools. Each year she looks forward to seeing how students apply ingenuity into their works of art. “It is so very important for students to participate in Reflections,” Doss said. “They’re creating something that is born out of their own artistic expression and be recognized for it.” Minuki Medis (7th grade), of Frisco Council of PTAs, has been participating in Reflections since she was 6-years-old. Her passion for literature continues to flourish as she captured “The Beauty of Love” in this year’s Reflections entry.

Thirty of these students’ entries advanced to National PTA where they were invited to attend the Reflections Award Luncheon at the Annual Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Now it is time to prepare for next year’s program! “Let your Imagination Fly” is the theme for the 2015-2016 Reflection program. For more information contact your local PTA officers to or visit

“I was thinking about how many people in the world are mean and unkind,” Medis said. “And I thought, ‘How did they become that way?’ I decided it was because they probably didn’t get much love as a child. I wanted to show how love can change people.” The 2015 state-wide award ceremony proved to be a successful event that everyone enjoyed. “It was so exciting to meet the talented young artists behind the Reflections entries,” Doss said. “Each young artist beamed with pride as they were treated like movie stars.”

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they’re creating something that is born out of their own artistic expression and being recognized for it

Sheri Doss, Texas PTA Secretary

Nicholas Jackson (2nd grade) of Clear Creek ISD pictured with his family and his award for his film “I Can Make the World a Better Place all by my ‘Selfie’.” 14

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2016 Texas PTA Board Elections Texas PTA will hold an election for the 2016-18 Board of Directors on February 27, 2016, during the Family Engagement Conference in Dallas. As Chair of the Nominating Committee, past Texas PTA board member, and current school board trustee I understand how vital strong leaders are to an organization’s success. The Nominating committee has prepared the application process and resource information so you are able to make an informed decision about submitting an application. The Election 2016 webpage will be live on July 1 with position descriptions, deadlines, board member responsibilities, and the ability to apply online. A team of volunteer leaders is needed for state committees. If you aren’t able to commit to a Texas PTA board position at this time, look into serving on a committee. The Texas PTA committee application process will be open after December 1, 2015, for the current President Elect to review and be approved by the 2016-18 elected board. I ask that you help make sure the Nominating Committee has a tough job selecting from a large group of applicants. Look over the information and encourage others to do the same. We owe Texas students a Board of Directors capable of governing and advocating for years to come. Kris Vaughn, Texas PTA 2016 Nominating Committee Chair


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Talk to your Teen strengthen your relationship by Brianna Vela, Digital Media Specialist


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The role of parenting experiences a shift as children become adolescents. No longer are you their sole provider. Teenagers are learning how to meet their own needs while developing an understanding of how to balance a newfound independence and living under a guardian’s roof and rules. Active parents understand that being involved with their teen is a great way to insure their teenager’s success as a happy and independent young adult. Whether you have already experienced raising a teenager, are about to, or your children are still young, it is good to begin preparing communication strategies. Listen without Judgement Before you react to something your teenager says, listen to their message and where it is coming from. Jumping to conclusions about a situation can prevent a child from opening up to you later on down the road. For example, if your son begins talking about meeting a girl and wanting to ask her out on a date, let him open up about his feelings for her. Talk to him to find out what he likes about her, where he would like to take her, etc. Even if he just entered his teenage years and you may think he is too young to date, acknowledge that he is at the stage in life where girls no longer have “cooties”. This is a time where passing along judgement of his actions or words could do the most damage. The more he opens up about his dating life, the better. This will make stressful conversations, like sex education, easier to manage. Don’t Shoot Your Child Down Your teenager is entering an exciting time of figuring out what they want to do after high school. This can cause a parent to want to set specific expectations for their post-graduate children. You may have aspirations of them to go to medical school or law school, but your son or daughter might be interested in joining the military, enrolling in culinary school or attending a university thousands of miles away. Whatever the case may be, don’t shoot down their dreams. Work with them to develop a timeline and a strategy that will help them accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams. Talk to them about their aspired plans. This will help you step into their shoes and visualize why that dream is important to them. Be the Proper Influence Actions speak louder than words. By living your life the way you want your child to live her/hers, you are setting a great example in how to keep a positive attitude, handle stress and manage self-control. Your children are the people who look up to you the most. Act a certain way and they will follow suit. Examine your tone of voice, think about your eye contact, facial expressions and posture when speaking to your children. They pick up on your body language. Remember, your teenager will be leaving “the nest” soon. Tell them how much you love them, support them and respect them. Also let them know you are always there to explain and help.

