It’s hard to believe your kids have been back in school for several months already. You are probably not thinking about kindergarten registration for next year yet!!! Don’t kick up your feet yet, you’ll need to do some preparing to have a successful event. New parents will want all relevent information about the next school year, including information about back-to-school supplies and school supply kits. Having flyers prepared for the parents on how to order school supply packs will be essential for communicating your school supply kit program since this may be the best opportunity to market to the parents. Therefore, you may need to remind the kindergarten teachers to start working on their lists soon so that you can work with Bright SchoolKitz® to have the school supply kits ready for your kindergarten registration.
Election time can be one of great change and intense nerves. Making the change from old to new PTA/PTO officers is a big deal for most schools. But do not worry! We have some tips to help run your transition smoothly.
As your term on board as an officer comes to an end and a new officer is stepping in, how will you help make sure that the new officer is ready? Officer transition isn’t just about electing a new person to a role. It requires the old officer to help the new one understand the organization’s mission, and to give them the necessary tools for carrying that out. Make sure you pass on the knowledge you have gained. This helps minimize the confusion that most new elected officers have when taking on the role, and can also reduce the time the new officers need to get caught up with policies procedures.
Food for thought when making the leadership transition
- Begin searching for potential leaders as early as possible.
- What do you wish you knew in your first weeks of becoming an officer?
- Have a contact list readily available.
- Have all documents ready to transfer over.
- Have your “how to” list and directions on all key activities up to date.
- Any personal notes you have to pass on are helpful.
- Have a new member orientation or welcoming party.
- Be a mentor.
- Create a policy book.
What should be in a policy book?
- Detailed job descriptions for all board positions.
- List of PTA/PTO officers (President, VP, etc.) and committee chairs with contact information.
- Most recent meeting minutes.
- Previous year’s budget.
- Bank account information.
- Files for welcome packets, back to school nights and orientations.
- Potential upcoming PTA/PTO event calendar.
- Keep a list of all events, ex: assemblies, school supply kit fundraiser, spirit wear.
- Key contacts for the school district.
- If participating in a School Supply Kits program, ensure to pass on all the information, explain your experience, and how kits can be used as Fundraiser.
When should elections be held and what should you do if no one steps up?
Normally around the beginning of spring is when many PTA/PTO upcoming officer positions are listed. Being an officer can be exhausting and rewarding but no one wants to do it alone. What happens if no one is stepping up? This can be the most frustrating feeling and challenge you face.
- Try and Connect with incoming kindergarten parents, someone might be interested in taking on a role. Many kindergarten parents don’t even know what the PTA/PTO does. The school supply fundraiser is a great fundraiser to introduce to kindergarten parents and get them involved.
- You may need to recruit again in fall, right after school starts. Energy levels tend to be higher at the beginning of the school year versus at the end.
- Sometimes schools will even let current teachers or staff hold officers’ potions.
How should you walk away?
As mentioned above, many PTA/PTO groups hold elections in the late spring. The election of new officers can bring much excitement, new ideas, and many changes. If you’re an outgoing officer, this can also bring some uncertainty for you. But before your term comes to an end, ask yourself, “What kind of ex-PTA/PTO officer do I want to be?” How will you continue to interact with the group after you leave? This can have a significant impact on the organization.
There may be many different reasons you might be leaving your position, and the circumstances can influence your future with the PTA/PTO, for better or worse. What is the ideal way to exit? With some planning, you can be a good resource and a positive influence for the organization. Always remember your success is the organization's success and we are all here for one reason, our children.
For more tips, you can read this article.
So, you've made the awesome decision to offer customized school supply kits to your school. Good job on getting this far!
But... Now what?
You may be thinking:
"How will I get the word out to the parents about the school supply packs"?
"I'm not good at marketing or social media".
"Will this school supply fundraiser be worthwhile for our Parent Teacher Group"?
We are here to help!
Nowadays, especially in the current environment, social media is one of the most effective ways to market your prepackaged school supply kit program. If your school or Parent Teacher Group does not have a Facebook or Instagram account as of yet, sign up today! You can post fun videos, photos of the kits, memes, etc! Your social media platform is unique to your school culture!
