February 23, 2018 
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  NYS PTA on School Safety, Prevention of Gun Violence, and Mental Health Services  

Now is a time for mourning and ACTION, as yet another school shooting occurred, claiming the lives of 17 innocent students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. We have reached out to the leadership at Florida State PTA to offer our support.

The PTA message and mission have never been more important than now.

  • We continue to call for increased mental health services for students and support the proposed $250,000 for school-based mental health programs;
  • We call for the $10 million request from the State Education Department for increased mental health services, and programs for improving school culture, climate and safety;
  • You can read our memorandum HERE, and TAKE ACTION HERE;
  • National PTA has issued this position statement on Gun Safety and Violence Prevention, please read;
  • New York State has a website - https://safeschools.ny.gov - which details many of our state's school safety initiatives;
  • Please also have a conversation with your school leaders on the requirement for a School Safety Plan, and discuss other school safety measures your school building is employing.
We will also feature school safety, gun violence prevention, and the need for increased mental health services at our upcoming Summer Leadership Conference, in membership mailings, our website, and in social media.

Our mission has never been clearer - to support EVERY child, with ONE voice, to ensure EVERY child is SAFE in school and home.

We thank you for your dedication to children - now, tomorrow, and always. There is no more important work.

  Who's Your +One?  
  National PTA: Gun Violence Prevention Efforts  

From Jim Accomando, National PTA President

I have heard from many of you regarding National PTA's response to the recent tragic events in Parkland, Florida and the all too frequent school shootings across the country. Thank you for the valuable input.

As you know, National PTA has been providing leadership on school safety and gun violence prevention for nearly three decades. National PTA leadership recently hosted a meeting with leading gun violence prevention advocates to ascertain how PTA's resources can best ensure the safety of our children. Today, there is even more urgency for us to act.

Staff and I have met to discuss a robust and strategic response. Below are the proposed recommendations:

  1. Guidance Document on Gun Violence Prevention and Student Voice: This guidance document outlines the importance of the student voice during this unique time. This guidance will include suggested talking points for National as well as state and local PTAs around the proposed walk-outs and marches.
  2. Press Release to the General Public: This press release clearly outlines our existing gun violence prevention position statements and resolutions. The release includes links to our PTA.org website for additional information.
  3. FAQ Guidance Document on PTA Position Statements and Resolutions: This guidance document provides answers to many of the frequently asked questions that we receive from our membership about gun violence prevention efforts.
  4. 2018 Legislative Conference: We will change our 2018 "Hill ask" from full funding of the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) to gun violence prevention efforts. Further, our Legislative Conference programming will now include a gun violence prevention speaker. We will also be recommending training exclusively for the state presidents.
  5. PTA Programs: National PTA has initiated conversations with gun violence prevention groups to collaborate on the promotion of school safety programs that do not require a legislative response. These programs will provide resources to parents, teachers and community members alike.

  NEW! Online PTA Store  
  Did You Take Action on Tuesday?  

Last year, you and other members sent nearly 10,000 emails to the Governor's office and your state legislators, plus Facebook posts and Tweets, advocating on topics affecting children.

This year, get ready to send even more messages to Albany in support of all New York's kids! Check your email every Tuesday in February and March, and get ready to Take Action!

In case you missed any of these emails, you can still Take Action (even if today isn't a Tuesday)! Click the links below.

Are you looking for more important advocacy information that could impact you, your family and your school? Click HERE for our latest Advocacy Newsbriefs.

  DeFEET Distraction Poster Contest - Your Unit Could Win $1,500!  

In collaboration with the National Road Safety Foundation, NYS PTA just released a contest to develop a statewide traffic safety poster!

One grand prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the winning PTA Unit

Three runners-up will each receive $500 for their schools' PTA Unit

TO ENTER: Students in grades 1-6 must create a poster or collage on 8.5 x 11 inch paper showing how they can help prevent distracted walking. Teachers may mail entries in one envelope for the whole class.

