Community Service and Your PTA

by Family Engagement Commission Consultant, Kelly MattinsonNovember 2022 Family Engagement

Volunteering in your local community can be fulfilling. 

Think about all the things we do to make our community, ours. How can PTAs and PTSAs encourage children and families to be good citizens and help neighbors and friends?

Here are some ideas for your PTA to share that will help create and support local community service activities:  

  • School Beautification Projects.  When local school district building funds are tight, a little elbow grease and teamwork goes a long way. As a bonus, participants get to meet other families and create a nicer place to learn and work. Think of the impact you and your PTA can help make and the ways it can teach, by example, how to be a good citizen. Be sure to check with your school district before beautifying. 
  • Charities and Donations. Do you remember Pennies For Patients? The premise of this Leukemia Lymphoma Society program was to get EVERY child involved. Not everyone can donate a lot of money, but most kids can find a few pennies. The key to the campaign was that it wasn’t about the total dollars but the total participation. Your PTA can create inclusive participation opportunities for a local cause and provide valuable experience in giving back and charity that stays with kids their entire life.  
  • Encourage Creative Generosity. I took my daughter and her friend to the PTA convention in downtown Los Angeles. After our District dinner, the girls asked the server for boxes for all the leftovers with disposable utensils and napkins. They then distributed the meals to the homeless men and women we passed on our way back to the hotel. I was so impressed. These 8th graders had just taught me an incredible lesson in generosity and kindness.

As we head into Thanksgiving and the winter school break, consider devoting time to Community Service this school year. PTAs can help families get involved and encourage a community-service mindset among  students in their school.  It is a wonderful way to spend time as a family, teach kids core values, and make a difference in the community. You can also make a brainstorming session about community needs part of your next PTA agenda.