The NEW 2012-2013 PTA Membership Card New Look – New Process

Volume 96
Issue 1
August 2012
“T.E.A.M. PTA – Together Everyone Achieves More!”
The NEW 2012-2013 PTA Membership Card
New Look – New Process
As with any new process or initiative, in order to be successful, National
PTA needs the help of every PTA leader to support and promote the 20122013 new membership card. It is our goal to get the membership card in
the hands of every dues-paying member, to encourage members to
activate their cards, and to develop messaging to communicate PTA’s
value and relevancy throughout the nation.
National PTA along with LifeTouch has invested in this new, higher quality
membership card. Our research indicates that PTA’s relevancy and
messaging is not being clearly communicated at every level in the PTA
network. We want to share data collected from the card activation
process with PTA leaders and develop tools, training, reports and
communication techniques that will effectively deliver PTA’s mission and
message. This new and improved card is a first step of many that will
spark new interest, new members and new energy into Today’s PTA. In
the months ahead, National PTA will develop marketing materials and
membership messaging to help spawn membership growth, including
ideas on best practices of membership card distribution and activation.
What Does Membership Card Activation Do For PTA and The Member?
1) It provides members with a coupon for school supplies from Office Max
and for a Hertz car rental. These coupons have a value that in many
cases pays for the cost of joining PTA and then some.
2) It gives PTA members a reason to go to the PTA website to activate
their card, where they can also see all of our programs, benefits
resources and tools to help their child succeed in school.
3) It provides all levels of PTA with contact information for individual
members. This information is vital for communicating our messages
across the nation, uniting and mobilizing members around
education issues.
4) It provides members the awareness that they are part of a local, state
and national network that stretches far beyond their local PTA.
5) The upgraded physical stock with the additional color and graphics
indicates that a card-carrying PTA member chooses to belong to an
association invested in quality. It gives the member a reason to keep
the card with them and includes copy reminding them about the
mission and purpose of PTA and how to contact us.
Continues on page 8
In this Issue of Illinois PTA eBulletin:
Political and Media Focus on our
Public Schools
Bruce Bohren discusses some of the hot topics and
questions to consider in this month’s A Message from
our President…
Resolve to Make Illinois a Better Place for
Children and Youth!
PTA Resolutions are the result of an issue being brought
to our attention by local units – local units like yours.
National PTA - Back To School Central
for Parents
A comprehensive resource of information for the backto-school season.
We CANNOT Have Our Kids Living In Fear
The protection and safety of our children is of the
highest priority, but how do we do it.
Environmental Opportunities and Resources
for Teachers, Parents, and PTAs
Learn about new resources related to the environment
and nature as we kick off the 2012-2013 school year.
Juvenile Justice
The PTA has worked hard this past Spring to support
positive changes , but there is more work to be done.
The Magic of Summer
Don’t think of it as time to ready for back to school,
think of it as time to get ready for Reflection Season!
Surfing the Web —
Find out what information is available under the Illinois
PTA and Program tabs on our home page.
Classroom First Commission Findings
Report lists twenty-three recommendations to
improving education opportunities and efficient use of
education resources.
Illinois PTA Bulletin
August 2012
A Message from our President…
Bruce Bohren
Since this is the first newsletter of the new school year, I’m supposed to be talking to you about a lot of the
beginning of the year tasks. Are you getting your budgets done and adopted by the general membership?
Have you signed up for all the training available at the State and National level? Do you know you can
contact your District Director or Region Director if you need help? Have you gone through the Local Unit
Packet and the Back to Basics Kit from National? But no, I’m not going to talk about any of those items this
What I will talk about is the political and media focus on our public schools. There are a lot of different
viewpoints on how to improve public schools. But how much of it is hype and politics and how much is
truly researched base? Here are some of the hot topics and questions for you to consider.
Illinois PTA
This is an idea borrowed from the business community. The basic premise is that by giving parents a choice (private schools, charter
schools, or public schools) there will be competition between schools. This will in turn push the schools to improve.