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The Power of CommYOUnity by Brianna Vela, Digital Media Specialist


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When giving back benefits everyone involved Devastation, damage and destruction; unlike anything the region had seen before or could have ever expected. May 2015 marked the highest flood record in the history of the state of Texas. As waterways filled and land became exceedingly saturated, hundreds of homes were destroyed and 22 lives were lost. Central Texas communities hit the spotlight with national news coverage when an unbelievable 35 trillion gallons of water poured across the state. But when tragedy attempted to flood its way into the lives of the area’s citizens, humanity prevailed. News traveled fast to members of Corpus Christi’s Ella Barnes Elementary PTA, who were immediately inspired to take action. “It was really one of those situations where you put yourself in the position of those affected and you just have to find a way to help,” said PTA Vice President Lana Leos. Along with PTA President Angel Rendon and other board members, Leos and the group gathered for an emergency meeting to figure out how they could contribute to the flood’s relief efforts. Soon after, an idea emerged. A unanimous decision was made to begin a donation drive and directly deliver the items to the disaster site. “In a matter of minutes, our secretary was able to put a list together of what was needed,” said Leos.

Cleaning supplies, food, clothes and outdoor gloves were first on the list, according to PTA President Rendon. “Once we finalized our project and talked the principal, our events coordinator reached out to a local news station,” said Rendon. “We also announced the drive on our PTA’s Facebook page.” Parents, students, and Ella Barnes Elementary staff swiftly began bringing donations to the school. The goal was to fill an 18-foot horse trailer with items starting Monday and deliver the goods early Saturday morning. It was not just the PTA parents’ jumpstarting the collection process but the students as well. Eagerly, on their own, students called family members from across the county to bring as many donations as possible to their school. “They (students) were genuinely concerned for those affected by the floods and were happy to help,” said Leos. “For me, that melts my heart. They wasted no time and were ready to empty their piggy banks to donate! Each day the stack of items along the schools walls grew larger and larger while monetary contributions increased by the minute. News coverage of the drive from two local Corpus Christi television stations brought an even larger abundance of support and participation from many residents in the area.

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Businesses, community leaders and compassionate individuals joined forces for this common cause; to help out a community just like theirs. “Do unto others as you would want done to yourself,” said Ella Barnes Elementary 5th grader Lexi. “If we ever had a flood, we would want someone to help us out.” By Friday, the entire front wall of Ella Barnes Elementary was covered with items. With the trailer fully packed and donations still resting along the wall, it was clear the PTA was going to need more than one trip. The next decision was to figure out where to take the loaded trailer. “We didn’t know where we would be going,” said Rendon. “We first looked into going to Wimberley, but because of media’s spotlight on that area, there were other areas that needed more attention.” Hays County relief workers pointed the PTA in a different direction. Rendon was told to drive 23 miles east of Wimberley to the town of Martindale, Texas. Martindale sits along the San Marcos River with a population of nearly 1,200 residents.

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“This town (Martindale) was hit pretty hard,” said Hays County Acting Case Manager Keegan Taylor. “Along with the river, many small tributaries and creeks that aren’t even on maps got backed up and affected homes miles away.” As PTA President Rendon and her family pulled into to the town of Martindale, the reality of the destruction this town faced set in. “It was devastating,” said Rendon. “We were near the point of tears and so were other volunteers on site.” Drywall, carpet, furniture and other valuable belongings soaked, damaged and irreplaceable. Basic necessities like soap, food, water, towels…Not readily available. “The folks coming to help clean up and bring donations have all been awesome,” said Taylor. “Volunteers will drive up, open their SUVs and unload so many items. Then they stay to see where their service is needed.”


