PTA Programs

See a combined calendar for the PTA and PAUSD.

These 40 wonderful programs and events benefit our children and our community as a whole. Your PTA membership and generous donations make them possible. Parent volunteers organize and run them.

Program
or Event
Description Date
ASSEM-
BLIES
Assemblies are usually held in the MP room during school hours, and have been made available for the whole school. Subject matters are geared toward broad topics that are of interest and concern for all children K-5 (for example, recycling). Period-
ically,
through-
out the
year
BINGO
NIGHT
This is a fun social event that occurs on the school grounds in the evening. Everyone (parents, children, neighbors) is welcome to attend. This event usually lasts about 2 hours where are there multiple winners per game to create as many winners as we can! Prizes are awarded to winners. Pizza is usually available for sale. Bingo cards have typically cost 50 cents per card, per game. Spring
BOOK
EXCHANGE
During this annual event, children will bring in unwanted, outgrown books, which are then redistributed to other children in the school. Kids have a wonderful time selecting new books to take home! January
BOOK
FAIRS
Although this event is also listed under ‘fundraising’, this is a wonderful way to encourage reading and put new books into the hands of our kids. Book Fairs occur twice a year (once in the Fall, and once in the Spring). What fun to walk in the MP room and see it transformed into a huge bookstore. Kids enjoy browsing and purchasing books for themselves, friends, and teachers. Fall,
Spring
CARME-
LETTER
The Carmeletter is our school’s newsletter. It is one of the main methods of communicating ongoing activities and issues around campus. Parent volunteers submit articles for the newsletter, and more parent volunteers helped to edit and layout the final product. It is a great way to find out what’s going on at school. Roughly
monthly
CHILD
WATCH
Child watch services are provided for certain PTA sponsored events. These historically have been the Back to School Night, and various parent education events. The PTA tries to provide child watch services whenever it is important for parents to be attending events on campus. As
needed
CLASS
LIST
POSTING
CELEBRA-
TION
A perfect get-together when students and families come to see the class lists when they are posted. Before
school
starts
CLASS-
ROOM
SUPPLIES
At the end of the school year, teachers provide lists for the supplies they need for the following school year. A PTA representative makes a large collective purchase (at a great discount). This enables teachers to supply their classrooms with supplies that are consistent with each other. The parents are invited to make a donation of $25 per child to help cover the cost of supplies. This program has been very helpful in reducing the time parents spend looking for the specific supplies requested by their child’s teacher. Summer/
Begin-
ning of
school
year
COFFEE
WITH THE
PRINCI-
PAL
Once a month, the Principal is available to chat informally with parents about various issues facing the El Carmelo community. PTA volunteers bring coffee and goodies. Monthly
DIREC-
TORY
Having a way to easily contact other parents is critical to our community! At the beginning of the year, parents are requested to provide contact information to be printed in our school-wide directory. Directories are provided free to all PTA members, and may be purchased by non-PTA members for a small fee. Begin-
ning of
school
year
EMER-
GENCY
PREPAR-
EDNESS
Did you know that there is an emergency supply shed on campus? It’s near the far end of campus behind the El Carmelo Kids Club. The district pays for the shed and most of the items contained inside. The PTA provides volunteers who assist with emergency drills, as needed. Ongoing
ENEWS eNews is published weekly to keep the El Carmelo community aware of ongoing activities and issues. Another great way to keep up with what’s going on at the school.. Ongoing
FAMILY
SKATE
NIGHT
This is a fun social event that is held in early Winter at Winter Lodge. Families pay a fee (~ $16/person, which includes skate rental) to join other El Carmelo families for a night of skating, hot chocolate and desserts. Kids really enjoy skating on the ice with other school friends! Late
fall/
early
winter
FIELD
TRIPS
Students take field trips throughout the school year to places that enhance their education experience. PTA funds the costs of all field trips, and parents are invited to make a donation of $50/child to help cover these costs. Ongoing
FIRST
DAY
COFFEE/
KINDER
COFFEE
What better way to meet up with old friends and meet new ones than over a cup of coffee? PTA hosts two coffees at the beginning of the school year, one for the entire parent community and the other for Kinder parents. First
days of
school
ICE
CREAM
SOCIAL
Starting at a new school isn’t easy, whether a student is a Kinder or an older child who has moved to El Carmelo from another school. Our community wants to get to know our newest members as quickly as possible. The Ice Cream Social is an event especially for new students and their families, occurring right before the first day of school. It is the perfect place to come meet other new families, and to meet some “old-timers” who can answer all your questions. One week
prior
to the
start of
school
INTERNA-
TIONAL
DAY
International Day provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about the rich diversity of our community, as families share their cultural heritage through booths, art projects, dances and food. Children are given passports with spaces for stamps from each country represented at the event to encourage them to visit each country table. This is a great way to learn and appreciate the cultural diversity of our school community as well as for widespread parent participation. Spring
KINDER
VISIT
SUPPORT
The Kinder Team invites incoming Kinders to come meet them in the spring before they start Kindergarten. PTA volunteers provide a warm welcome for parents and Kinders while teachers chat with a few children at a time. Spring
LIBRARY
FUND