If this were true, why aren’t private schools doing better than public schools? They have been in competition for years with public
schools. Research has shown that private schools perform the same as public schools when you take into account the
socioeconomics of the parents. Hmmm! Looks like an outside influence has more of an impact than school.
In order to compete, everyone should be following the same rules, but private and charter schools do not have to meet all of the
same regulations as public schools. Looks like public schools have the cards stacked against them.
Note that PTA opposes public funds going to private schools.
Charter Schools
Charter Schools are considered public schools; therefore, PTA would support a charter school. However, we also believe in local
control. An issue arrives when the State over rides a decision made by the locally elected school board.
Charter Schools have been around for 20 years now. The intent is that by freeing charter schools from some of the regulations, they
could be innovative and find ways to obtain better results.
The research that I’ve seen from unbiased sources indicates that the vast majority of charter schools do the same or worse than
public schools. The ones who are doing better than the average public school all seem to follow similar guidelines, such as looking at
the whole student, life beyond the school, having high expectations, taking more time to teach them, longer school days, and longer
school years.
None of that sounds very innovative. Many of our public schools, who have the necessary resources, are doing this already and I’m
sure many would like to if they had the resources.
Many people understand that one of the biggest factors in school performance is parental involvement. So who do you suppose is
more likely to move their child to a charter school? In fact, many charter schools have a requirement that parents be involved a
certain amount of time. So has any research taken that into account?
Also interesting is that here in Illinois one commission was formed to look at consolidating public school districts to save money and
another one was formed to promote charter schools. Charter schools have their own boards. They have their own administration.
So on the surface, it seems like Illinois had one commission trying to reduce districts and another one creating them.
A Message from Our President continues on page 3
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Illinois PTA Bulletin
August 2012
A Message from Our President… continued from
page 2
I know that I’ve asked more questions than answered, but
that was the point! Parents want what is best for their
children. To do this, they need to understand topics related
to education. They need to be able to separate the hype
from actual unbiased research. PTA is here to help parents
do just that! We don’t have all the answers, but we know
where to look and who to ask.
Hello from Illinois PTAs Newest Sponsor
The fact is that there is no simple answer for improving
schools. It is a very complex issue. We should all be very
leery of anyone proposing a magic bullet.
I’ll end this with my thoughts on one of the most important
attributes needed for a high performing school district. The
community needs to elect school board members who will do
a good job!
People need to do the research on candidates. Attend School
Board Meetings to see how incumbents behave at Board
Meetings; are they prepared, do they listen, and do they treat
all stakeholders with respect? Look for Board Member
Candidates who understand their role of setting policy and
setting the direction of the district, versus the
Superintendent’s role of running the district on a daily basis.
Ask Board Member Candidates how they will watch over how
the District uses the taxpayer’s money, are they willing to ask
for more money if it is needed to provide the level of
education that the community expects. Ask Candidates about
setting high expectations for the superintendent, who then
will set the same high expectations for the entire district.
School board members are the elected decision making body
of the school community. Take the time to become an
educated voter. Then vote! Strong, knowledgeable
leadership provides a conducive learning environment where
children will prosper, maintain good communications with all
stakeholders in the community, and ensure all resources are
being utilized to accomplish the common goal of a
quality education.
Join Illinois PTA members, friends and family as the Rams take on the
San Francisco 49ers and visit the field following the game!
Special Ticket Sales that Benefit Illinois PTA
$85 Packet
Savings of $15/TICKET
- One Terrace Level Ticket
- One Field Level Ticket
Both packages include a $10 Food & Beverage Voucher
Ticket packages available for all 2012 home games
(post-game field access only available on December 2)
Phone: Amanda Lutz at (314) 425-0528
901 N. Broadway, St. Louis, Mo 63101
form available at
Limited Tickets Available – Order
Illinois PTA Ticket Order Form available at:
Please remember that PTAs cannot endorse or oppose
individual candidates. They can host candidate forums as
long as they invite all candidates to participate.
