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PTA Spotlight on: PTA Enrichment Programs

by PTAsocial in February 20, 2017

One of the greatest assets of any PTA is your volunteer force. Yes, they can support the super work that you do by helping at events. However, many PTAs are packed with volunteers with specific skills – so make the most of them with PTA Enrichment Programs

While fundraising events are the bread and butter of any great PTA, we noticed so many extra fun experiences laid on by schools across the globe.

In the US particularly, enrichment programs are a big part of school life. However here in the UK, slashed school budgets and stretched teaching staff mean we could learn a thing or two from our friends across the pond.

Check out these PTA-run clubs, and think about how you might introduce some at your school to enrich the kids’ educational experience.

Dance

Have you got any members who love to dance? You might have a volunteer who is a dance teacher or enthusiast. From ballet to Bollywood, or street-dance to salsa – why not hold a one-off event for fun, or even a regular class if it proves popular?

Hollyfield Primary School in Sutton Coldfield held a Bollywood Dancing class as part of their learning about Diwali thanks to a volunteer from their PTA!

Oaklands Primary School in Kent held a more traditional maypole dancing club, which was huge success.

Singing

Singing in schools is still very much encouraged, but there is no need to limit it to assembly time. If you have a PTA volunteer who enjoys singing, then this is one club that takes virtually no time or budget to set up. Whether it is traditional school songs, show tunes, the latest chart hits or a mix of styles, there is something to suit all groups.

Tallwood Elementary PTA had their 1st Graders to singing bedtime songs – super cute!

Gardening

Got a particularly green-fingered PTA member? Then why not form a gardening club? It is very satisfying for children to watch something grow and a more unusual skill to develop. You could create a school vegetable patch and either sell or donate the produce while teaching kids about where their food comes from and healthy eating. In the case of older children, understanding sustainability can also be important.

Badgemore Primary School in Henley has a very popular PTA-run gardening club.

Running

A running club has virtually no outlay and is simple to start. It is also a great way to promote exercise within the school.

Highland Park Elementary School in Connecticut has a PTA member leading the school running club.

Chess

Traditional board games like chess or draughts are a brilliant way of helping kids develop their logic and reasoning skills. Who knows, you may have a future young chess master in your midst!

In Atlanta Georgia, the PTA of Morningside Elementary School gets their kids’ brains working nice and early with their morning chess/checkers club.

Cookery

We all gotta eat, right? Start teaching your kids to cook when they are young to reduce the likelihood of them depending on unhealthy takeaways and convenience food in later years. You don’t need to be Mary Berry, just competent in the kitchen! Food for thought…

South Hill Primary School PTA offers child enrichment in the form of awesome cookery classes.

Netball

When it comes to team sports, a lot of emphasis is placed on football in schools. However, netball is a good alternative for girls and boys. Playing netball can help to improve hand-eye co-ordination and is of course great physical exercise. Team sports also helps to build relationships between pupils and encourage positive behaviour. Ask parents if they’ll consider starting or helping to run a club.

St Patrick’s Primary School in Scotland has a netball team that runs thanks to the help of teachers and parents.

Holiday Club or Collaborative Childcare

Finding childcare for the school holidays can be hugely stressful for working parents everywhere. However, if your PTA has a contingent of available parents then you could make it easier for parents to connect and share childcare.

You could easily organise a rota on PTAsocial, to make it easy for parents to either jointly hire childminders or volunteer themselves for set shifts. Ideally all volunteers would be DBS-checked, but informal arrangements could also be made amongst friends. Make a nominal charge to cover your costs, or add on a bit to go towards PTA funds too.

There is no limit to the activities you could do – from outdoor sports, to arts and crafts, to cookery or dancing. Depending on the level of trust and familiarity, age of the kids etc, some small groups might even arrange trips out to museums or the cinema.

Some more PTAs in action

Here are some more examples of PTAs stepping up to offer broader enrichment activities for the kids.

Over to you...

Why not unleash the potential of your PTA and create some inspiring enrichment programs of your own? In fact we make it easy to carry our a Volunteer Skills Audit – a great place to start!

As always, we’d love to hear about it so we can share your ideas with our audience. Email us , tweet us or get in touch via our Facebook page. We can’t wait to see what your PTA has been doing!

PTAsocial makes organising events super-easy and inclusive by allowing volunteers to pick out a specific, manageable task. It’s completely free, so just start an account for your school right now in 2 minutes.

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