For the complete Official Rules, see Contest Rules here

MAIL ENTRY (with completed Entry Form) to:

DeFEET Distractions NY Poster Contest, c/o New York State PTA
One Wembley Court
Albany, NY 12205
ATTN: Lynne Degnen-Kolawole


Plus, check out these cool resources too!

  Upcoming NYS PTA Events  

Save the Date for SLC in July!

Summer Leadership Conference (known as SLC) is an annual event designed to provide training and programs to all PTA members, helping you establish grass-roots advocacy in your school, and preparing you to be a leader in your education community.

New for 2018: New location! Union College in Schenectady, NY

Held on a college campus, Summer Leadership is casual and fun. You will enjoy college dorms, campus food and college classroom resources.

When: July 20-22, 2018

Where: Union College, Schenectady NY

NYS PTA's 122nd Annual Convention

When: November 9-11, 2018

Where: Saratoga Springs, New York

  GREEN Your School Fundraising Before Earth Day!  

The NYS PTA has a 30 Million Tree Goal with ForestNation's School Fundraiser.


You can plant 4 trees with each Tree Kit you sell to your community.

  1. You Plant - We Plant. Your community grows trees and ForestNation plants matching trees.
  2. You Post - We Plant. When you make a post about your tree we'll plant another one.
  3. You Replant - We Plant. When you replant your tree in a bigger pot, garden or forest, we'll plant one more!

You can:

  • Motivate students with free lesson resources and sing along music video.
  • Use fundraising forms to collect pre-orders and funds up front.
  • Purchase tree kits and have stock to sell directly.
  • Fundraise any way you like with the profit margin you decide.

Let's get everyone to Plant & Grow!


  Parent Resources  

Do you think your preschooler or grade-schooler may be struggling with anxiety? Here are some signs you might see from Understood.org.

News coverage of tragic events can be upsetting to both adults and children. Kids can worry that something similar could happen to them or their loved ones. Talk to kids about what they see in the news, social media or online from Kids Health.

Ever wonder how snowboarders get maximum air or the importance of the design of skate blades? Learn about how science impacts all of your favorite winter sports in this 16-part video series from NSF Science 360.

  Letter from NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia  

Dear Parents,

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending the New York State PTA Legislative Summit to speak with many dedicated parents, educators, and students who came to Albany to advocate on the behalf of children. NYSPTA Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky and her team do such a wonderful job providing the leadership necessary to help parents and families make their voices heard. I thank the NYSPTA and all of you for everything you do to stay involved in your schools and support students.

Click HERE to read more.

  Follow NYS PTA on Social Media  
  Twitter Blogger Facebook YouTube Pinterest NYS PTA Mobile App - Apple Store NYS PTA Mobile App - Google Play NYS PTA Mobile App - Apple Store  

NYS PTA is proud to offer NYS PTA units the opportunity to host a Chrysler Cars 4 Classrooms Event at your school and earn up to $3,000 - an easy fundraising event for elementary schools.

To enroll, visit www.cars4classrooms.com or contact Program Headquarters at 833-C4C-KIDS.

NYS PTA has partnered with Solar Gard to support school safety and help protect our most precious resource of all, our children. Find more information here on how your PTA unit and school can partner with Solar Gard, and feel free to contact Gary Clark at Gary.R.Clark@saint-gobain.com with questions.

And read this Campus Safety Flyer for information on the importance of school campus safety.

NYS PTA members benefit from the Mortgage Lending to Everyday Heroes Program! WAIVED Application Fee, WAIVED Processing Fee, WAIVED Underwriting Fee, WAIVED Commitment Fee, WAIVED Lock-in Fee, WAIVED Extension Fee

See more information here about the Everyday Heroes Member Benefit for NYS PTA members!

NYS PTA units can receive 50% of profits when using Yubbler to arrange for school supplies!

Yubbler is a great online service for parents to easily order and customize supplies with real-time inventory and guarantee on-time delivery!