Support the PTO in Supporting Lawrence

Support the PTO in Supporting Lawrence

I am reminded on a regular basis how fortunate Lawrence School is to have the active involvement and support of families.  The recent Japanese Food Fair is one example of the generous contributions and hard work that parents are willing to give to our school.  The Food Fair brings multiple benefits – as a valued tradition that children eagerly anticipate each year, as an expression of how we value and celebrate culture, and as a successful fundraiser.

As our PTO prepares for its annual Phonathan on December 9, I would like to highlight some of the other ways that the PTO promotes family involvement and contributes to supporting our students and faculty.

Community Building

Our PTO sponsors many events throughout the year that help build and strengthen a strong sense of community among students and families at Lawrence.  These events become important traditions in the life of the school, such as the Fall and Spring Picnics, the Japanese Fairs, Family Fun Night, and the PTO Play. While each of these events also raises funds, the primary purpose is community building.

Matters of Interest to Parents

Monthly PTO meetings focus on topics of interest to parents, such as a recent presentation about the World Language program.  Upcoming topics include: Teaching Literacy, Technology, and Habits of Mind.

Communication

Our PTO supports effective communication between home and school, including a weekly “PTO Monday Update” email and our website. The PTO Co-Presidents Pamela Iguchi, Florrie Ives, and Lisa Lisi-Ghafour meet regularly with Monica Crowley and me to discuss school issues and matters of concern to parents.

Special Purchase for 2013-14

The PTO utilized a combination of unspent funds from last year’s budget and an unexpected surplus to make a one-time purchase of an i-Pad cart complete with 20 i-Pads for classroom use.  This generous donation will enable us to experiment with the most effective ways to use tablets to support learning so that we can make informed decisions about how best to allocate our technology budget in the future.

Other Financial Support

Our PTO annually provides generous funding to support teachers and programming at Lawrence, including:

  • Performing Arts programs, such as this fall’s “Epic Brass” and the upcoming “Opera to Go” (in December) and “Native American Perspectives (February).
  • Visual Arts programs and our annual Art Show
  • Mini-grants for teachers for materials and innovation. This fall’s grants include:  Developing Number Concept materials (Gr. K &1 teachers), Projection Microscope (Ryan Keser, Gr. 7 Science), Young Adult books (Peggy Avakian, Gr. 6/7 English), Braille Slates (Gr. 4 Understanding our Differences), CLC Classroom Library (Vicki LaRiccia, Gr. 6-8 CLC), and a spelling website subscription (Sharon Kiernan, Gr. 3).
  • Classroom supply budget for each teacher
  • Field Trip bus transportation  & scholarships for student participation
  • Intramural Sports
  • Maintenance of the popular Fish Tank in the lobby

Lawrence Special Activities (LSA)

This parent-run program offers popular after-school enrichment classes.  Registration fees cover instruction and materials. While LSA is a separate non-profit from the PTO, each year LSA proceeds are turned over to the PTO (the second highest source of income after the Phonathon).

Other Support

Room parents provide informal support to classroom teachers throughout the year. The PTO sponsors two staff appreciation luncheons each year, including one coming up on December 6.  We enjoy delicious food and attentive service (and not having to pack a lunch).

I hope this description gives you some sense of why we feel so fortunate to have the active involvement and support of Lawrence families.  And the Lawrence PTO is the primary vehicle for making this happen.   We very much appreciate your support.

Rick Rogers

rick_rogers@brookline.k12.ma.us

 

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