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Hello Portland PTA members and leaders!

November 12-20 was National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, but for many schools and PTAs around the country, it's more than just a week as they work to make a difference every day for students touched by hunger and homelessness. As we head into a week where we begin to think about our own personal gratitude, we thank the PTAs in our Region that are confronting student hunger and homelessness and making a difference for their students everyday. There are many of our PTAs that run backpack programs, sending food home with students in need. There are PTAs that operate clothing drives and food drives, either for families in their own area or for other communities in Portland. We also have many PTA leaders and members that faithfully volunteer for the Portland Council PTA Clothing Center, which serves students in need all over Portland. Thank you for all you are doing to address these issues in our communities for all students! We are grateful every day for everything you do for all our students and families. We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Member News:

Student Health & Safety:
About 208,000 students under the age of 20 have diagnosed diabetes, most of which is type 1 diabetes. But as obesity rates in children continue to climb, type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in young people. November is Diabetes awareness month and here are some resources that may help you or your family.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math:
Portland Council PTA held a city wide meeting on October 20, 2016 to share how STEM education can inspire student learning and how PTAs can play a role in engaging families to create positive STEM identities for all students. It was a great evening with hands on activities and information on how everyone can play a substantial role in supporting STEM in their schools.

Portland Council PTA is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with OregonASK where we will partner to bring training to PTA leaders so that they can hold family engineering nights at their schools. Six pilot schools are a part of this project with hopes to expand next school year to include additional schools. We are happy to say that Boise-Eliot, Creston, Faubion, Hayhurst, Scott and Vestal were selected to participate. We look forward to sharing this opportunity with additional PTAs next school year.
Portland Superintendent Search:
PPS is currently conducting a survey of all PPS families in their search for the new PPS Superintendent. All survey results and comments will be shared with the PPS School Board to aid them in the process as they interview candidates.The deadline for the survey is November 30th. You can contribute input by taking the survey here.

Portland Council PTA Clothing Center:
The Portland Council Clothing Center has served 781 students so far this school year and over 2300 volunteer hours have been logged! The Clothing Center cannot do it alone and we appreciate everyone who makes this a successful program for our PPS students. Several companies in the area assist us by sending volunteers to help at the Center. If you work for a company that donates time to organizations, we'd love to be considered.

Currently the need for teen to young adult sized coats is great. We have very few coats to fit our high school students. Many high school students have to travel longer distances to school than younger students, so a warm coat in the winter is very important. If you have coats to donate, or are holding a coat drive to benefit the Clothing Center please bring those directly to the Marshall Campus so that we can get them out to students right away.

We also use financial donations to purchase warm winter coats for students. If you'd like to make a financial donation to the Clothing Center, you may do so online here.

Is your school prepared for an earthquake?
When the anticipated Cascadia subduction zone earthquake arrives, will your school community be ready? Mercy Corps, the Portland-based international humanitarian agency, is helping parents and communities prepare by offering presentations and links to key resources during the 2016-17 academic year.

The preparedness presentation & discussion is a 90 minute session in English or Spanish that covers basic steps to prepare families, communities and schools. It is intended for parents and community members and usually takes place in a school setting with the agreement of the school principal. These events are hosted by the school administration, PTA or SUN Director. For evening sessions, the hosting group will provide childcare and – as appropriate – translation services and snacks.

Susan Romanski, Mercy Corps’s Director for US Disaster Preparedness & Community Resilience, leads the presentations & discussions. Whenever possible, she also involves a NET (Neighborhood Emergency Team) member from the community. In delivering these sessions, Susan draws upon years of experience responding to disasters around the globe with various humanitarian organizations, including Mercy Corps and the United Nations. For more information or to schedule a session, please contact Susan Romanski.

Leader News:
Local Unit Outreach:

The Local Unit Outreach includes information that will help you prepare for the 2017 Leadership Conference and Convention, "Plug Into PTA". From bylaws and resolutions, to nominations, job descriptions, membership news and programs and awards, you will find this information very useful as a leader. Please take a few minutes to look over this important information. Download it here.
Special Education PTA of Portland:

The Special Education PTA of Portland (SEPTAP) is reorganizing and will be holding elections soon. They are still in need of a unit Treasurer. If you would like to be involved with this city-wide unit benefiting our special education families, and have a background in finances or are a current or past PTA Treasurer,
please contact us for additional information.
Are you on the list?

There is still time to make the list of units in good standing- November 30th is the due date to have all your items turned into Oregon PTA. PTA's currently in good standing:

  • Access PTA
  • Hosford MS PTA
  • Mt Tabor MS PTA
  • Richmond PTA

Most PTAs are missing just a few things. Please contact us today if you are unsure what you need to turn in.

Leadership Resources:

Follow our Blog here for guidance and information as you lead your PTA.
Consult our website for up to date information and news.
See our Monthly Leadership Checklists here- we currently have President's checklists available and will be adding additional leader checklists soon.

Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for resources and information you can share with your communities.

Leaders, are you interested in getting involved with PTA at the Council Level? Do you want to further the mission of PTA and help other local units with your knowledge? We are currently accepting applications for Franklin Cluster Vice President and Grant Cluster Vice President positions. If you are interested, please contact Portland Council President, Lisa Kensel via email for more information.

Have you seen our latest blog entry on delegating? Are you an effective delegator? Find some good tips here.
Lisa Kensel
Portland Council PTA
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