Viewing posts from: April 2014

Food Desert Zone Recommendations Include PTAs

The General Assembly’s House Legislative Research Committee on Food Desert Zones adopted its findings and recommendations yesterday.  Parent Teacher Associations were included in both the findings and recommendations.  The Committee’s findings on school gardens and school breakfasts are as follows:

Finding on School Gardens

School gardens are an important tool for helping students be involved and connected with healthy foods. However, some Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have expressed confusion over the rules for operating school gardens and what can be done with the produce grown in school gardens. The Department of Public Instruction should develop a guidance document on the use of the produce grown in school gardens relative to the school nutrition program and use of the school-garden produce in the classroom for instruction and tasting purposes. The Department should distribute this guidance document to LEAs, school boards, and PTA units across the State.

Recommendation on School Breakfasts

The Committee encourages Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to seek multiple and innovative ways of increasing school breakfast participation in their schools as an additional means of caring for and nurturing our public school children, and the Committee encourages LEAs to support universal breakfast programs, and to consider providing breakfast in the classroom during appropriate instructional and educational activities as one of the multiple options for removing barriers to participation in the school breakfast program. LEAs should utilize the resources of the Parent Teacher Association to help implement innovative school breakfast programs if necessary.

The Committee recommends the Co-Chairs submit the Committee’s findings and recommendations on school breakfast to the Chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Education in the form of a letter.

Link to the full report:

NCPTA Creates Gallery of Reflections State-Level Winners and Special Artists

The North Carolina PTA applauds students and PTA families across the state for participating in PTA Reflections, a national arts recognition program that encourages students to explore their talents and express themselves.

NCPTA hosted the annual Reflections Celebration on April 5 in Raleigh. Hundreds attended the celebration, and more than 80 students were recognized for their talents. NCPTA has created a gallery of the entries of state-level winners and special artists.

Watch the 2014 Reflections Celebration! Please share with family and friends. If you have difficulties viewing, click here to test your computer for technical requirements.

2013-2014 Reflections “Believe, Dream, Inspire” Gallery
Dance Choreography Gallery
Film Production Gallery
Literature Gallery
Music Composition Gallery
Photography Gallery
Visual Arts Gallery
Special Artist Gallery

NCPTA Announces 2014-16 Officer Slate

The North Carolina PTA Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the 2014-16 officer slate to our members. NCPTA members will have the opportunity to vote on this officer on Saturday, May 31 during our Parent Education and Leadership Conference.

Participation in the selection of NCPTA leaders is a privilege of membership and an obligation to the success of our work for kids. Questions should be sent by email to by May 23, 2014.

The NCPTA Board of Directors appreciates your participation in the nomination and election of our incoming officers. Join us as we celebrate leadership for all in the NCPTA.

Treasurer: Sarah Martin, Cary

Sarah Martin serves on the NCPTA Board of Directors as the Federal Legislative Chair. She also serves on the NCPTA Health and Wellness team. Sarah is passionate about engaging both parents and teachers in the work of the PTA, and she enjoys training PTA leaders and potential leaders in ways to accomplish their work while having fun doing so.

Sarah believes that student achievement can be greatly enhanced by enhancing school wellness initiatives. She serves on the Executive Committee of Advocates for Health in Action in Wake County, as well as being involved with the NC Alliance for Health, NC Action for Healthy Kids, and Eat Smart Move More North Carolina.

Sarah serves on the School Health Advisory Council for Wake County Public School System and the School Improvement Team at her son’s middle school. A past president of the Wake PTA Council, Sarah continues to serve as an at-large member of the Council Board and to serve on the Boards of the two local units in Wake where her children attend middle school and high school.


PTAs Find Creative Ways to Appreciate Teachers

Whitaker Elementary Students Write Teacher Appreciation Letters
Whitaker Elementary PTA leaders and parents helped organize a letter writing campaign for students to express appreciation for their teachers. The letters were collected and sent to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

The thoughtful campaign culminated with a letter writing party at a frozen yogurt shop, and the local media were invited to share the story. Whitaker PTA President Leah Crowley and PTA Advocacy Chair Elizabeth Kehoe provided leadership support for the project, and they plan to share the letters with others as well.

“This project combined a lot of great lessons in writing, advocacy and gratitude,” said Debra Horton, executive director of North Carolina PTA. “The PTA leaders at Whitaker Elementary provided a creative opportunity for students to show appreciation for teachers and share their thoughts with statewide leaders.”

Read the news article in The Chronicle of Winston-Salem.

What are your plans for Teacher Appreciation Week May 5 – 9?
We encourage you to get ideas from other PTAs across the state. Keep in mind that little things go a long way. NCPTA recently learned about a letter writing project organized by Whitaker Elementary School PTA. We are sharing their story below as a great example that might inspire some ideas for your school community.

Poe Center Brings Healthy Lessons to the Classroom

The Poe Center for Health Education has received grant funding to provide free nutrition and physical activity series to a limited number of Title I elementary schools in Wake County and some surrounding counties. This free programming can be delivered in the classroom.

Have questions or wish to schedule?
Contact Kate at or 1-866-402-4799 ext. 399 to find out if your school community can take advantage of this free opportunity.

Series Overview

Wholesome Routines
3rd-5th grade, 6 lessons, 45-60 minutes each lesson

Wholesome Routines provides six interactive nutrition and physical activity lessons per grade level. These lessons reinforce the same fundamental health topics from grade to grade but the curricula and activities are designed to meet the learning needs and NC Essential Standards of each specific grade. The goals of Wholesome Routines are to:

  • Promote healthy eating and physical activity among all participants
  • Educate participants on the importance of healthy choices
  • Teach behavior modification by setting realistic and measurable health goals

Growing Healthy Kids
2nd grade, 12 lessons, 60 minutes each lesson

Growing Healthy Kids is a research-based curriculum from Oregon State University. Students learn about gardening, health, and plant biology while creating a paper, garden mural to be displayed at your school. Growing Healthy Kids lessons are fun and include music, physical activity, and a snack each lesson. This program is easily adjustable to fit into your schedule and can be offered for special education classes or as an after school program. Program goals include:

  • Increase the students’ exposure to vegetables and fruits
  • Increase the students’ consumption of vegetables and fruits and model healthy food and lifestyle choices

Visit to learn more about the Poe Center.

National PTA Focuses on Support for Military Families

During April, PTA will focus on ways to welcome and support families in military communities using the PTA National Standard for Family-School Partnerships. National PTA has created information and resources on the unique challenges military children face. Learn how you and your PTA can better support student success.

NCPTA will post resources throughout April and provide local stories and tips from our military communities. Tune in on Facebook!

Every Child in Focus: How PTAs Can Better Support Military Families
PTA Military Alliance for Parents and Partners
Military Families Near and Far

Cross Your PTA Year Finish Line on Time

It’s tax time, but April 15 is also the extended deadline for NCPTA Awards. There are a number of other important dates to keep in mind as you move closer to the finish line for your PTA year. Flag the dates below on your calendar so you don’t miss anything. Keep in mind that there is required tax-exempt organization filing for PTAs later in the year.

“There are a lot of fun things happening in the spring so we encourage leaders to add these tasks below to their checklist and knock them out early,” said Debra Horton, executive director of NCPTA. “We like to call it a 90-day countdown to July!”

As you approach the end of your successful PTA year, add these to your checklist:

*These can be submitted at close of your PTA year! Please review the Finance Tools in the NCPTA Member Library and contact us with questions.