The PTA provides the library with money to purchase books every year from several revenue streams: Sponsor-a-Book, where parents make donations of $15/book on the One Check Form in the Fall, Book Fairs, and through a line item in the PTA budget. Ongoing
LUNAR
NEW YEAR
CELEBRA-
TION
Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the El Carmelo community! Winter
MATH
LAB
Math Lab was created and developed by a parent many years ago to promote the appreciation and interest in general math skills. The basic philosophy of Math Lab is to make math fun through a series of hands-on math activities, and to allow the child to progress through the program at his/her own pace. PTA provides funding for materials for this program, which would not be possible without parents generously volunteering their time to work at the Math Lab stations in the classroom. Ongoing
in
classes
that
partici-
pate
MATH/
SCIENCE
EXPLORA-
TION
An afternoon of displays, demonstrations, and hands-on activities and experiments meant to stimulate an interest in math and science, this can’t miss event is fun for the whole family. Winter
NOON ART
AND
ACTIVI-
TIES
During lunchtime recess, a parent volunteer makes art projects available for students (approximately every other week). This very popular program often draws nearly 100 students per session. The PTA pays for the art supplies for these projects. Biweekly
PANCAKE
BREAK-
FAST
The Pancake Breakfast provides a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy a delicious, leisurely breakfast together on a winter Saturday morning. Perfect for building community, it is one of many events that kids look forward to all year long. Late
winter
PARENT
EDUCA-
TION
Part of the PTA mission is to support the whole family (including parents!). Parent Education events are held on a variety of topics that might be of interest to parents. Some parent ed events have included: Understanding the Kids and the Internet; Getting Ready for Middle School; Explaining Standardized Testing; and Your Child’s Friendship Skills and Communication Choices. Period-
ically
through-
out the
year
PE and
RECESS
EQUIP-
MENT
The PTA helps to fund PE and recess equipment for all grade levels, ensuring that plenty is available for everyone. As
needed
PROMO-
TION
REFRESH-
MENTS
Following the 5th grade promotion ceremony, there is a reception for all 5th grade students and their families/guests. The reception is held at school, and is coordinated by 4th grade parents. Funding for light refreshments is provided by the PTA. Last day
of
school
PTA
CONVEN-
TION
The California State PTA’s annual convention provides useful training for PTA Executive Board members, as well as workshops that are of interest to PTA members at large. At the convention, our delegates also vote on various statewide PTA resolutions. Our bylaws permit us to send two delegates from our school. The PTA budget includes money for travel, hotel, meals and cost of the convention pass for our delegates. Spring
PUMPKIN
PROJECT
Every year near Halloween, a parent volunteer organizes a pumpkin carving display. Children bring their decorated pumpkins to school for viewing by other students. They may choose to take their pumpkin home after school or donate it to various places (such as retirement homes) around Palo Alto. October
SCHOOL
SUPPLIES
The PTA provides funding for supplies needed at the school that PAUSD does not cover (in addition to supplies purchased in lieu of “Back-to-School” supplies). As
needed
SITE
IMPROVE-
MENT
PTA provides funding for various site improvement projects at El Carmelo that are not on the list for PAUSD. Some site improvement activities have included installing a new shed for storage of PE/recess equipment for Kinders, installing raised beds in the garden area, and replacing cabinets in the staff lounge with shelving to allow space for storage of leveled readers. As
needed
SPA-
GHETTI
DINNER
This is a fun, social event for families at El Carmelo to meet each other and develop a greater sense of community. Fall
SPIRIT
SHOP
The Spirit shop sells El Carmelo dragon-logo clothing (such as hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts), water bottles and frisbees. These items are especially popular on Blue Fridays, when the El Carmelo community shows its school spirit by wearing blue. Ongoing
STORIES
UNDER THE
STARS
Once a year the PTA sponsors an evening where students come to school in their pajamas and listen to stories read by special guests. These guests have included teachers, the principal, local authors, and other guests from the community. Winter
TACO
NIGHT
The entire family will enjoy an evening of wonderful food and entertainment at Taco Night! Fall
TALL
SHIPS
Toward the end of the time at El Carmelo, 5th graders spend a weekend on a ship tirelessly working to prepare meals, clean the ship and other tasks. Sounds exhausting (which it is), but the kids leave the ship feeling independent, and realizing what they accomplished. It is a very fun weekend for them, but also a terrific learning experience that they’ll never forget! End of
school
year
TEACHER/
STAFF
APPRE-
CIATION
Parents and children take a week to show their appreciation of the entire El Carmelo faculty and staff for their hard work during the year. One day during this week, a luncheon is provided for all staff members in the teachers lounge. Spring
TECHNO-
LOGY
The PTA helps fund the purchase of various technology items. Due to the immediate obsolescence of computers, purchases focus mainly on new computers and software. Digital cameras and printers have also been purchased with PTA funds. As
needed
TEN MILE
CLUB
A parent volunteer started this club to encourage physical exercise during the school day. Children run around campus during noon recess and their progress is tracked. Prizes funded by the PTA are available once they reach various milestones! Through-
out the
school
year
VISITING
AUTHORS
The PTA helps bring various authors to the school to meet the kids and talk about their books, how they write, and answer the children’s questions. Through-
out the
school
year

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