November 17, 2018 
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  National PTA Grants Available: Deadline is November 18  

PTA Connected is National PTA's new initiative to connect PTA members to the best resources in digital safety, literacy, wellness, access and equity. The goal is to help local PTAs facilitate conversations between parents and children about how families can grow together in the digital world.

National PTA will award over 400 grants, and $400,000, through PTA Connected! In addition to financial support, selected PTAs will receive access to PTA's expertly designed programs and full technical support for their event.

PTA Connected - Digital Families Community Events, sponsored by Facebook, will provide 200 grants of $1,000 each. PTA units will be selected to host a workshop designed to provide families with best practices in digital safety and literacy.

PTA Connected - Be Internet Awesome, sponsored by Google, will provide 200 grants of $1,000 each. PTA units will be selected to host a workshop for parent-to-parent discussion and explore together if there's a way to "do it right" when it comes to parenting in the digital age.

The application deadline is November 18, so apply for a PTA Connected grant today!

  Your Opinion on Mental Health Needed  

As parents and caretakers, you have probably heard in the news, from friends, or from your school that mental health and youth suicide is a growing problem in our communities. We write to you in hopes of gathering your thoughts and opinions about your relationship with your school and supporting your child's mental health needs via this survey.

New York State recently passed landmark legislation mandating mental health education in the classroom, making mental health equally as important as physical health. As schools react, build curricula, and evaluate mental health and youth suicide best practices, we would like to hear your feelings, gather your concerns, and record your ideas.

Your feedback will help inform mental health leaders who are working to support schools in New York State.

Please take 20 minutes to complete this 15 question survey.


Your input is needed! Symantec, a long-time Proud National PTA Sponsor, is seeking feedback specifically from the NYS PTA community as important stakeholders directly impacted by the company's corporate social responsibility efforts. Click the link below to see Symantec's Corporate Social Responsibility Report and complete the survey with your reactions.

As a PTA leader/member, please specify the name either of your state, council, or local PTA (as applicable) when asked at the end of the survey. You will *not* be asked to supply any personally identifiable information in the survey.

Thank you for ensuring that the voices of NYS PTA members are heard!


  Garner the Past, Change Today, Embrace Tomorrow  

Newly-elected NYS PTA President Lorey Zaman shares her vision in her acceptance address to Convention delegates.

...Take a moment and imagine if every child, regardless of gender, race, religion, socio-economic status or community had the opportunity to receive an equitable education.

Now imagine each one of those children was loved, cherished, respected, did not wonder where their next meal was coming from or if they would be safe from violence at school or in their neighborhood.

And now ask why?

Click HERE to read President Zaman's full address.

  New President's Pin Now Available to Order Online  

[from NYS PTA President Lorey Zaman]

For those of you that attended Convention in Saratoga, I revealed my logo and theme in my banquet speech for my term as your new NYS PTA President. For those of you not at Convention, please read my speech referenced above.

I promised last Sunday we would set up a MemberHub page for you to order online and have your pin(s) shipped directly to you. We made that happen!

Click here to order now.

Wear the phoenix proudly as a symbol of rebirth, strength, diversity and change, as we all 'Garner the Past, Change Today and Embrace Tomorrow' for every child with one voice!

  Upcoming Student Award Deadlines  

Do you know a high school senior who dreams of being a teacher and needs a little financial help? Check out the Jenkins Memorial Scholarship for Teacher Education $3,000 scholarship.

For more information about criteria and the application process, click HERE

Scholarship Applications due December 15

Do you know of a high school junior or senior who is an outstanding humanitarian? Nominate them for the Youth Humanitarian Award ~ In Memory of Stanley Marcus.

Send your nominees to your region director by January 31, 2019.

Click HERE for more information and the application.

Find your Region Director HERE.

  Invest in the Future: Student Memberships Matter!  

PTA exists for the advocacy of students, and now is the perfect time for recruiting student members. This month is NYS PTA's "Students Rock" membership award contest, and it is gaining momentum with strong student support now more than ever. Just because you are a PTA and not a PTSA does not mean that students cannot be involved. Students should consider all the benefits of becoming a PTA member, especially at the middle and high school levels. For example, PTA is an excellent opportunity for student leadership and public speaking skill development. 

As a student, stating that you were a part of the PTA in your resume when applying to college is eye-opening to admissions offices and will give you an advantage over others. When students become hands-on with PTA, the learning outcomes are endless, and the impact is vital. Seek student members now to earn a "Students Rock" membership badge, as well as a chance to win a $500 scholarship! 

Units must have 30% of their current total registered and paid for memberships as students. Those units that achieve this badge will go into a drawing to win one of five $500 scholarships. These scholarships can be used in so many ways: Arts in Education, PARP awards or Character Ed programs to name a few, or the $500 can be broken up to create several small student scholarships.

After all, it's all about the students - so go get those student members!

  Be a Difference Maker. Be Authentic.  

Aidan Anderson, Co-Founder of "Aidan Cares", kicked off NYS PTA's Annual Convention with an inspirational keynote address. Aidan was also keynote at the National PTA conference in New Orleans and loved his time there. You can watch his address in New Orleans HERE.

