September 7, 2015 – Membership Monday – Part 7

Sunday Membership Minute

PTA Leaders,

This will be the last of the weekly Membership Minutes for this week, and then I’ll begin the bi-monthly Membership Monday e-blasts.

Let’s talk recognition and awards!

You do a lot for your unit; more than can be listed on one full page.  Many of your efforts may go unnoticed or unappreciated, only because you quietly continue to work behind the scenes for your PTA/PTSA, and will never ask for anything in return.  Missouri PTA would like to recognize you and your unit for all of that effort!

Awards and recognition are a wonderful method of showing how your PTA goes above and beyond. I am going to highlight a few of them here for you; however, please take some time to look at all the awards available to your unit. Log into the PTA Member’s Section tab of mopta.org and choose MO PTA Tools. Click on Awards from the show me: bar at the top.

Use these awards as a guideline for how you set goals for your PTA/PTSA unit.

Awards are broken down into categories: Individual, Achievement, Membership, Unit and Non-Application.  Any unit that would like to be considered for an award MUST be a Unit in Good Standing. All dues need to be postmarked by March 1st in order to be considered.  I will point out a few key things, but please take the time to read more about each award on our website.

*Let’s start with Non-Application.  The 1st one you need to note is the Early Bird Award.  Three units that send in the highest membership dues (based on last year’s total) postmarked before September 28, 2015 are eligible to win the Early Bird Award.  Non-Application awards also include the Oak Leaf Award, the Community Involvement Award, and the Golden Gavel Awards.

*Unit awards include the Health & Safety Award, the Parent Education & Engagement Award and the Male Engagement Award.

*Membership Awards include the Outstanding Membership Campaign Award, the Student Membership Award, 100% Faculty Award, and Council & Unit Membership Awards such as the Exclusive 100, the Silver Acorn and the Golden Apple.  I am attaching a few of these membership award applications so that you can get an idea of what applying for the award entails.

*Achievement Awards are Blue and Gold Seal, Council Achievement, Outstanding unit/council website or newsletter and the Advocacy Through Legislation Award.  These are not difficult to achieve, but do take an understanding of what is required so that you may complete the application when the time comes.

Set a goal to apply for at least two of the awards mentioned above!  Show your school and community that your PTA/PTSA deserves recognition for all the wonderful things that are accomplished during your tenure.  Missouri PTA can not wait to award your efforts!

Have a wonderful night and a great week to come,

Rebecca Cahill
Missouri PTA
VP Department of Membership Services
membership@mopta.org


September 7, 2015 – Membership Monday – Part 6

Saturday Membership Minute

PTA Leaders,

Missouri PTA is made up of volunteers across the state, just like you!  We have one (1) paid administrative position within our framework, and she works tirelessly to triage, answer questions and keep our office organized. Dedication and a belief in what PTA is all about, drives us to volunteer our time outside of the other jobs and activities we manage to balance.

In order for Missouri PTA to serve you, we need your help.  We need our units to update their officer information so we have a method of communication with our units.  We need units to remain active and “In Good Standing” by mailing in dues and sending us copies of the year-end financial documents and tax filings you’ve completed.  By doing so, you are able to take advantage of the 501c3 status that PTA holds.

How can you help?  With over 400 units and councils across the state, Missouri PTA Board of Managers are outnumbered!  Our amazing Communications department in conjunction with our webmaster has been working on a new feature on the Missouri PTA website that allows units to take ownership in their information.

Below is an email you should have received from Michele Reed, VP of Communications, Missouri PTA.  

Missouri PTA Officers,

Missouri PTA is committed to providing resources relevant to the needs of our members.  The annual Toolkit has been revamped with a new look and an easy to use electronic format.  This will enable PTA leaders to use the document on various devices and download the content to share with their members.  You can locate this resource, and many others, in the ‘MOPTA Tools’ under the ‘PTA Members Section’ of the MOPTA.org website.

 This brings me to my next piece of information, over the past year we began to create an online system that will allow you to view any and all of your data that Missouri PTA requests as part of the “Unit in Good Standing Status”.  This information is also located under the PTA Members Section.  The attached power point which was presented at our Spring Conference (April 2015) will give you the information that you need to log in to your very own unit account.   The user name is your PTA unit ID.  The password is your PTA Unit EIN followed by the word P@sSW0rD (the @ sign for the A, and a zero for the O).  This account needs to stay with the unit and should be shared with your officers, especially the secretary and treasurer.  As with any system, we are constantly updating and working on the accuracy of the data.  All of the officer information that you have sent via email will be compared to our spreadsheet and updated where necessary.  We will also put in your dues payment information at a minimum of once a month so that way you will be able to determine whether or not a payment you have submitted has reached us. You as a unit are able to update your officer information, by clicking the Edit button when there has been a change at the local level.

We are still working on a special option for our councils which will allow a council to view all of the units that belong to the council and they will be able to verify which units are missing information and can assist Missouri PTA in collecting this information.