*Part of NFL flex scheduling and is subject to change.
All sales are final.
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Illinois PTA Bulletin
August 2012
National PTA Back To School Central for Parents .............. Courtesy of National PTA
Submitted by Annette Czech-Kopp
Director, Illinois PTA Parental Engagement
[email protected]
PTA provides Back to School Central as a comprehensive resource of information for the back-to-school
season. Content will cover topics such as preparing your child for school, adjusting from a summer schedule,
evaluating schools, and more. Stories and articles will be added throughout the summer. Check back for
valuable advice on how to wind down from the summer and get ready for a tremendous school year.
Content is arranged under four categories:
 Back-to-School Preparation
 Nutrition
 Homework Help and Study Skills
 Parent Involvement and Communication.
You can also find resources and ideas in PTA's Great Idea Bank, an online community of parents and PTA leaders sharing ideas on
parenting, being involved in PTA, working with schools, and more. In addition, PTA will be publishing a family resource for dealing
with tough economic times toward the end of June. Please check back or cost saving tips and advice on managing your money and
time for the benefit of your children.
We CANNOT Have Our Kids Living In Fear ......................................................................................... by Matthew John Rodriguez
Director, Juvenile Protection and Safety
[email protected]
I hope all of you have enjoyed a fun summer with your children and are ready for this upcoming year of advocating for our children.
All of us together can come up with exciting new ideas and ways of making Juvenile Protection and Safety part of our daily lives.
After the recent event in Colorado, it is clear that the protection and safety of our children is of the highest priority. The question is
how do we keep our children from harm when we can´t even dream of such events happening in our community! Our first instinct
might be to not let our kids go to the movies. But how will that really work though? I believe it is our duty to help each other keep
not only our own children safe, but our whole community safe. The challenge is going to be how we do that.
Is your community coming together to address and resolve local issues that put our children and community in danger? In all my
travels, I discuss hot topics like bullying, cyber-bullying, social media, internet safety, etc. All the parents I meet are actively involved
and ask a lot of questions. However, how many of us are taking that knowledge and spreading it to everyone that will listen?
Safety is the responsibility of every member of the community. It is as essential as breathing. There is no way we can be at all
places at all times to protect our children. As part of the PTA family, I stress that we do not have to be inseparable but we do need
to have enough respect for each other to work together for the safety of our children. Always remember, our children are like
sponges. They are constantly observing our behavior. If we are doing the right thing, then they will too!
Please send me what your community is doing to protect our children. I would love to share it with other PTAs in our state. Most of
us have the same concerns and needs for resources. You can contact me anytime to share or for ideas that are working in other
communities that you can bring to your community.
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Illinois PTA Bulletin
August 2012
Resolve to Make Illinois a Better Place for Children and Youth! ........................................................ by: Lisa Garbaty
Director, Illinois PTA Resolutions
[email protected]
As you prepare and plan for the 2012-2013 school year, remember that each of the past Illinois PTA Resolutions were the result of
an issue being brought to our attention by a local unit – a local unit like yours. From internet safety to school bus safety, from social
and emotional learning to bullying prevention, from banning cell phone use while driving to improvements in the juvenile justice
system, your Resolutions have been the driving force of change in Illinois for decades!
The effect of a Resolution, backed by over 100,000 members of the Illinois PTA, continues for years after the Resolution is approved:
the 2008 Illinois PTA Resolution on Food Allergies was followed by the 2009 passing of Illinois Public Act 96-0349 on Food Allergies,
and then in 2011 with the passing of Illinois Emergency Epinephrine Act (P.A. 97-0361); the 2007 Illinois PTA Resolution to Ban Cell
Phone Use While Driving, was followed by the 2009 Illinois Ban of Texting While Driving (P.A. 96-0130), and more recently this
summer when P.A. 97-0829 was signed by Governor Quinn placing further restrictions on texting for drivers of commercial vehicles.
