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Melissa Zeitz- Western Region Membership Chair

This is my first year as a Membership Chair for the Western Region PTA, however I have been involved with PTA for the last 7 years. The Western Region Executive board did a great job of making me feel welcome – as they do with all their units, support is at the top of their list. There is a wonderful mix of seasoned and new parents with common interests. I am so proud to be part of this board.

Maple West Masks Up

Maple West Elementary School PTA wanted to make the transition to hybrid as seamless as possible for all of their elementary students. Safety is a top priority on everyone’s mind, especially during COVID. The hybrid students attend anywhere between 2-4 days a week in-person. The PTA team (with support from the Maple West School Principals) decided to purchase lanyards for all of the students. The lanyards have clips on both sides to hold onto each side of the face masks that students are required to wear. In needing to wear masks except for on mask breaks, there was a concern of putting them down on a possibly contaminated surface. It also prevents students from dropping masks on the ground. PTA Co-Presidents, Kristin and Jessica felt they wanted something practical and convenient. COVID was not something anyone had planned for, but the PTA found a way to use their funds for something that all students could use. 

Helping Hands at Heim 

Heim Middle School PTSA decided to use their PTA voice to help the community. Williamsville School District has a food pantry available to all families within the district in need of additional food. That need has been magnified throughout COVID. PTA Co- Presidents, Sarah and Clare made the decision to invite the students to participate in a food drive.  They wanted the students to witness how everyone giving a little help can make a big difference in their own community. Parents who donated were asked to donate during morning drop off.  The parents would drive thru the ‘drop off’ loop. The parent would then pop open their trunk for the volunteer or 8th grader to take the items from the trunk and put them on tables under tents. This “safe zone” was easier and safer for the parents and was able to avoid all contact. After 3 days of collecting, and fighting the elements of wind, rain and hail – they were able to acquire an enormous amount of food directly sent to the food pantry. In an effort to make it more successful, the food drive was coordinated with Heim Elementary School PTA – just across the parking lot, to join in. This was something that PTAs have done before, but taking the precautions required by the state regulations showed how our PTAs adapt to what is going on around us.