Winter 2018 Member News:

Hello Portland PTA members and leaders!

Happiest of New Years to you all! We hope that you enjoyed time with family and friends during the holiday season and that 2018 is off to a great start. January is the time when we often make personal resolutions for change or for new habits in our lives.This is an optimistic time of year for many when we resolve to manage stress, exercise more, get more sleep, eat healthy, volunteer more, save more money or......and the list goes on. It takes resolve and patience for these resolutions to stick as you build new habits and creates a period of reflection as we look back on the past year.

Statistics point out that 80% of New Year resolutions fail by mid-February and that we again slip back into old habits, feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of the work to complete our goals. If you made a resolution to get more involved with your student and their school, that promise doesn't need to slip. It takes many hands to make light work and with some thought into how you allocate your time and energy, you just might find an hour or two each month to help your student's teacher with a project, contribute to a PTA task or committee or sit on your schools Site Council. 

With so many demands on our time and everyone just trying to make it through the day, it can be hard to imagine that you can find more time to give to something at the school. Resolve to offer even an hour a month of your time and talents to something that helps kids. Because working together, even an hour at a time, we can make a difference for all kids in PPS. Happiest of New Years to you all! 

Portland Council PTA

*Miss our Late Fall/November edition? See it here.

Student Health & Safety:
Safer Internet Day is February 6, 2018. This year's Safer Internet Day (SID) celebrations will take place on Tuesday, 6 February 2018. The 2018 theme, "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you" is a call to action for every stakeholder to play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, in particular the youngest users out there. More than that, it is an invitation for everyone to join in and engage with others in a respectful way in order to ensure a better digital experience. Find more information from National PTA on their Connect for Respect program and start the conversation with your children. 

Opportunity for High School Students Interested in STEM Education:
Anyone can become an inventor when given the right tools. An early, engaging, and challenging STEM experience in a college setting can be a game changer for students who would not otherwise see themselves in a STEM field.  Invention Bootcamp is designed to provide just that opportunity. Through this month-long, immersive invention experience, high school students of all backgrounds and experience levels will gain technical skills, form critical connections with college mentors, professors, and industry professionals, and collaborate with peers from across the state. Invention Bootcamp aims to give more students these tools early in their education. Invention Bootcamp is an intensive education experience for high school students. It is led by PSU faculty, Dr. Gerald Recktenwald and undergraduate engineering students. Students learn basic skills to develop a prototype by completing class-wide projects. In parallel, students apply these skills to creating their own invention. At the end of Invention Bootcamp, students present their invention to the public. There is no cost to participate and 25 students will be selected.

Camp Highlights included: 

  • 4-week bootcamp from 10am - 3:30pm summer weekdays under guidance of PSU faculty and students
  • June 25th - July 20th, 2018 
  • Create relationships with college students and program mentors
  • Training in engineering software, computer programming, microcontrollers and electrical circuits
  • Training in common engineering tools
  • Design and fabricate own invention
  • Weekly guest speakers
  • Onsite visits to business and maker spaces
  • Finale Presentation will be held on the last afternoon of camp - Open to the public

Find more information, including the application to apply for Inventor Bootcamp here.

Portland Council PTA Clothing Center:
The Portland Council PTA Clothing Center has currently served 1,031 students this school year with an astounding 2,459 volunteer hours. The service that we provides ensures that all students in PPS have access to the necessary clothing they need to feel good about their appearance and attend school. 

Thank you to Columbia Sportswear for their generous donation of coats for students this year. Recently we also had a donation from Schoolhouse Supplies, when they donated seven boxes of new clothing items. The Assistance League of Greater Portland is also a huge help in serving PPS students with their generous donation of new clothing items including jeans, underwear and socks. Several companies in the Metro area also help us by sending volunteers to work at the Clothing Center. If you work for a company that donates time to organizations, or matches your volunteer time with a gift/donation, we'd love to be considered.

Thank you to all the individuals that generously donated funds to the Clothing Center last school year! We sincerely appreciate your donations and value your support. We use financial donations to purchase warm winter coats for students, as well as new socks, underwear and jeans. If you'd like to make a financial donation to the Clothing Center, you may do so online here.

