Membership Your Way – December 2020

Patricia Frazier – NYS PTA Treasurer and Designated Officer of Membership

In my role as treasurer for NYS PTA, I also serve as a designated officer for one of our teams. I am excited to have been named the designated officer for the Membership Team at the close of Conference 2020.

Like many of you, my start in PTA was simply joining the line at my oldest child’s first open house to sign up for membership. Despite my mother’s advice of “whatever you do, don’t join the PTA”, I stayed in line and became a card-carrying member. I was continually amazed at the efforts of the PTA volunteers that really made our school a very special place. While it took a few years for me to become an active member, when I did (sorry, mom), I knew I found the right way to ensure my children had the best possible educational experience.

After serving as president at the elementary school, I took a brief break from leadership and accepted the position of membership chair at the middle school. As chair, I learned that making the ask is really the ideal way to gain members. A simple “this is who we are and what we do, please join us” message delivered at open house and school events led to our unit having the highest increase in membership in our region that year. So many of the parents I was in contact with remarked that they never really thought about joining the middle school PTSA even though they were members and volunteers with the elementary school PTA

While this year has not provided us with our traditional opportunities to make the ask, I know our units are finding creative ways to reach out to parents, staff and community during their membership drive.    As a past membership chair, I wish that I had the membership tools provided by NYS and National PTA to use. Please take advantage of them!

We often talk about membership in terms of “voice”. After 20+ years in PTA, I have witnessed many times where the strength of our PTA voice has accomplished great things at the local, state and national level.  On a personal level, membership in the PTA has been so much more. I had and continue to have the opportunity to volunteer alongside like-minded people who supported my children as much as I did theirs. I have gained lifelong friends and developed skills that go beyond my PTA work.   

Now and throughout 2021, I look forward to collaborating with the Membership Team to spread the word that everyone who believes in our mission belongs in PTA!