PTA member Elizabeth Chavez is making a difference at the elementary school she attended as a child and making sure her children reach their potential at the same school – Centinela Elementary School in Inglewood (Thirty-Third District PTA).
“When I first got involved with PTA, I didn’t really understand what it was. Like many parents, I thought the purpose was just to raise money. But PTA has opened my eyes and helped me understand what it is that we as parents can do for our children’s school,” said Chavez.
Chavez joined the PTA five years ago when her oldest child started kindergarten at Centinela Elementary. In the past two years of her PTA involvement, Chavez committed herself to getting to know the majority of the children at the elementary school, which enrollment was over 650 students at the time. From her interactions with the students at Centinela Elementary, Chavez found inspiration when she learned that most of them wanted their school to offer fun programs and activities to keep the students motivated.
“It really broke my heart because I realized we didn’t have any of those things at our school. I made sure I continued to have conversations with the students to let them know that PTA was there to listen to them and that we would try to make those changes happen at our school,” said Chavez.
Centinela Elementary School held their first school dance in February for children in all grades, from pre-K through sixth grade, called the Friendship Dance.
“The kids had an amazing time. As I saw the little ones dancing with the bigger kids, it made me smile. It was only a one-day event, but the memory will forever stay in my heart,” said Chavez.
Chavez also helped organize a program called “A Day With the PTA”, where three students from each class at all grade levels had the opportunity to come and spend time with the PTA once a month. The members had snacks, board games, hula hoops and other activities available for the children to participate in and interact as a group and connect with the PTA.
“Being involved with PTA has made me understand that our children want to attend school and want to do better, but sometimes they need someone to tell them that things will be okay. That’s why I love being part of PTA – you get to have that connection with them and understand them a little better,” said Chavez.