When you prepare and plan for the 2012-2013 school year, remember the impact of the local PTA units that drafted previous
Resolutions for the benefit of the children in Illinois. It is not too early to familiarize
Summer Safety:
yourself and your unit with the Call for Resolutions material that is found in your
Still an Issue Even as We Prepare for
local unit packet, and at the Resolutions page on the Illinois PTA website under the
Taking Action tab.
Keep in mind that a Resolution does not need to relate to legislation; the 2009
Resolution on Social and Emotional Learning impacts our children by encouraging
the promotion of its inclusion in school curricula, and by disseminating information
on its importance. (Although there is currently pending national legislation related
to this: see page 8 of the November 2011 Illinois PTA Bulletin.)
Think about the issues that are impacting the children in your community. Are you
aware of a child who has health issues that are worsened as a result of cleaning
products used in your school? Do you know of a teenager who was hospitalized as
a result of energy drinks? Is there an increase in pertussis (whooping cough) in
children in your community? Have there been reported incidents of the “choking
game” in the news? Do you know of a student athlete who received a concussion
because of inadequate protection while participating in a school sport?
What are the issues you face? What are your ideas for resolving them?
I look forward to hearing your ideas for a Resolution to benefit children and youth
throughout Illinois!
It’s Not To Late To Order
The National PTA Official
Back to School Kit
The online order form will be available at through September 7,
or phone orders can be placed at (800) 307-4782
through September 14.
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Don’t forget to share our July article, “Summer
Pleasures Could be a Summer Danger!” with
your membership!
Accidental drowning remains a leading cause of
accidental death of children under the age of
five, with the overall number of incidents
increasing in the warm weather of summer
months when children are more likely to be
near pools or bodies of water. Here are some
important things to remember from the July
article, and the references cited there:
 Never allow your children to swim without
supervision: not even for a minute.
 Swimming lessons are often available from
park districts and local community groups;
according to the Centers for Disease Control,
taking swimming classes statistically reduces
the risk of drowning in children four years
and under.
 Do not use air-filled or foam toys as a safety
device: these are NOT life jackets and are not
designed to keep your child safe.
 Learn CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation):
these classes may also be available in your
community. If an accident does happen,
every second counts.
Let’s keep working together to keep our
children safe all year!
Illinois PTA Bulletin
August 2012
Environmental Opportunities and Resources for Teachers, Parents, and PTAs Heather Miller
Director, Environmental Concerns
[email protected]
Would you like to learn about new resources related to the environment and nature as we kick off the 2012-2013 school year?
Students love hands-on activities…experiential learning is one of the best ways to teach young people about the world around them,
too! Take a look at the things available to you as there are many resources out there to help you generate enthusiasm about nature
and the environment as we head into fall---a beautiful time of the year in Illinois!
Assessing Inquiry Learning
The July 2011 issue of the National Science Teachers’ Association Journal, Science & Children, focused on assessing inquiry learning:
both the learning of students and the effectiveness of the inquiry opportunities teachers provide them. Several of the articles,
including a guest editorial by Richard Duschl about "The Changing Landscape of Assessment", are available free at:
Learning about Illinois
Want to learn more about the great state we live in? Visit this website hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
(IDNR) that outlines some great fun facts about Illinois related to the environment, natural resources, and agriculture. Would be
great for a trivia contest for a PTA or classroom challenge!
Nature Treasure Hunt Activity Resource—Downloadable Activity Ready To Use!
Studies show that children who play outside are happier, healthier, and smarter. Help children connect with nature by taking
them on a scavenger hunt -- in nature! The Nature Conservancy is making it easy for you: just download this fun and simple activity,
which can be done in backyards, in nearby parks, or at Nature Conservancy preserves near you...wherever families like to be in the
great outdoors! What treasures will they find?