The 2015-2016 Reflections Tool Kit is in final stages and will be posted on the website as soon as possible.   The theme for this year is Let Your Imagination Fly, the Missouri PTA deadline is December 15, 2015.

Are you receiving your copy of the electronic CONTACT magazine from Missouri PTA?   It is mailed monthly via email address to all school district superintendents and to all officer email addresses we have on file in our records.  Please be sure to share this with your entire PTA – there is valuable information for parents as well as for your unit’s officers, chairs and members in each issue.

Finally I encourage you all to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, we post up to date and important timely information to our social media pages on a regular basis.  If you would like to join a special President Connect Group on our Facebook site, please be sure to visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/presidentconnect/ .  You will have to request to join the group.   You can also request to join the President Connect Drop Box site by sending an email to connect@mopta.org .  The Drop Box site is a place for president’s to share resources and ideas with one another.

As always if you have questions or problems, please let me or any board of manager member know and we will be happy and ready to assist you.

Michele Reed
Vice President and Director of Communications
Missouri PTA

This email describes how to access your unit dashboard on the Missouri PTA website, with a unique username and password for your unit.  To get started, you need to go to mopta.org and click on the PTA Members Section.  If you are a part of a Council, or are in contact with other units in your area, please ask if they’ve been able to access their dashboard.  Feel free to pass on this information to new Presidents and Membership Chairs so that all units have access to this wonderful feature.

We need your feedback too!  Please log in and use the dashboard.  Contact myselfMichele Reed, your Regional Director or Missouri PTA if you have questions, comments or suggestions on how we can improve this feature.

Thank you for volunteering your time and energy to PTA and to the children of Missouri!

Rebecca Cahill
Missouri PTA
VP Department of Membership Services
membership@mopta.org


September 7, 2015 – Membership Monday – Part 5

Friday Membership Minute

PTA Leaders,

Last night’s focus was on the resources and information available to us as PTA Leaders.Tonight I want to make sure you understand how to share the value of PTA with your members.

First and foremost, do not hesitate to advertise how much your PTA accomplishes!  The things you host, provide, and provide education on, should all have, “Brought to you by the {insert name here} PTA/PTSA”!  Be sure to put the PTA brand on your materials, fliers, newsletters, social media, etc.Your members don’t always know the value of what your PTA accomplishes if you aren’t willing to share that with them.  If you have questions about LOGO usage, please visit PTA Branding and Usage Guidelines and Logo Usage for information and access to logos.

Follow the 1:3 rule of thumb.  For every one fundraiser you do, your unit should provide three events focused on the PTA Mission. Whether you are welcoming families into the school with a breakfast, hosting a Science Night, or educating parents about the new technology their children are using in school; your PTA unit should be seen as a valuable resource in the school community.

Member Benefits are provided to every PTA member! As a PTA Leader, it is your responsibility to make sure that your members know about them. Not sure what they are?  Visit the Member Benefits Provider page of pta.org to read more information on how to access the member benefits.

Stay up to date on PTA events, social media happenings, special offers and more by subscribing to PTA Leadership Briefings, PTA Takes Action, PTA Parent, and Local Leader News. These are email blasts offered to you as a PTA Leader once you register your profile online at pta.org.  Once you are logged in, manage your subscriptions and check the boxes of those you’d like to receive. Share this information with your members! Did you know about the TV airing tonight of Think It Up?

Here’s a note from a PTA Leadership Briefing I received:

Let’s Help Make Amazing Happen

National PTA is proud to support the Think It Up education awareness campaign and encourage you to watch the star-studded, live TV special Fri. Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. EDT, which will air on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. National PTA President Laura Bay, Executive Director Nathan R. Monell, CAE and Deputy Executive Director of Government Affairs and Communications Elizabeth Rorick will be at the event on behalf of the association. Share this campaign with your PTAs and schools, and urge students and teachers to participate in the campaign by submitting their projects on ThinkItUp.org.

Missouri PTA offers a toolkit of information every summer.  It is now completely online and offered to members as a benefit.  I am attaching a PDF from the Committees packet — check out pages 13-22 for great information and ideas on membership, resources and the tangible/intangible benefits of PTA membership.  You’ll need to log on to mopta.org using your unit’s log in information sent to the President, or by using Diversity and password Means (case sensitive).

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

Rebecca Cahi​ll​
Missouri PTA
VP Department of Membership Services
membership@mopta.org


September 7, 2015 – Membership Monday – Part 4

Thursday Membership Minute

PTA Leaders,

Last night, one of the five items listed dealt with the benefits of membership, including resources, information, training, benefits and discounts.

I linked these so you would have just a sampling of what is available to you; both as a PTA leader and a member of PTA.

