Partnering with Families to Help Students
Greetings from Jennifer Ritchie, President of the Kent Area Council (KAC) Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA):
The Kent Area Council (KAC) Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is excited for this school year. The Washington State Parent Teacher Association (WSPTA) is the largest non-profit volunteer organization in Washington State. First chartered in 1978, The KAC PTSA is entering our forty-first year in Kent, supporting, training and celebrating our local volunteers and members, enabling them to be a powerful voice for children.
First and foremost, our organization is one of grassroots advocacy. Our WSPTA Legislative Convention this year is October 26-27 at Bellevue College. PTA advocates from around the state will be meeting to discuss our platform, which includes supporting Social and Emotional Learning, Strategic K-12 investments to close opportunity gaps and preventing gun violence. We also will be discussing our supported issues, which include best practices for both recess and seated lunch.
Our Executive Board and committee chairs are currently assisting approximately 34 local unit PTA’s in running their non-profit organizations. Our Council programs benefit all students, teachers, and staff of the Kent School District (KSD).
Last year, our Clothing Bank supported over 700 families! We have a super group of volunteers heading up this program this year and insuring its ability to continue to offer services to our wonderful KSD families. The Cinderella Project, which travels to each high school providing formal dresses, tuxedos and accessories at no cost, just wrapped up a very successful homecoming season.
We also offer our Reflections art program to all schools. Reflections is a National PTA arts recognition program that helps students explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence, and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful not only in school, but in life. This year’s theme is “Look Within”. I am very excited to see the many ways our students interpret this theme.
Our PTA’s have been busy providing enrichment in our schools…you may have seen members helping at back to school ice cream socials and BBQ’s, popping popcorn, organizing Book Fairs, sponsoring craft bazaars, and packing back to school bags for teachers. In addition, our membership also provides support directly to their schools, with monetary donations coming recently from Kentlake PTSA, Soos Creek PTA, Sunrise PTA and Ridgewood PTA, for items such as student enrichment, educational magazines, playground equipment, field trips, support for a back to school BBQ and a salmon tank (cool). These donations totaled over $7,500!
This is just a small glimpse of how our membership is working in partnership with KSD to make every child’s potential a reality. If you would like to help us reach this goal, it’s easy, join your local PTA today!
-Jennifer Ritchie, 2019-20 KACPTSA President