Here is a message from Aidan:

Aidan Cares is all about imparting the joy and necessity of giving to kids of all backgrounds. Give from what makes your heart sing and you will never burn out. Our well-being depends on it. Run to need and help, be it people, animals or our planet. Just find ways to make a difference. You can do it!

You can sign up for his emails and receive updates about Aidan's appearances, find out when he comes to your town, and get his newsletters.

You can also follow Aidan on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and iTunes.

  Home Heating Assistance Now Available  

Local departments of social services are now accepting applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

A household can receive a one-time regular HEAP benefit of up to $726 if they are eligible. Eligibility is based on income, household size and how the home is heated. A family of four can have a household income of up to $55,178 a year, or $4,598 a month, and still qualify for help.

Last year, more than 1.4 million households received heating assistance through HEAP, which is overseen by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Applications for the program, which is 100 percent federally funded, are accepted at local departments of social services.

Anyone living outside of New York City can apply for a regular HEAP benefit online at

Additionally, households that have already received assistance may qualify for a one-time emergency HEAP benefit if they are at risk of getting their heat shut off or running out of fuel, which they cannot afford to resupply. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted starting on Wednesday, January 2. Anyone in need of emergency assistance should contact their local department of social services.

  Spotlight on Advocacy: Resolutions  

Last week, over 200 NYS PTA members gathered from across the state to participate in the NYS PTA Annual Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY. This is NYS PTA's annual business meeting. One of the key activities during Convention is the review and approval of the Resolutions Committee's proposed resolutions. This year, we reaffirmed 20 existing resolutions, updated 6 resolutions, rescinded 1 resolution because the issue is now resolved, and we passed one new resolution.

That new resolution affirmed NYS PTA membership's support of raising the legal age to purchase tobacco and other nicotine delivery systems to 21 years of age. Though it was hotly debated, in the end, the membership agreed this was a position that we wanted to take. This new resolution originated out of a unit on Long Island. The vast majority of our resolutions originate with a unit or unit's members having a concern and wanting to take action.

Now's the time to begin working on any issues your unit may feel need to be addressed at the state level. Here's the link to our Resolutions section of the website: find out how you too can write a new resolution and present it to the membership at next year's Convention!

  Annual Convention Wrap-Up  

The 122nd Annual NYS PTA Convention is a wrap! We hope that all who attended experienced a great event. Congratulations to Lorey Zaman and the newly elected officers of our association and best wishes to Gracemarie Rozea as she completed her term as president.

Our keynote speakers, Aidan Anderson and Christopher Albrecht, brought us inspiration to do and to be more. National PTA President Jim Accomando spoke at our banquet and then danced the night away with our delegates at our after party. He was also a panelist at our Fireside Chat, along with NYSCOSS President Lorna Lewis and Alissa Parker from Safe and Sound Schools. Alissa brought us all to tears with her emotional testimony on losing her daughter in the Sandy Hook tragedy. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. We are grateful to them for their participation in our school safety discussion and in our Convention.

Thank you to the entire Convention committee - RDs, team leaders and region volunteers, and of course, our amazing staff, that made this year's Convention such a success. From registration to Reflections, 1st Timers' Table to our bag and t-shirt booth, s'more at our store and order on the floor, our team was outstanding. Our literacy themed banquet was picture book perfect!

Each Convention takes a year of planning. When one ends, another begins. We look at ways to improve and then look forward to bringing those improvements to our delegates. We are excited to bring Convention to a new location and venue next year in Tarrytown and look forward to seeing you there!

If you came to Convention, please don't forget to fill out your Convention surveys. Did you miss the email we sent you? If so, HERE is the link to the overall Convention survey, and HERE is the link to the Convention workshop survey.

  Parent Update: November is New York State History Month and Family Literacy Month, Student Safety Grants, and More  

Dear Parents,

November is New York State History Month! This month, the State Museum, State Library, and State Archives will celebrate with a variety of free public programs for children, families and adults.

Click HERE to read NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia's letter to parents.

  Parent Resources  

Parent-teacher conferences can be intimidating. But they don't have to be. Planning ahead can help you have a confident conversation. Print out a parent-teacher conference worksheet from to help you think through what you want to discuss.

Sending care packages for soldiers overseas is a lot simpler than you might think. And will mean the world to them. Put together a box with your kids and ship it. Find out how from All Pro Dad.

News on e-cigarettes: We are aware that Juuling is an epidemic that continues to grow in our schools and amongst our children. This is one step in many that are needed to help support our kids. Read the full NY Times article.

  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  

Fundraising Done Right! Finally! A way for you to raise money for your school while making everyday online purchases. No Cost, No Risk, No Sales, etc.

KidGooRoo is the only place to go online to read ratings and reviews of kids' classes, camps and programs in your area.

The PrepareU Mental Health Curriculum (www.PrepareU.Live) is pleased to partner with the NYS PTA to support children throughout New York. PrepareU is a multi-faceted experiential mental health curriculum, developed by experts and endorsed by leading psychologists. Read more about this partnership HERE.

NYS PTA has partnered with Swank Movie Licensing USA to bring PTA units discounted movie licensing! Movie licenses run for a full year, and can be used by your whole school building. Keep your school copyright-compliant and watch the best movies! Swank even provides you posters to advertise your movie night! Go HERE to learn more about Swank Movie Licensing.