20 ways to volunteer for your child’s school

volunteer at school

Nearly every child wants his mom or dad to be involved in school. If only it were so easy for nearly every parent. Here are ways to help out beyond lunch duty.* Can you spend some of your day at school? Before volunteering to help in at the school, review your child’s school policy or ask a few questions: are you permitted to bring siblings? do you need proof of government-mandated clearances? are parents permitted to volunteer in their child’s classrooms or do you have to … [Read more...]

KidStuff Coupon Books

kidstuff coupon book

I jumped back on the PTO bandwagon this year. Not that I ever jumped off, but I jumped onto a different one by becoming more active in our elementary school PTO for the first time. This year, I'm heading up the sales of the KidStuff Coupon Book, which is one of my favorite fundraisers for our schools. The purchase of one book gives your school $12.50. Just one book. So, let's say that your school sells 200 books--that's $2500 collected for your school, easy peasy! What's even better, is … [Read more...]

#PURELLLendaHand partners with Champions for Kids and our kids take the assignment even further

thank you

It all started a few weeks ago. I kept hearing the good old "I wants" and "I needs" and "I have to gets." It being Summer, it seemed even more prominent. When I finally had heard enough, I pulled out the same speech we've all said and we've all heard: you already have so much! Don't forget there are kids who don't have anything near what you have. Think about everything you really, really need. And how much that costs. Think about the kids who have trouble getting things like a healthy dinner. … [Read more...]

Tips for working with fonts (typography) in your projects

how to use fun fonts in everyday projects

I have a thing for fonts. They're so much more than pretty, they're compelling, they tell stories and invoke meaning. And while your PC likely came with a bunch of pretty cool fonts, there are endless possibilities of better fonts out there. Endless. So, the next time you're creating a sign for a school-function or a pinnable image for a blog post, know that you can easily add meaningful typography... for free! Last week, I created a step-by-step tutorial detailing how to add a new font to your … [Read more...]

Thank a Teacher Day

thank a teacher day

I didn't cry on the first day of Kindergarten for either of my boys. When they went to a new school, in first grade, I held in my anxiety and plastered a big, proud smile on my face. I was strong. I was secure. Today, as I dropped off the kids at school, I was glad to be chauffeuring them, me in the front, them in the back of the car. They didn't see the tears welling in my eyes, falling down my cheeks. Before driving away after they got out, I paused to watch them walk together through … [Read more...]

Fundraise.com: go ahead. raise something.


A few months ago, I attended my first PTO meeting at the boys' elementary school. Now, for those of you who are familiar with being a leader and giving away the reigns, you know hard this is. I sat as a member of the audience and tried, hard, to keep my lips sealed for the majority of the meeting. It wasn't easy. For me, it never is. It's not that they're doing things wrong (these are my friends, people. They run a BIG organization. I commend them.) It's that there are these little details that … [Read more...]

Safe Arrival Program Guide

A Safe Arrival Program, when run correctly, assists the school in accountability for attendance and gives parents the peace of mind that their child has arrived safely at school. It also ensures that if a child has not arrived safely at school, attention is paid to the absent child immediately. Leticia Barr, educator and administrator who writes Tech Savvy Mama recently commented that "a good program that ensures safe arrivals requires constant communication between parents and the school and … [Read more...]

Teacher Gift Lists

what to gift a teacher

It's that time of year again... time to answer the pressing question of what to gift the kids' teachers! Here are links to some of my most popular teacher gift posts: Finding a gift for the teacher doesn't have to be hard, 6 easy teacherr gifts she (or he!) will love End of the Year Gifts, the good, the bad and how much to spend Tip: Buy your teacher gifts now More teacher gift ideas 5 things... Not to give as a teacher gift! Blogging it forward: Preschool Teacher … [Read more...]

PTO end-of-year newsletter

For our PTO newsletter this month, I wrote a thank you to all of our volunteers. It also mentioned advice to parents about the importance of getting involved in your child's school. Finally, I asked parents to reach out to new families to make them feel welcome and share the many ways to feel involved. On behalf of the PTO, I want to thank all of our volunteers for giving of their time, interest and love to support the programs here at SCHOOL NAME. Our school would not be as magical for the … [Read more...]

Letter to the Principal

I have been writing this letter since November. Today is the first time I took it from my head and put it in writing. I'm certainly not ready to mail a copy, yet, but a big step closer. Thank you to my editor at Yahoo! Shine! for encouraging me to write a thank you letter. Dear Karen*, It's been a while, hasn't it? 8 years ago this spring I was preparing to leave our elementary school. I think the feeling was mutual. I wouldn't return. Neither of us was unhappy. Working for you wasn't easy. … [Read more...]