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Patriot Perspective: PTA lists school year accomplishments

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The end of a school year is a time of excitement, accomplishment and bittersweet reflection.

Everyone is looking forward to the fun and freedom of summer. Outdoor activities, time with family and friends, trips, camps and even sleeping in are at the top of everyone’s to-do list for the next three months.

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Along with all of the excitement, the end of a school year can also be bittersweet. Emotions and worries arise with leaving familiar routines and expectations. We find ourselves asking, “Did we accomplish everything that we set out to?” or “What could I have done better?”

Pequot Lakes Schools PTA is experiencing all of the same feelings and emotions as students, teachers, staff and parents at this time of year. The current board has reflected upon the past school year’s accomplishments and assessed what went well and where changes should be made. It is amazing how much our unit of 98 members achieved for our students.

We were able to raise money to run our programs and fund grant requests. Each year the PTA raises funds through direct donations, the sale of magazines, spring carnival, family nights out at local restaurants, and the collection of Box Tops and Labels for Education.

The monies generated are allocated to benefit students at both Eagle View Elementary and Pequot Lakes Middle schools.

There are line items in the PTA budget for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, nutritional testing treats, Grandparent’s Day, Fun Books for Kids, the Eagle View Literacy Library, and workroom supplies.

Each year, a significant amount of PTA funds are set aside for educational field trips. The PTA helps fund one field trip for every student at each grade level K-8. That is more than 1,200 students who get to enjoy learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

Each year, grant requests are received from teachers and staff who have a specific need for their classroom or program throughout the school year. Grants were approved this year for the Backpack Food Program, Junior Achievement, educational and motivational assemblies, social studies and science books for kindergarten, the first-grade store and Kinder Camp.

Pequot Lakes PTA is committed to health and wellness. We hosted two major health and wellness events that the entire community was invited to participate in. One was the 2K/5K Family Fun Run held in the fall. The second was the Bike Rodeo held May 17.

The PTA is grateful for the many sponsors who donated either funds, products, services or discounts that allowed us to put on these healthy, family-friendly events.

Volunteers are vital to the PTA’s success. In addition to all of the volunteers who help with events and fundraising, the PTA also provides volunteers for Junior Achievement, Breakfast Buddies, the Watch DOGS program, the teacher workrooms and individual classrooms.

PTA volunteers also showed their appreciation for all of the teachers, bus drivers, custodians and staff with a potluck lunch in the spring.

The PTA recognizes that it could not have accomplished all that it did without the help of many people. We are very grateful for that help. Parents, volunteers, school administrators, teachers and staff alert us to needs and provide help and guidance throughout the year. All of the local and area businesses are tremendous resources for our community and without them, we could not raise the funds that we do to run our programs and fulfill grant requests.

We thank everyone who has contributed to the PTA’s success in the 2013-14 school year. The new board has been voted in and we look forward to working with everyone again in the 2014-15 school year.

We plan to accomplish even more than we did this year. Have a wonderful summer and don’t forget to keep saving those Box Tops and Labels for Education.

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