We suggest posting about the school supply kits once every 1-2 weeks. The frequent touches are helpful to parents, who oftentimes have many things going on and appreciate the reminders.
You can also:
- Send an email- send an email out to the parents to remind those who do not have social media.
- Some people still like it the old fashioned way! Bright SchoolKitz has customized paper forms. We suggest handing these out twice as we see an uptick in sales after the second distribution too!
- Add a note about the kits on your website or on your supply list.
- Yard signs and posters and stickers for the kids are also a great way to communicate the parents.
When you sign up for our customized school supply kits, we offer a lot of marketing material on our unique Organizer Portal! We take the heavy lifting off your shoulders and provide you with photos, verbiage for emails, and ideas for social media posts! Your dedicated Account Liaison will send you your Organizer Portal invitation, but if you need help with anything or need a quick tutorial, please reach out to them directly!
Name brand products can be expensive in your school supply packs, and sometimes do not offer a significant difference in performance. However, there are times where name brands are the best available products and are essential to the teachers. Getting the right mix of name brands for the teachers and off-brands to keep the price down for your customized school supply packs is essential.
How do you know when to request name brands and when to substitute?
First thing is to communicate with the teachers to know which items they absolutely want name brands. They have the real-life experience with these products, so they know which brands work best for their students. If they want Crayola markers and Elmer’s glue, make sure to specify that on their supply lists and we will put it in your customized school supply packs.
Next, for items that they are ok with substitutes, work with your supply kit company to get recommendations. What are the feedbacks from the other schools that have utilized those substitutes? Will they accept return if the product fails?
Here are our recommendations on items that should be name brand:
- Crayola® crayons and watercolors
- Crayola® or Prang® markers and colored pencils
- Expo® dry erase markers
- Elmer’s® or Prang® glue and glue sticks
- Sharpie® permanent markers
- Fiskars® or SchoolWorks by Fiskars® scissors
- Koss® or Sony® headphones
- Kleenex® tissue
In our experience at Bright SchoolKitz®, after years of feedbacks from schools and organizations, we still haven’t found crayons that work as well as Crayola’s. Expo dry-erase markers definitely work best, but there are a few off-brands that work nearly as well. There is definitely no substitute for Fiskars branded scissors. Headphones should also be a good quality brand, as generic usually stop working after a few months.
On the other hand, there are many products that have great substitutes while keeping the cost down for parents. These include binders, pencil case, folders, erasers, wipes, and even pencils. These will make your cusotmized school supply packs more economical.
Review the quotes from your school supply kit company to ensure the brands you specified are included in your school supply kits. (Some companies can be decieving and will include Crayola crayons in kindergarten class but off brand crayons in 4th grade.) Communication from year to year between teachers, kit organizers, and your school supply kit company is key!
If you’re a customer with Bright SchoolKitz, then you already know that making school supply kits is not the only thing on our mind! Embedded deep within our DNA is the need to give back and make a difference. It is part of our core values and mission in every decision we make.
You just volunteered to take on the challenge of hiring a customized school supply kit company to provide your schoolwith back-to-school supply packs. It then dawned on you, “where do I begin?”
Whether you have done this in the past, or this is the first time you’ve looked into a prepackaged school supply bundle company, you are in the right place! I have some very useful ideas to help you get started!
Creating our prepackaged customized school supply kits the past 11 months during COVID-19 has been quite a roller coaster! Difficult decisions and stressful situations leave us tired. COVID-19 can be scary, but there have also been some silver linings. We all handle new situations in our own ways and although you may feel alone, you are not. Here at Bright SchoolKitz® we understand the difficult decisions that you are making, and can empathize with how COVID-19 has changed your life in many ways. We relate! We are a women-run company, most of us moms, from all over the country, in all walks of life, working and adapting to the situations we face today. Luckily, we all work from home to provide you with the best school supply pack program possible!
Our work family at Bright SchoolKitz® has been affected in many different ways. We wanted to share a little bit of what we have been going through in an effort to remind you that you are not facing this alone!
You've just volunteered with your PTO/PTA to lead a school fundraiser - but you are overwhelmed! Hosting a successful school fundraiser doesn't happen by chance. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Careful planning, realistic goals and detailed execution are important to your success. Here are some steps to becoming the best volunteer for your PTO!