Westchester-East Putnam Region Highlight
Karen Collura – Region Membership Chair (RMC)
This is my second full year as RMC for the Westchester East Putnam Region (WEPR). I have been involved in PTA for almost 15 years. I started as a Membership Chair and have held all officer positions. I like getting to work with school administrators, teachers, students and parents to problem solve. As an RMC, I like to help units to get into good standing. My goal is to have all units in our region be in good standing. Covid-19 has given us the opportunity to think outside of the box in planning activities and has increased parent involvement in meetings. There are a lot of great resources on the Membership tab of the NYS PTA website. PTA Your Way!
Hendrick Hudson HS PTSA (First Place Early Bird Award 2020)
Knowing we were headed into an unprecedented year, we were mindful of the challenges that community members may be facing. Our membership messaging was primarily about showing how a strong PTSA is more important than ever for family and staff advocacy during these difficult times. In fact, the PTSA’s efforts during re-opening drew attention and rallied support for the important role of our organization.
We also knew that asking for elevated membership levels would be tone deaf to what some community members may be experiencing financially due to Covid-19. We normally offer a “standard membership,” “additional adult membership” and a “student membership.” Knowing many families often just sign up one adult and do not bother with add-on’s, we decided to offer a “family membership”. This would allow families to have both parents/guardians and their student signed up in one easy step for the same price as having to add it piecemeal to their cart. The hope was that we could upgrade “standard membership” families to “family memberships” – therefore increasing community involvement.
Woodlands PTSA 18-421 (Membership Growth Award winner 2019-2020)
This year the Greenburgh Community School District distributed chrome books to all Woodlands Middle and High School students at our annual “Back to School” night in September. This school wide event allowed us an opportunity to meet parents face to face and encourage membership and participation in PTSA. This event coupled with year-round recruitment was a great benefit to our membership recruitment efforts.
Horsemen PTA 18-210 (Good Apple Growth Award winner 2018-2019)
Under our previous President Angel Rafter, we focused on increasing our membership. We did a lot of advertising on social media over the summer before school started and encouraged people to fill out their membership forms in the fall. We encouraged families to join at our “Back to School” nights, and we also instituted a teacher membership contest between our 4 elementary/middle schools. The school that had the most teacher members won a hot breakfast served to them by the PTA.
This year we are not focusing so much on the administration and teachers because of Covid-19. We did raffle off 2 Remote Learning Baskets for anyone who became a member by the end of October. Membership is down this year, but that is to be expected with the current situation.