Field Trip Packs for Loan to Early Childhood Educators
IDNR’s Division of Education has developed a new educator resource. They are called Field Trip Packs and are for loan to early
childhood educators (grades prekindergarten through three) from lending locations throughout Illinois. Each pack is a backpack that
contains hands-on equipment to encourage young children to engage in nature exploration. Suggestions for educators on how to
incorporate natural-resources related topics into the curriculum are also included. To see the list of lending locations and the pack
content list, visit
ENTICE Educator Workshops from the IDNR Division of Education: Register Now!
The 2012-2013 ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshop schedule from IDNR
Division of Education has been released! Go to for more a full list of workshops available,
information, and to register. You’ll find new topics as well as old favorites. ENTICE workshops provide basic information about the
topic from resources experts, hands-on activities, supplemental resources and outdoor experiences. All workshops are developed
with the Illinois Learning Standards as their foundation. Continuing Professional Development Units are available.
Grants are available from the IDNR and the Illinois Conservation Foundation:
Have you started planning for the 2012-2013 school year yet? Do you need funding for field trips or schoolyard wildlife habitat
projects? The IDNR Division of Education in cooperation with the Illinois Conservation Foundation can help! The Illinois Biodiversity
Field Trip Grant program offers grants of up to $500 per teacher to assist with transportation costs associated with a field trip to
study some aspect of Illinois’ natural resources. The Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program offers grants of up to $1,000 per
teacher for the purpose of implementing or enhancing wildlife habitat on the school grounds or other public place. To learn more
about these programs and to access the application form, visit
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Illinois PTA Bulletin
August 2012
Juvenile Justice
Submitted by: Gretchen L. McDowell, Consultant, State Legislation
The spring session of the General Assembly that has been completed (well almost – pension reform is still a BIG issue, and they may
be back in the capitol about that) resulted in some bills relating to juvenile justice being adopted, and other issues still unresolved.
There are “Veto Sessions” scheduled for this fall, November 27, 28, 29, and December 3, 4, 5.
The PTA worked hard this past spring to support the Governor’s proposal to close two juvenile prisons that are not needed, in part
because the population of our youth prisons is greatly reduced. The Governor has declared that they both will be closed! We have
less than 1,000 youth in prison, while the combined capacity of all our juvenile facilities is about 1,800. We need to remind our
legislators that closing Murphysboro and Joliet youth prisons will save money, and any youth there who need to remain incarcerated
can be moved to other facilities.
 Given the grim fiscal state of Illinois, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) budget is fairly encouraging. Aftercare funding (a
good thing, which allows support of youth newly released from prison) increases significantly from FY ’12 although it is somewhat
lower than the Governor requested.
 Another subject we are supporting which has not been resolved yet is reducing the time youth must serve on parole after they are
released from prison. Presently they are on parole until the age of 21. That means a youth (maybe as young as 13 or 14) might
serve only a few months in prison, but will be on parole until 21! At present they are simply monitored by a parole officer,
without any services, so limiting parole to six months or a year would save money. The new “after-care” program which will offer
help to paroled youth is a major step to keeping youth from returning to prison for parole violations or committing a new crime.
 We continue to strongly support raising the age when a youth becomes an adult to 18. At this time, youth who are 17 are
considered juveniles only if charged with a misdemeanor. We believe every youth charged with a crime should be considered a
juvenile until his/her 18th birthday. Remember, a juvenile judge can always transfer a youth to adult court if the judge deems that
appropriate. Anyone who has raised kids knows a 17 year old is not an adult!
Almost all the youth that commit crimes will eventually be living in our communities, whether they get services in their own
community to rehabilitate them and keep them getting an education, or go to prison. Keeping them out of prison whenever
possible is the most effective way to get them the help they need to learn to become good taxpaying citizens.
Read (or re-read) the report on this website – “Ten Years of Progress,” and remember to speak up in these issues when you are
talking to your PTA members and legislators.
These are our kids too!
An effective way to engage your community and demonstrate the value of your PTA is to host a candidate’s forum. The
forum allows concerned parents and other voters an opportunity to become better informed about their choices for
elected officials during election season.