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The contributions from the Corpus Christi community and others impacted several lives in Martindale. For weeks after the floods, families in Martindale had the opportunity to collect anything they needed from the donation site. Each day, volunteers traveled from near and far to spend hour helping victims gather donations and even cleaning their homes. Darla Donna Hoe is a resident in the neigboring town of Lockhart. Feeling blessed that her home did not suffer any damage, she spent her week actively helping sort and distribute items at the donation site. “I came because I have a desire to help and see where I was needed,” said Hoe. “I became active in PTA when my children were in school. When children get involved with efforts like this, it teaches them to give back to the community. If we don’t teach them, we are lost. It is a part of life and they are our future.” The Ella Barnes Elementary Mission Statement reflects the actions performed by the school’s PTA: “We will look for opportunities to demonstrate acts of kindness to help make our school, our community and our world a better place.” “We try to live out this mission statement every day,” said Ella Barnes Elementary Principal Delma Yzaguirre. “We stress to our students the importance of being good citizens.” Principal Yzaguirre works closely with her school’s PTA and appreciates how much they do for their school. “Our PTA is incredible,” said Principal Yzaguirre. “They are so in sync with the needs of our schools and our community. They understand the need to develop the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally and they are always looking for opportunities to assist us.” Weeks after the floods, PTA President Angel Rendon and her family took various trips to Martindale to drop off more donations and volunteer their time. Areas in central Texas are still recovering from May’s storms. To continue helping CommYOUnities like Martindale, become a part of the Austin area’s Red Cross unit by visiting . You can also visit the Hays County Food Bank at to donate meals and food items to families in need. Together, we have the power to make a difference.


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when children get involved with efforts like this, it teaches them to give back to the community

Darla Donna Hoe, Lockhart Resident

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back to school, back to homework! 28

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take when parents ost successful m e ar g active in ts in en be ud St This includes n. io at uc ed r d the amount interest in thei assignments an k or ew m ho r to school, monitoring thei hen going back W . ng yi ud st e ck into their of time they ar them adjust ba lp he to er w you have the po utine. schoolwork ro cel beyond the lp your child ex he n ca u yo s ay Here are six w classroom! ly space e mework-friend mfortable spac 1. Set up a ho to ts have a co en ud st r fo t for an It is importan d concentrate they can sit an re he w is well-lit e m ea ar ho e at ake sure th M e. tim e of d typical at-hom extended perio of the way from t ou is at up th ed e coop and in a spac they have to be t them feel like child to ur yo e ag traffic. Don’t le ing. Encour en ev e tir a en e to either have in this area th every so often ks ea br e ut u! in with yo take 10-15 m a conversation ound or enjoy snack, walk ar

4. Set study goals Sitting down with your child and helping them come up with a list of goals helps them develop organization skills. By writing down what needs to be accomplished each study session will keep them focused and accomplishing more tasks. As your student sits there and crosses items off their list, they will feel proud of themselves. 5. Communicate Communicate with your child and your child’s teacher. This will help you maintain awareness of homework assignments so that they are regularly done in a timely matter and not piling up by the end of the week. Communication also includes asking your child about their schoolwork and showing interest in the subjects they are discussing.

2. Create a re gular study time schedu Having a set le time to do ho mework will he complete thei lp your child r assignments . The best sche that works fo dule is one r them and yo ur family. Sch from househ ed ul es will vary old to househ old dependin work schedu g on parent’s les or studen t’s extracurri A sample sche cular activities dule can incl . ude setting as homework tim ide an hour of e before dinn er or an hour after so your immediately child is not as drowsy closer to bedtime. 3. Remove di stractions Distractions can be very di sruptive to st Many things udy habits. can be consid ered a distra phones, televi ct ion including sions, music or even other help provide pe ople. To a solitude en vironment, it electronic de he lp s to remove vices from th e study spac televisions off e an d to . Some studen turn all ts may be co soft music pl mfortable with aying in the ba ckground, bu not. Also, if yo t others may u live in a sm aller home w travel more ea he re noise may sily, try having your family m part in quiet embers take activities duri ng study tim e.