A huge thanks to our local PTA units who contribute funds to the Clothing Center: 
Access, Arleta, Atkinson, Buckman, Cleveland, Creston, Franklin, Glencoe, Grant, Hosford, Irvington, Jackson, Llewellyn, Maplewood, Markham, Metropolitan Learning Center, Richmond, Scott, Skyline, Stephenson, West Sylvan, Wilson and Woodstock have all generously donated this year- we appreciate your partnership! 
PTA Spotlight:
Congratulations to Mt. Tabor Middle School PTA! They were recently awarded a National PTA Take Your Family to School Week Grant! They have been awarded $1,000 to hold events at their school to increase family engagement. Great work Mt. Tabor Middle School PTA!
Local Opportunities for PTA Members & Leaders:
Saturday Academy to You (SA2U) brings hands-on, in-depth classes in science, technology, engineering, math and the arts to your school for students in grades 2-8. Classes are taught by community experts and are available after-school, during late-opening days and on teacher training days. This year  they celebrate 35 years of STEM education in the Portland metro area. Browse their catalog for the list of classes available this year. Schedule your SA2U class now! Financial aid is available for all students. Contact Heidi Venerri, SA2U Coordinator, if you have any questions.

National PTA News

STEM + Families Tech Grants sponsored by Microsoft:
National PTA and Microsoft are partnering to empower families to support student success and fill a critical gap in STEM education. The 2018 National PTA STEM + Families Tech Grants sponsored by Microsoft will award $1,000 to 35 local PTAs to host a STEM + Families Tech Night in the spring of 2018. This Tech Night event will bring students and families together to either learn exciting new Minecraft coding skills or to build a robotic finger (two different program models). National PTA will provide you with all the support and training necessary to host a successful STEM + Families Tech Night. No prior computer or technology experience needed! Your PTA makes sure all families and students are welcomed to the event, coordinates the student and family technology experience, and arranges for food and prizes.

Apply for the grant here: This grant application is open until February 9, 2018 (all applications must be received by midnight PST on February 9).

NOTE: Your PTA must be:

  • A Middle School OR a school serving 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th graders
  • Able to host an event at your school in March, April, May, or June 2018

2018 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award: 
National PTA is now accepting applications for the 2018 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award. This award recognizes PTAs that best demonstrate outstanding achievement in the areas of diversity and inclusion, as well as efforts to end discriminatory practices.

The award will be presented to one state PTA, one district/council/region PTA and one local PTA at the 2018 Annual National PTA Convention and Expo, June 21 – 24, 2018 in New Orleans, LA.

Winners Will Receive:

  • $1,000 cash award
  • 1 Plaque/Trophy
  • Honored at the D&I Breakfast at the National PTA Convention
  • Honored at the Awards Program at the National PTA Convention
  • 2 tickets to the Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast at National PTA Convention
  • 2 tickets to the Awards Dinner at National PTA Convention (1 person recognized on stage and individuals must be the same as those attending the breakfast)
  • Potential opportunity to be a speaker at the Diversity & Inclusion Breakfast
  • Certificates for PTA members named in the application

Who Should Apply?:

  • PTAs with proven efforts in welcoming diverse members of their community.
  • PTAs who have effectively hosted multicultural events to engage diverse communities.
  • PTAs that have been able to recognize and address issues regarding bias, prejudice and misunderstanding to promote diversity and inclusion.
  • PTAs who have effectively partnered with community organizations to increase brand awareness of PTA in their community including underrepresented groups.
  • PTAs who have made meaningful connections with key members of the community to impact membership and volunteerism.
  • PTAs who have increased the diversity of their board.
  • PTAs who have had success in diversifying their membership.
  • PTAs interested in continuing to grow their initiatives and efforts to expand their outreach.

Instructions - Requirement - Preview:

Ready to Apply?  

Once you have gathered all of the components, submit your application online by the deadline of Saturday, March 31, 2018, 8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST. Remember to save your narrative document for your records.


Email or call (800) 307-4PTA (4782).

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