While IRS regulations prevent tax-exempt organizations like PTAs from supporting or opposing candidates, they do allow
such organizations to host nonpartisan candidates’ forums. According to the IRS, such forums are an acceptable form of
voter education. You may even consider partnering with other civic organizations in your community to host the forum.
Go to for a complete Guide to
Hosting a Candidates’ Forum.
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Illinois PTA Bulletin
NEW 2012-2013 PTA Membership Card continued from page 1
The image to the right shows the front of the new membership card, with the card on the left
surrounded by a ‘carrier.’ The member card itself is perforated so the member can separate it
from the carrier and keep it with other IDs. The right of the card contains information
about how to activate the card and the details of the $10 Office Max Coupon. The card
shows a photo of children, as well as the National PTA and State PTA logos, and several data
fields that can be personalized per member.
Card Sheet
Member cards will be distributed in sheets, with four cards on one sheet with perforations
that separate each card and carrier.
Front of Card – Writing
The new cards have a clear, light coating to improve durability. The information on the
blank fields can be hand-written on the card using a ball point pen or pencil. The blank
fields include PTA Unit ID, PTA Name, Member Name, and Signature. About half of local
PTAs distribute cards and assign leaders to hand-write the personal information or allow
the members to hand-write the information themselves.
Front of Card – Printing – New Templates for Data Merging
About half of local PTAs prefer to pre-print the member’s custom information on the card
directly, using a template that merges data onto the card. There is a template that
accommodates the new format of the card, that lines up the information so local PTAs can
mail merge member data (from a data MS Excel file) onto the template (an MS Word file).
The card stock can be fed through most typical ink-jet printers. This template can be found
on in the Running a PTA section. Just Between Friends (JBF) also has a template
available to merge member data onto the new card.
Please note: Because the new cards have a light coating to improve durability, once a sheet
of cards is heated and imprinted through the printer, it needs about two minutes for the ink
to cool and set. After that time, the card can be handled and distributed.
How Do I Activate The Card?
To activate the card, a member will need an internet connection to go to the online
activation link page. This online link is Once on the site, the on-screen
instructions outline the process, which fields they are required to complete and which fields
are optional. Once completed, the member will be sent an email with a link to a printable
PDF coupon that they can redeem at any OfficeMax retail store.
For more information and frequently asked questions about the new PTA Membership
Card, visit:
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August 2012
Illinois PTA Bulletin
The Magic of Summer ................................................... by Kathy Quintanar
Director, Cultural Arts
[email protected]
Ahh Summer! It’s a magical time of year. Full of life and fun, the days are long
and full of adventure; every activity easy and breezy life is welcomed and exciting.
The sun is shining and warm…did I say warm? Correction make that HOT, and I
don’t mean as in really, really cute. This has been one of, if not the, warmest
years to date in history; with multiple days over 90 degrees and many over 100.
Record breaking temperatures and little rainfall, and when it did rain, it was
welcomed by all. Yes even the rain was exciting…Good times.
So good, I’m sure there have been many Magical Moments for our students to
absorb and gain inspiration from. After unplugging for a bit this summer, I’m
excited about the new year and busy getting some hopefully helpful tools ready
to add to the Illinois PTA web site Reflections page. Okay, I’ll be the one to put it
into words…It’s time to start thinking about going back to school. Ha! (As my
teenage daughter who will be a Senior this year reads this over my shoulder and
promptly stomps out of the room with a rather obnoxious groan.) Amazing isn’t
it, how the power of a simple sentence like… “It’s time to get ready for back to
school” can clear the room? At least that’s how it goes in my house. Perhaps it’s
because I’m writing this in July and it’s a sunny, but blistering, 100 degrees
outside. As the current Illinois PTA Cultural Arts Director, I really want to help
facilitate the process for participants and encourage independence and creative
growth in our young students. I’m thinking on this beautiful summer day about
Autumn and the annual launch of the PTA Reflections of Art program. Autumn is
known and celebrated historically as a time of preparation for a bountiful harvest.
