PTA Celebrates the Dedication of Volunteers

SACRAMENTO – This Thanksgiving, California State PTA is giving thanks to the thousands of volunteers and members throughout the state that positively impact the lives of all children and families.

As the nation’s largest and highest profile child-advocacy organization, California State PTA and its volunteers and members connect families and schools and promote the education, health and welfare of all children and youth.

Last year, PTA volunteers contributed more than 13 million hours in their classrooms, schools and communities. Those hours are valued at $332 million in contribution to positively impact the lives of all children and families. PTA volunteers plan field trips, assist in classrooms, promote parent engagement, organize fundraisers, speak up on important children’s issues and take care of the daily needs of the local association and more.

“The work of PTA would not be possible without the countless hours our dedicated volunteers give each year to support our children and schools,” said California State PTA President Dianna MacDonald.

Through advocacy and the support of families and the community, PTA has established programs and called for legislation to improve the lives of all children, such as creating kindergarten classes, child-labor laws, public-health services, hot-and-healthy lunch programs and arts in education.

California State PTA has a long tradition of speaking up and speaking out on behalf of all children and families at national, state, regional and local levels. Join your local PTA and be the voice for all children.

Health and Community Concerns Counterpart Conference Calls

Connect with the California State PTA Health and Community Concerns Team on issues concerning your school, community and the state. PTA leaders will hear from the Vice President for Health and Community Concerns Shereen Walter as well as members of the Health and Community Concerns Commission.

Conference Call Schedule

  • November 15, 2017 from 7 — 8 p.m.
  • January 17, 2018 from 7 — 8 p.m.
  • February 13, 2018 from 7 — 8 p.m.
  • March 21, 2018 from 7 — 8 p.m.
  • April 18, 2018 from 7 — 8 p.m.
  • May 16, 2018 from 7 — 8 p.m.
  • No calls scheduled from June to August 2018

Call-in Instructions

  • Conference Dial-In Number: 1 (712) 775-7031
  • Participant Access Code: 659398009#
  • To mute or unmute during the session, press *6.

If you encounter any phone issues like dropped calls or long periods of silence, please hang up and dial (805) 360-1075.  This reroutes you to a different port in their system so you can enter our dial-in number directly.

Five Tips & Tricks to Stay Safe this Halloween

SACRAMENTO – Halloween is a fun-filled holiday for kids, but can be a concerning one for parents. Between classroom parties, haunted houses and trick-or treating around the neighborhood, there are many concerns regarding children’s safety.

“Halloween is a fun holiday for children and families, and should be enjoyed while keeping a few safety tips in mind. This a good time for parents and guardians to model and reinforce some valuable safety practices,” said California State PTA Vice President for Health & Community Concerns Shereen Walter.

To ensure a fun and safe holiday, California State PTA suggests the following tips from Safekids.org:

  • Walk Safely – Use cross walks, walk on sidewalks instead of the street and always check before crossing
  • Watch Your Child – Children under 12 shouldn’t trick-or-treat alone, and older children should stick to familiar well-lit areas
  • Check Candy– Once your child is done trick-or-treating, be sure to check all candy. Look for unusual appearance or discoloration, tears in wrappers, unwrapped items or anything that appears spoiled.
  • Keep Costumes Safe – Wear light colors and use fun reflective tape to decorate your child’s costume. Have kids carry glow sticks so they can be seen by drivers
  • Drive Safely – Drive slowly in residential areas and take extra time to look out for kids at intersections, medians or curbs.

For more information on California State PTA’s steps for children’s safety, visit www.capta.org/safety.

Governor Brown Signs PTA-Supported Bills

SACRAMENTO — This year, California State PTA took positions on more than 120 bills in the California Legislature, of which 34 were signed and approved – a huge win for all children and families. Each year, California State PTA takes positions on legislation that relates to education, health and welfare of children’s lives, as well as legislation that pertains to the running of the association.

“PTA membership supports our advocacy efforts and empowers us to speak up on behalf of all children and families. Our organization has a long history of protecting and supporting our state’s most valued assets, our children,” said California State PTA Director of Legislation, Lea Darrah.

