By Lee Brown
The Big Woods Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) successfully connects families to school by offering opportunities to build community and to volunteer. The PTO supports the school in a variety of ways by volunteering, coordinating volunteers, coordinating events, promoting school community, and fundraising.
Annual events include the fall carnival, family art night, the holiday garage sale, and the Talent Expo.
- Annual PTO Fall Carnival: The PTO kicked off the 2012-13 school year with their 3rd annual carnival on Friday, October 5th. Over 1700 people flooded Big Woods and enjoyed an evening of games, giant inflatables, raffles, a silent auction, face painting, crazy hair, and food. The carnival is PTOs major fundraiser each year, and they profited over $17,000.
- Family Art Night: The PTO and Big Woods art teacher Mrs. Dahl organized a free event in which families painted ceiling tiles with a Minnesota wild life theme. Over 135 families and 500 people enjoyed the fun-filled November event.
- Holiday Garage Sale: The PTO and 4th grade teachers & students coordinated a community service project in which 4th graders donate and price items from 25¢ to$2.00. All Big Woods students shopped at the garage sale. The entire $1800 profit was used to support Big Woods families in need of financial assistance for the holidays.
- Talent Expo: The PTO is presenting its 9th annual show case of students’ finest culinary arts, visual arts, performing arts, and creative works. The Talent Expo is a celebration of the creative talent at Big Woods and is not a competition. Student projects will be displayed at parent teacher conferences on February 7th and 12th.
- Volunteer Opportunities: The PTO coordinates volunteers for a variety of opportunities such as Mix It Up Day, all school bingo, cafeteria supervision, picture day, ROAR training, harvest parties, MCA proctoring, and numerous other events.
They also volunteer to create the year book and displays throughout Big Woods. They provide financial assistance by supporting technology, providing field trip and summer school scholarships, purchasing instructional materials and furniture, and funding other extras.
Research shows when schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more. We value the Big Woods PTO and their efforts to connect school and family.