As a stay at home Mom, I consider being a member of the PTA as part of my job.
I thought the PTA was going to be like my college sorority without the toga parties. To say I was wrong is a bit of an understatement. Our PTA is not super into the social scene, but they do an amazing job supporting the students, teachers, and school.
Everyone is so busy these days with work, family obligations, appointments, keeping the house in order, staying healthy. Time has never been more precious. Many parents fear that volunteering with the PTA will end up taking up too much of their time, which I understand because I have that same fear. But here’s the thing. If more parents were involved, the time commitment would be less for everyone. My daughters love to see me involved at school — whether it’s volunteering in their class or with the PTA. They learn important business and life lessons when we work on events together.
What does the PTA actually do? It varies from school to school. Ours offers donations and grants for the extras at school like assemblies, book swaps, and field trips. The NES PTA raises thousands of dollars to enrich every student’s academic experience. This year we started a new campaign called NES PTA GROWS (Growing Real Opportunities for Wonder in the Schoolyard) to rebuild the school’s seventeen year old playground.
We are actually rebuilding the entire schoolyard — not just the playground. The design is better than any playground I’ve seen, and it will be open to everyone when school is not in session (the current playground is not ADA compliant).
It’s a massive project that’s going to add incredible value to our community for kids and parents alike. A new playground for the weekend rotation: yes, please! I’ve run a few small events for the PTA including a Coffee House and the New Years Resolution Fitness Series. Back in January, a friend asked me to help out with a fairy event at Pettengill Farm in Salisbury. My girls adore fairies and we love Pettengill Farm (where we buy our organic eggs and chickens!), so helping with the event seemed like a really great fit for me.
The Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk is a first-time collaboration between the NES and Salisbury Elementary School (SES) PTAs to build a stronger connection between our towns and schools. There wasn’t a date set when I agreed to help organize the event. Turns out the event is the same day as my nephew’s First Communion out in western MA. Just my luck that we can’t even attend the event! I admit that it’s been a bummer to spend so much time working on an event that I won’t see come together. I continue reminding myself that I’m volunteering my time to raise money for the playground.
The event is shaping up to be much bigger than we anticipated.
The Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk will take place on May 16, 2015, from 10:00-3:00 pm. The walk at the event will be a one mile loop in the woods behind Pettengill Farm with the fairy houses displayed along the way. Students, families, local businesses, and clubs are currently building fairy and gnome houses for the event. The display cases at both schools are filled with fairy and gnome houses to inspire students to make their own. So far we are expecting more than 80 fairy houses!
My daughters made their fairy houses last week over April vacation.
We picked up supplies at Michael’s, mini pinecones from a sidewalk on Lime Street, some sticks on Federal Street, and combined them with lots of recycled materials. I was so impressed by their creativity! The girls designed and made the fairy houses by themselves with the exception of the glue gun. I stood at the counter following gluing instructions after a little finger burning incident. I originally wanted the girls to glue natural materials to a bird house (something I saw on Pinterest), but they wanted the fairies to be able to go inside the house. They really had a blast making the furniture too! It took a few hours and made a huge mess, but it was definitely worthwhile to see the results.
The sky was the limit when we started planning this event from scratch.
We’ve invited local librarians to read fairy tales — including Allison Driscoll from the Newburyport Public Library. Local musicians will perform throughout the day. Elissa Shoreman from Buddhaful Souls Yoga Studio will teach a kids yoga class. And the Greater Newburyport Mothers and Families Club will host a free craft table.
With wholesome, natural food and sweet fairy treasures available for purchase, we hope that this community event will bring together hundreds of families from the greater Newburyport area to enjoy a fun spring day. (Just in case, a rain date is set for Sunday, May 17th.) Proceeds will benefit the SES PTA and NES PTA GROWS.
Our hypothetical Fairies and Gnomes are coming to town through Fairy Doors located at local businesses who have sponsored the event.
Stop in to find the tiny, colored doors at the following locations:
– Children’s Health Care
– Harmony Natural Learning Center
– The Fun Way Learning Center Newburyport
– Office of Kevin Fruh
– Newburyport Lighting Company
– Orange Leaf Newburyport
– Eureka Toy Store
– Sage Market Design
– Newburyport Pediatric Dentistry
– Grand Trunk World Market
– New England Ice Lollies
– Salisbury Harbor Garden Center
– Michael’s Harborside
– Wellsco Realty
– Amesbury Public Library
– Salisbury Public Library
– Newbury Public Library
Consider joining and/or volunteering with your PTA. Make a fairy house. Come to the Fairy Gnome Discovery Walk on May 16th. Help us bring some magic to our beloved Greater Newburyport community.