During the 2017 Legislative Session, two monumental bills supported by California State PTA were signed and approved by Governor Brown:

  • AB 10 (Cristina Garcia): This bill requires any public school, serving grades 6-12 with at least 40 percent of student body of free/reduced lunch, to provide feminine hygiene products free of charge. California State PTA supported this bill as an equity issue to eliminate any barriers for students from fully participating in their studies or sports activities.
  • AB 480 (Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher): This bill adds diapers to the lists of supportive services that would be covered by CalWORKS. California State PTA supported this bill because of the necessity and expense of diapers, and because of our primary goal to advocate and protect the most vulnerable children.

One of the most important roles of California State PTA is to create and support laws that improve the lives of all California children. All of our advocacy efforts center around our core values and resolutions, which are submitted by units, councils, districts or California State PTA’s Board of Managers. Learn more at www.capta.org/resolutions.

View California State PTA’s end-of-session Legislation Action Report for 2017.

Membership Toolbox for PTA Leaders

Tips for Helping Children Cope with Recent Wildfires

California State PTA offers tips for helping children cope with the recent wildfires throughout the state:

  • Reassure: Your children need to know that they will be safe and that things will get better.
  • Spend More Time with Your Children: Your children need comfort and reassurance. Spending time with you and experiencing affection such as hugs and special time together are important.
  • Keep an Open Dialogue: Listen to your child’s fears and concerns and provide accurate, age appropriate information.
  • Maintain Routines: Try to keep a regular schedule for meals and bedtime. Routines are comforting and help provide a sense of normalcy for your child.
  • Limit Media Exposure: News coverage of the disasters can cause anxiety and fear and be damaging to young children, causing them to relive the disaster.
  • Model Healthy Ways of Coping: Your children will look to you for how they should feel and react. Try to remain calm and reassuring

AID FOR FAMILIES

On October 20, the Trump Administration approved California’s request for direct aid to individuals and families in Napa and Sonoma counties who have suffered losses due to the fires. Additionally, Acting Secretary of HHS, Eric Hargan declared a public health emergency in the state of California. Learn more about direct aid at DisasterAssistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. More information on the federal Individual Disaster Assistance program is available online.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, operates a 24-hour, 7 days a week, toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline providing access to counselors at the closest crisis center in their nationwide network at (800) 985-5990. There, staff provide immediate, confidential (multilingual) counseling, referrals and other needed support services.

Many of the surrounding areas are facing air quality issues.  CDC has a fact sheet on the hazards of smoke from fire and precautions that should be taken.  Access the fact sheet here.

MORE RESOURCES

Here are some additional resources on how to help your children cope in the aftermath of a natural disaster:

Save the Date: 2018 Legislation Conference

New Date, New Hotel!

January 22 – 23, 2018
Sheraton Grand Hotel – Sacramento, CA

Mark your calendars! The 2018 Legislation Conference is scheduled for January 22 – 23, 2018 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Sacramento. Whether you’re experienced in speaking up for children or interested in learning about key issues and legislation, the California State PTA Legislation Conference is for you!

Stay tuned – registration opens soon at www.capta.org.

California State PTA Stands with Families Affected by Wildfires

October 12, 2017

Media Contacts:

SACRAMENTO – October has always been a difficult month for wildfires in California, but this year in particular the extreme devastation is felt by numerous communities throughout the state. California State PTA President Dianna MacDonald issued the following statement:

“California State PTA is deeply concerned about everyone impacted by the devastating wildfires affecting Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties as well as those affected by the Canyon Fire 2 in Orange County.

“As a Sonoma County resident, I have seen firsthand the devastation in my own community. My thoughts are with all of those who have been impacted. They are our families, friends, colleagues, volunteers and members and we remain steadfast in our commitment to support them as they rebuild and recover.

“California State PTA urges everyone to donate to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund or the American Red Cross Canyon Fire 2 Relief Fund. Redwood Credit Union is paying for all administrative costs for the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, so 100 percent of your donation will go to relief efforts and directly to aid the victims.

“PTA leaders and members work hard every day to give our children and school communities what they need to thrive. Our mission now becomes that much more important.”

MORE RESOURCES