Today it’s known as Back to School time. Fun. Fun. I like to think of it as get
ready for Reflections season. Autumn is my favorite time of the year the weather,
the harvest, back to school, everything is starting up again. Activity will soon
ramp up to speeds just within our limits. I think I’m ready and I hope you are too.
I want to help our students have the best creative experience possible.
Additionally, as a newly elected director, I am still looking for any interested
PTA’ers that would consider working with me on a Reflections Committee for the
state. If you are interested, please email me your contact info at
[email protected] As always, please feel free to reach out to me and
share your needs and/or thoughts on a better creative experience for
our students.
As we all pursue our last minute summer activities and squeeze all the zest out of
our last days of summer, I hope you encourage our young students to think about
the Reflections theme “The Magic of a Moment” I’m sure the summer of 2012
has had plenty of those for everyone. I’m excited to see what the students will
show us in the upcoming Reflections of Art competition for the year 2012-2013.
August 2012
Get an extra $500 from your Fall Fundraiser
Bee Authentic is very excited to
work with the PTAs of Illinois. We
are also so sure a relationship with
us will be beneficial to you that we
are kicking off this school year by
giving $500 to each PTA that works
with us this fall!
We will also pay the Illinois portion of the
dues for the first 25 members of those PTAs.
Bee Authentic knows that your schools rely on extra
funds raised by PTAs. Our products are thoughtfully
chosen by parents and are consistently preferred to
other product-based fundraisers.
People actually use our products! From our honeys to
our soaps our products are natural and organic and are
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world: Raise funds and send a message that your
school does the right thing. Support fair trade and the
organic farmer. Support small businesses.
ee Authentic!
Why Bee Authentic?...
Record Sales and Participation: Schools that chose to
Bee Authentic last year had record sales and record
participation versus QSP, Yankee Candle and Otis
Spunkmeyer. Some successes:
 Denham Oakes Elementary: $11,000 vs. $7,800
over 2011, and most sales ever!
 Heights Elementary: $29,000 most sales ever!
Affordable Products: We offer amazing value in
fundraising that is refreshing. In our catalog for 2012:
 16 item are $10 or less
 23 items are $12 or less
 32 items are $15 or less
Healthier Choices: We offer good-for-you and goodfor-the-planet treats: organic fair trade coffee, gluten
free cookies, hot chocolate made with only cocoa and
sugar, organic baking mixes, natural artisan spice
blends and coarse filtered, raw honey and more!
Ease of Operation: PTA Presidents and Administration
are pleased that Bee Authentic handles kickoff, tallying
and packaging - all orders are labeled and packaged by
student name. This saves PTA time and manpower.
Parent Appreciation: PTA's and our own company
receive many "thank you's" for offering products that
just make sense. Honey sticks instead of candy bars for
after school treats are a favorite! Everyone wants to
support their school, and they really appreciate doing it
in a way that offers something more. Making a
Difference: Bee Authentic supports several causes
across the country and around the world.
Check out our Products!
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P A G E 10
Illinois PTA
August 2012
Surfing the Web — Mary Ann Daugherty
Director, Technology
[email protected]
Let's take a closer look at the horizontal menu at!
The second link - “Illinois PTA”:
 Clicking on Illinois PTA will take you to a page that contains our mission, our history, member benefits, a map with Regions, and
the State PTA Bylaws. You may also make a donation to the Illinois PTA on this page.
• The first menu under “Illinois PTA” links to the Purpose and Mission of the PTA in both English and Spanish.
• The second menu “Governance” has two menus: State Board of Directors that contains all email addresses so that you may
contact us; the second is State Board Vacancies, which makes you aware of openings for the State Board of Directors. It also
explains the Board Development and Nominating Committee (BDNC).
• The third menu links you to the National PTA.
• “I know I saw it somewhere.” Have you ever wondered about an article you saw in the Illinois PTA Bulletin? This final menu will
take you to Archived Bulletins back to Fall 2008.
Click on “Programs.” This will take you to the Programs page. There are several other links on this page including a link to National
PTA Reflections Program.
