Greetings Clinton Families,
It is my pleasure to serve as your PTA President in this unprecedented year.
In typical years, your PTA would be greeting you at our Back to School Coffee. We’d be preparing for community building events like the Ice Cream Social and the Pumpkin Patch. And we'd be securing orders for the in-school Farmer’s Market and for the Book Fair. Unfortunately this year, district and state directives prevent us from holding any large in-person events.
When school starts, our kids will also be facing the unfamiliar. They won’t be greeted at the door by Mrs. Connors, or have a chance to meet our new Assistant Principal, Mrs. Correa. There will be no bandaids from Mrs. Harrigan, or gentle reminders from Ms. Liz to eat their lunch before their dessert. They’ll miss meeting their teachers in person and seeing their friends on the playground. It’s tough. And as a working mom of four (three here at Clinton School), I get it.
If you are feeling anything like I am, you’re a bit saddened by these changes. You’re exhausted and frustrated by all the disruptions we’ve had this year, and upset by the difficulties faced by those in our community who have it way worse. We are all being faced with the impossible choice to sink under our frustrations or to swim towards unseen opportunities. Which will you choose?
The Clinton PTA has chosen to swim. And though it won’t be easy, it’s certainly the only way forward.
With this in mind, your PTA will have three central goals for this school year:
1. To make sure that the basic needs of our families are met
It's more important than ever that we ensure that all of our families are taken care of. This year, we introduce a new Board role -Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and English Language Learners. Our Co-Vice Presidents will take the lead on identifying any opportunities where we can ensure that all of those in our community have their needs met. We will continue to encourage support for SOMA Cares, our ongoing district wide food and school supplies drive. And we hope to create an unprecedented partnership with the District and other SOMSD PTAs to kick off a district wide fundraising initiative to respond to today's childcare needs.
2. To provide classroom and teacher support
As in years past, we will continue to offer support to our personal heros: Our Clinton School teachers. We will continue to provide a stipend for each classroom to help teachers offset classroom expenses. We hope to continue to offer educational enhancements that our kids love (such as the Kindergarten Harmonize Kidz, 4th Grade Artist In Residence and 5th Grade graduation swag). And, of course, we will acknowledge our teachers’ efforts with gifts during Teacher Appreciation Week.
3. To build community
Our PTA has always had an interest in community building.Though these events will look very different than years past, we do intend on offering safe, socially distant or virtual experiences for our families. We have already kicked off the year with programming from Balanced Kidz to help parents prepare for this school year. We will be promoting Chalk The Walk Week the first week of school to encourage our families to get out and mingle in the community- safely at a distance! And we hope to offer a range of virtual activities that will allow us to continue to stay connected during this time.
Speaking of fundraising efforts, we, like other organizations, need financial support more than ever. As most of you know, we were unable to hold our biggest fundraiser last year, the Spring Auction. And for the safety of our families, we are cancelling it again this year. But the programs mentioned above happen with your No Frills and Membership donations. And they happen with volunteer contribution.
But what’s more, one day, we will be back in the building, laughing together on the front lawn. Our kids will be enjoying the programs they once did like Pumpkin Patch, and Spring Picnic, not to mention all of the in-school programs. They will be enjoying field trips again, looking forward to Philadelphia and their class trip to the pool. And when that time comes, the PTA wants to be ready to support those programs as we always have.
So come swim with us! And join us in our mission to make every child’s potential a reality, regardless of the distance.
The water may be a little cold right now.
But I promise, it will feel good again in no time!
Kali Fields Williams, PTA President (Parent Volunteer), 2020-21