6.Praise work efforts Your children work hard in school and are accom plishing many wonderful things. Childr en need encouragement from people’s opinions they value the most; their families. Tel ling them, “You’ve done a great job on this project!” or “You have very strong writing skills!” goe s a long way. Resources Gabor, E. (2015). Top 10 Homework Tips. Retrie ved from http:// sitive/learning/homewo rk.html How to Help: Provide Gu idance -- Helping Your Ch ild With Homework. (n.d.). Retrie ved from http://www2.e academic/help/homewo rk/part7.html

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After school recipes As soon as students start going back to school, they start getting involved in plenty of after-school activities! It is important that they stay energized and are given the proper fuel to hold them over until dinnertime. Check out any of these recipes below for a great afterschool snack. Have a recipe you want to share? Email!

Ants on a Log 8 celery ribs (each cut into 3-4 inch pieces) 8 ounces of cream cheese spread ½ cup of raisins Fill celery with cream cheese spread and smooth with knife. Add a row of raisins for the “ants”


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PB&J Apple Roll Ups 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (If your child is allergic to peanut butter, we encourage the use of soy or sunflower butter. Tastes just the same!) 1 whole wheat tortilla 2 teaspoons of jam or honey (This is an optional item to add depending on whether you want to add a pinch of sweetness to the wrap) Pinch of cinnamon 1 apple cut into thin slices Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the tortilla for 10 seconds. Spread the peanut butter and jam/honey on the tortilla. Place the apple wedges onto the tortilla and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Roll up the wrap and place it in the oven for eight minutes. Take out, cool down and enjoy! This makes one serving but the recipe can be doubled to make more.

No-Bake Granola Bars 2 cups puffed brown rice cereal (unsweetened) 2 cups old fashioned oats 1⁄4 cup roasted sunflower seeds 1⁄2 cup shredded coconut 1⁄2 cup dried fruit, chopped 1⁄2 cup peanut butter (If your child is allergic to peanut butter, we encourage the use of soy or sunflower butter. Tastes just the same! ) 1⁄2 cup brown rice syrup or 1⁄2 cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup mini chocolate chip Combine cereal, oats, seeds, coconut and fruit in a large mixing bowl. Heat the peanut butter, syrup, and vanilla in a small sauce pan until warm. Pour the peanut butter (or soy butter) mixture over the cereal mixture. Mix well while syrup is still warm. Pour mixture into a 9x13 pan and pack down firmly with moist fingers. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the patted-down mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, cool and enjoy!

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Scholarships 2015-2016 Texas PTA offers $1000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors and $500 scholarships to faculty members! Join your PTA or PTSA to find out more about these scholarship opportunites.




Emerging Leaders Academy Legacy of Leadership From our humble beginnings in 1909, Texas PTA has grown into the state’s largest child advocacy association with more than 500,000 members. Our success has been driven by the grassroots leadership of concerned parents, educators and community members who are dedicated to making every child’s potential a reality. Texas PTA is proud to offer our Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) to help ensure a new generation of dedicated leaders who are working to support student success! About ELA PTA’s commitment to engage families and communities as powerful advocates for children reaches across all cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. The Emerging Leaders Academy is an opportunity to identify and support dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds, while equipping them with skills to become effective, successful leaders within PTA and throughout their communities. This series of four, one-day sessions will provide participants with proven strategies in outreach, communication, advocacy and family engagement. Who Is an Emerging Leader? Whether it’s the PTA volunteer who organizes the multicultural night at your campus or a co-worker who organizes a reading program at the local library, leaders can be found in every corner of our communities. ELA seeks to support a diverse group of volunteers who are committed to creating successful schools through these fundamental characteristics: • Demonstrates a passion for our vision that every child’s potential is a reality. • Exhibits visionary and forward-thinking leadership qualities. • Reflects professionalism, integrity and PTA values. • Believes PTA should be an inclusive association for all. • Strives to increase family engagement through programs and PTA membership. • Seeks personal development to provide long-term leadership within their community. Getting Involved The Class of 2016 will be limited to a maximum of 20 leaders, and all selected candidates are expected to attend each of the four ELA sessions throughout the year.

Applications Due September 30 ELA participation is provided at no cost to all selected candidates, including any necessary travel. Please visit for more information about this program.