Tonight, I want to focus on resources available to you as a PTA leader.
  • As a PTA officer, you have access to the 2015-2016 Official PTA Back-to-School Kit! Don’t let the words “Back-to-School” fool you; this is a fabulous resource for the entire year and for all of your officers.  Be sure to bookmark it so you can reference the kit often.  There is SO much information available, I’m going to help you navigate the Membership tab by listing out some of the headings and information you can find there.
When you first hover over the green Membership tab, you will see the Quick Reference Guide (QRG) headings.  When you click on one, you are directed to a new page with more sub-headings in the right-hand column.  Each of those have information and sometimes more links!

Here’s an example:  I click on the green Membership tab and choose Membership Engagement.  Once on that page, I can choose from any of these options: NPTA Diversity & InclusionMilitary FamiliesPTA MORE AllianceRecognizing your Members, andTransitioning PTAs: When Your Child Changes Schools

Let’s say I want to know more about the PTA MORE Alliance (Men Organized to Raise Engagement).  Once I click on that link, I am provided with information about the MORE Alliance, a How-To Guide, the ABCs of Male Involvement, Ten Ways to Get Men More Involved in PTA, and a link to the PTA.MORE site on pta.org that shares four coalition partners (WATCH D.O.G.S., All Pro Dads, etc) and their links.

All that, and from just one of the 5 QRG Headings!

  • As a PTA Leader, you have access to the FREE e-Learning Library; online courses 30-40 minutes in length, designed to educate and train PTA Leaders.

The courses are broken down into three main categories: PTA Essentials, PTA Nuts & Bolts Series and Leadership Enhancement.  The Memberships Basics course is found in the PTA Nuts & Bolts Series.  You will need to create an online NPTA profile in order to access these courses. Once complete, you will receive a certificate of completion.

  • Want ideas for programs and how to engage families in your school?  Go to the At School tab from the NPTA website, and a list of resources come up in the left column.

The School of Excellence deadline is October 1st.  This free two-year program guides you through increasing parent engagement at your school.  The Family Reading Experience is a turn-key program designed for grades K-5, giving you all the tools you need to host a Family Reading night at your school!  While the program is “powered by Kindle”, you do not need a single electronic device to host the night and use the materials and tools available. Need information on Reflections Art Program (theme is Let Your Imagination Fly) or a How to Increase Physical Activity & Physical Education?  Its all just a few clicks away and FREE!

  • Don’t forget to check out the Membership, Programs/Services and Advocacy tabs on the Missouri PTA website for more information and ideas.  Take a look at the latest edition of CONTACT magazine for great articles and tips.  Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and Pin on Pinterest with MO PTA.  Posts include reminders, deadlines, ideas and more!

Have a great evening,

Rebecca Cahill

Missouri PTA

VP Department of Membership Services


September 7, 2015 – Membership Monday – Part 3

Wednesday Membership Minute

PTA Leaders,

Let’s briefly tackle five Membership Basics tonight!

1)  Have a membership theme and a goal.  Having a membership theme helps your unit be a visible and recognizable presence throughout the year.  Missouri PTA always provides a theme, or you are welcome to use your own!  Please click here to use Missouri PTA’s “Spring Into Action” logo for 2015-2016.

Set a membership goal.  Look at last year’s numbers and your school enrollment to set a reasonable goal for membership numbers.  5% increase from the prior year is always a good rule of thumb.  Make sure you board, PTA members and school population know what your membership goal is.

2)  Membership provides benefits.  Every PTA member is automatically a part of Missouri PTA and National PTA.  Being a member allows you access to resourcesinformationtrainingbenefits and discounts.  Please be sure to take a look at our websites for invaluable information and ideas at your fingertips:  https://mopta.org/ and http://www.pta.org/

3)  Membership means the right to vote and have a voice.  One Membership = One Card = One Vote   Many units ask about having a couple or family membership.  PTA encourages one membership per person due to the fact that every vote counts.  Every member should be reported on the Membership Dues Form.  Every voice counts when the power of PTA advocates for our children, whether at your child’s school, in your district, in Jefferson City or Washington D.C.  ALL children have the right to be healthy, stay safe and receive a quality public education.

4)  Membership is a year-round activity!  Not sure what you should be doing after the fall membership drive?  Take a look at the Membership Development Calendar to give you ideas and a timeline.  All PTA memberships are good for one year and expire on –June 30th.  It is never too late to join PTA and be a part of the wonderful things your unit does for your school and children.

5)  Know the PTA Mission and Purposes.  Post them at meetings and in newsletters.  Make sure they are online whether you use a webpage, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Make sure your members know exactly what PTA stands for.  When you keep the PTA Mission and Purposes at the forefront of everything you do, you simply can not go wrong.

 PTA is:

  • A powerful voice for all children
  • A relevant resource for all families and communities, and
  • A strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child

The Purpose of PTA

  • To promote the welfare of the children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship
  • To raise the standards of home life
  • To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
  • To bring into close relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth
  • To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education.

Have a wonderful evening,

Rebecca Cahill
Missouri PTA
VP Department of Membership Services
membership@mopta.org