Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Running Your PTA

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Honorary Service Awards

Identify the Truly Deserving

Most PTA units, councils and districts in California present Honorary Service Awards (HSA) to worthy individuals and organizations that provide outstanding service to children and youth. Yet sometimes this custom might appear to an outsider like a "pat ourselves on the back club" award since it seems the awards are only presented to PTA presidents, officers, teachers and principals.

In order for the nomination process to embrace the spirit of volunteerism that is was created to honor, Honorary Service Award selections are always made by committee.

HSA Committee should:

Have a chairman and members appointed by the president early enough in the year to allow for planning. It is important to remember that is a PTA, not a school-driven award.

Be composed of different members each year.

Consist of an uneven number of persons (five is suggested).

Be comprised of members who are representative of the school or council community. For units it is best to include parents, teachers and if applicable, students. For councils, this should involve a mixture of members from different geographic areas and school levels.

Once a committee is in place, it is important to publicize the process to the association and solicit nominations.
To ensure that all possible candidates are considered, the commitee should:

Send out a nomination form be every communications means available. Units should distribute to parents and teachers, councils to all Executive Board members. You can use your own form. A link the Thirty-Third District PTA nomination form is on this page and can be used as an example.

Ask for nominations from staff members, principal(s) and/or superintendent(s). They often see those "behind the scenes" volunteers who quietly make things happen - that grandmother who reads to classes or the community member who volunteers in the library.

Remember, while teachers and staff members can certainly be honored, it should be for their efforts above and beyond, that is, outside the classroom or their paid routine assignments. Do they serve on the PTA Board? Do they host after school activities/clubs on their own time? Do they volunteer and participate in PTA and/or other helpful community activities that involve children and youth?

Think about honoring an outstanding student, either past or present. Is there a student or an alumnus who is involved in the service of his or her peers in school, PTA and/or the community? Does his or her example shine above all the rest?

Consider community partners and businesses that support the activities of your school, PTA or council.

Contemplate giving awards to individuals or organizations outside the PTA community that also work to improve the lives of children; recognize that "it takes a village" to raise a child.

During the meeting the Chairman should:

Remind members to keep meeting proceedings confidential to avoid inadvertently hurting anyone's feelings (nominees or those nominating).

Remind members to review all nominations and be open to nominations that develop at the meeting.

Determine selections by written vote as to allow everyone the freedom to express their preferences.

The Honorary Service Award is an appropriate demonstration of gratitude for service to children and youth. To select a few among the many who contribute is a difficult task. Hopefully, with advance planning and careful deliberation, you will honor the truly deserving.

Thirty-Third District PTA, 5629 Pearce Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90712
Mailing Address: Thirty-Third District PTA, PO Box 1235, Lakewood, CA 90714
Phone: 562-804-4519