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 California State PTA Online Newsletter                      October 2014
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(Para leer este en español, haga clic aqui.)

PTA makes a difference in the lives of children and families

PTA is the nation’s largest child advocacy association with a long, rich tradition of speaking up for every child with one voice. Our mission is to positively impact the lives of children and families.

This month, we’re celebrating the POWER OF PTA – the thousands of ways PTA makes a difference in your school and in your community! Here are a just few great examples of the power of PTA throughout the state:

  • Thousand Oaks High School PTSA in Thousand Oaks (Conejo Council PTA, Twelfth District PTA) is sponsoring a parent talk with a teen motivational speaker and life coach who has been featured on the MTV show “Made.”
  • Walt Disney Elementary School PTA in San Ramon (San Ramon Council PTA, Thirty-Second District PTA) is hosting a breakfast book club to engage students in reading.
  • Paularino Elementary PTA in Costa Mesa (Harbor Council PTA, Fourth District PTA) is starting the RANCH program for 4th and 6th graders to learn about gardening, livestock and leather work!
  • Avaxat Elementary PTA in Murrieta (Murrieta Valley Council PTA, Twenty-Third District PTA) is hosting a science night where students will be able to perform hands-on science experiments.

Join the celebration!
Share all the great things your PTA is doing for kids and for your community. Post stories and photos on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #PowerofPTA.

STOP BULLYING: Join us in participating in National Bullying Prevention Month

School is a place where students discover their identities, and begin to feel that their unique identity is an asset. They need to feel emotionally comfortable in a warm and “identity-safe” environment where stereotypes and stereotype threat (the fear of being judged by a negative stereotype) are addressed. Parents and caring adults play pivotal roles in creating a healthy school and community climate that is free from bullying and where students feel emotionally comfortable.

Take a peek at a variety of resources online at www.capta.org that you can use this month – and throughout the year – to engage educate and inspire others to help prevent bullying. For additional resources, visit www.niot.org, www.cartoonnetwork.com/promos/stopbullying, www.commonsensemedia.org and www.StopBullying.gov.

Celebrating youth volunteerism

If your middle or high school student is making a difference through volunteering, he or she may be eligible to apply for the 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Your student could win $1,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C. next May! Check out the qualifications and encourage your student to apply.

Speak out at the ballot boxElection Day is just weeks away. Will you be prepared to vote for the Superintendent of Public Instruction? Learn more about the candidates and their positions on current education issues by watching the televised candidates forum co-sponsored by California State PTA and The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund. Be informed, and don’t forget to get out to vote on November 4th!

Watch the entire forum on The California Channel.
Forum begins several minutes into the video. Please advance your player to 10:58.

Engage, Educate, Energize!

Are you interested in supporting student success at your school and in your community? Plan to join other like-minded parents and partners in education at the 2015 California State PTA’s Annual Convention in Sacramento. In this new era of education reforms and parent engagement, your voice as a parent is more important than ever.

A gift that fathers can give their children

Dads—we know that you want to be actively involved in your child’s life. And we know you want to support your child’s education.

Joining your local PTA is an easy way to support your child’s school. Don’t miss the opportunity to be more involved in your child’s life and in your child’s education. If you haven’t already done so, please join your local PTA today!

Keeping your ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween

Autumn holidays such as Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children of all ages – dressing up in costumes, attending parties, enjoying fall fruits and veggies, and eating yummy treats! These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, promote physical activity and focus on safety.

Check out fall safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

PTA and Univision team up to engage Spanish-speaking parents

Well-informed, engaged parents make a difference for student success in school and beyond. That’s why California State PTA is partnering with National PTA, Univision Bay Area and The Education Trust-West to offer two free Spanish-language parent engagement events as part of Univision’s Annual Education Week – “La Semana de la Educación.”

“When families, schools and communities work together as partners, student achievement is boosted and children are better prepared to lead happy and productive lives,” said California State PTA President Colleen A.R. You. “We’re thrilled to partner with the leading media company serving our Spanish-speaking parents to boost family engagement in schools to support student success.”

The events are aimed at empowering Hispanic parents to help their children achieve their educational and career goals. Topics such as College and Career Readiness, Understanding the new Common Core State Standards and Speaking Up for Your Child will be among the subjects to be covered in the workshops. Also acclaimed Univision talent from its network and local television and radio properties will be on hand to deliver messages and testimonials on the impact education has had in their lives.

We invite you to join us!

  • San Jose – Saturday, October 11 from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Washington United Youth Center
  • Van Nuys – Saturday, November 1 from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Birmingham High School

Risks of distracted and dangerous driving: Helping teens stay focused on the road

Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to stop texting and cell phone use, as well as other distracted behaviors, behind the wheel.

Did you know?

  • 88 percent of Americans recognize distracted driving as a problem, but 67 percent admit to using devices while driving.
  • 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

Parents can be positive role models for teen drivers on all aspects of preventing distracted driving. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all drivers about the danger it poses. Learn more.

Reflections Art Program Theme Search

National PTA sponsors a student-focused Reflections Art Program Theme Search Contest to determine the 2016-2017 theme.

NEW THIS YEAR – Students may submit their Reflections Art Program Theme Search idea entries by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/s/CAPTAThemeSearch or by completing the entry form. Students may submit multiple entries – a single entry for each theme idea. Entries are due by November 1 either by survey or mailed to/received at the state PTA office.

California State “PTA Connects” is sent monthly to all PTA members and leaders.