On three recent mornings, tummies and the West Salem Elementary cafeteria were merrily filled.
“Muffins with Mom” followed “Donuts with Dad.” Grandparents, other family members and special friends were also welcomed to join the children for a yummy time.
“It was the first time we had ever done anything like that,” said West Salem PTA Vice-President Robyn Smith Ellis, who was in charge of the events. “So we didn’t know what numbers to expect.”
The dads-day surprised them with a very successful turnout: “About 400!” she said. That meant that the line snaked out the door and around the corner — and that volunteers had to dash out to restock the doughnut supply and Starbucks coffee.
The remarkable turnout “was important because dads are not here [at school] as frequently as moms,” said Robyn.
After seeing how many men attended the K-5 event, leaders decided to divide the moms’ muffin-mornings into grades 3-5 and K-2.
Over tables of sweet treats, morning java and juice, folks enjoyed spending time with their school-kids. They could also chat with Principal Trula Byington — “wonderfully supportive,” wrote Robyn via email. (I also marvel at how the principal takes time to read each child’s report card and to write a personal comment — every report period!)
Robyn also credits Vice-Principal Debbie Carroll with being a “very involved member of our PTA team.” And President Meg Clemens “spends many hours a week on PTA-related matters.”
Asked about other PTA programs, Robyn emailed that Ashley Cross coordinates many volunteers “who make the magic happen.”
Movie night at the school is scheduled for May 4, wrote Robyn. Grandparents’ night in the fall is very well-attended. Dana Esworthy and Jeannette Hayes lead a book club for students in grades 2-5. Corrie Bowers and Kelly Shaner are organizing this year’s field day — “which the children love.” There’s also a fine after-school enrichment program twice a year, organized by Lisa Evans for many years: kids get to choose among such classes as Lego-building, arts-and-crafts, learning about animals, etc.
And cherishing the “T” in “PTA,” the organization likes to show appreciation of West Salem’s teachers and staff. The “PTA hospitality committee (headed by Dana Esworthy and Sandy Hart) goes above and beyond” in giving treats, goodies and flowers to represent how their work on our children’s behalf is valued.
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