However, the sub-menus will take you directly to each of the program links.
 “Programs to Go” will link you to programs you may use for your members. Just download the materials and connect with your
 PTA MORE: This page will give you information on Men Organized to Raise Engagement (MORE). You'll find some ways to get
the men involved in their children’s life and education.
 Reflections: Is your PTA/school involved with the Reflections Program? If not, visit this page to get the information about the
program and how your unit might connect with this valuable program.
 Scholarship: Are you aware of the Illinois PTA Scholarship for high school seniors? All the information is here including how you
can support this program.
 Juvenile Protection and Safety: Our current Director is doing the very best to bring information to you in both English and
Spanish. Take a look!
 Health: The welfare of children is a strong focus for PTA. Health falls under this mandate. Get information such as: healthy ways
to throw a party for the students at holiday time. Again, there's a link to a Parent's Guide in Spanish.
 Environment: What should I do about my dead batteries and the plastics I no
longer use? The answers are on this page.
 Volunteer Recognition Awards: Use of this program supports our Scholarship
Click Here to Access
Program. Your dues do not support this program. Take a peek at how you can
reward your volunteers and support our high school seniors.
Opportunities for local units/councils and
 Awards Packet: The Illinois PTA knows how hard the units/councils work to
resources for parents. View our latest
promote PTA and wants to reward units/councils. Check out this packet and send
in your applications by the deadline dates.
Get Connected
Please note: These pages will be updated as the new school year begins and as new
materials are posted. Take some time at least once a week to visit the Web site for
updates especially the “Get Connected” and Resources pages.
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Illinois PTA
P A G E 11
August 2012
Classroom First Commission Findings ...................................................................................................... by Peg Staehlin
Illinois PTA, President-Elect
[email protected]
Interesting facts:
 Illinois has almost 870 school districts, the third highest number in the country after California and Texas
 The general revenue funding for public schools in Illinois has decreased by nearly 10% since 2008, dropping the state’s share of
funding to less than 28% and making Illinois investment in education one of the lowest compared to other states.
 The state financial crisis continues to impact schools.
 Illinois is implementing new learning standards and will develop an assessment tool for elementary and secondary education.
 School District consolidation needed to be explored as a viable solution to address the inefficiencies and use of
educational resources.
The Classroom First Commission, created as a result of PA 97-0503, spent many months researching and compiling
recommendations to address these issues though work groups focused on the following issues: shared services, within-district
efficiency, and realignment. Illinois PTA had representatives who served on each of the groups. The commission adopted two goals
early on in the process; improving education opportunities and improving efficient use of education resources. The findings indicate
that mandatory reorganization (combining elementary schools with high schools) will not produce the large cost savings anticipated
by some. The current incentives for consolidation make it unaffordable for the state. The commission’s final report, which was
submitted to the Governor and General Assembly on June 29th, lists twenty-three recommendations. The recommendations include
options for reorganization, shared services, and ways for districts to streamline expenditures.
“These recommendations and the implementation schedule should result in a reduction in the number of school districts and
more than a billion dollars in operations savings that could be redirected to education expenses in the next five years.”
What can you do?
 Review the report:
 Discuss with your school administration and school boards how the recommendations could impact your district
 Watch for updates on legislation which address the recommendations and be ready to contact your legislator to share how this
will impact your children
Illinois PTA P.O. Box 907, Springfield, IL
Bruce Bohren, President
Jolene Lowder, Executive Director
Office e-mail address: [email protected]
Phone: (800)-877-9617 Fax: (217) 528-9490
Illinois PTA Bulletin Editorial Board
Carolyn McCarty, Acting Editor
Mary Ann Daugherty
Rhonda Jenkins
Peg Staehlin
Debi Harris
Deb Scollard
Heather Miller
To subscribe to the Illinois PTA e-Bulletin, send an email to: [email protected] Please put “Bulletin” in the subject line
and include your name, PTA, city, state, and email.
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