2009-06-25 / Letters to the Editor

PTO a great volunteer organization

I would like to thank the PTO for letting me share in the wonderful job of booking cultural arts and enrichment events for the Melrose and Lawn Avenue Schools for the past five years.

The parents and students of our schools are truly amazing and generous fundraisers. Our teachers and administrators are innovative, inspired and dedicated professionals. You have all inspired me over the years. I am so grateful to each of you.

I am not writing to say “goodbye,” but “welcome!” to anyone who has ever thought the PTO might be a fun place to volunteer. If you know me, you know I’m not exactly the first person you would think of as the perfect PTO mom. You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to have a ton of free time. All you need is to have a heart, a desire to be involved in your child’s school and like to laugh.

As cultural arts and enrichment co-chair, I have had the pleasure of booking wonderful performances and experiencing our children’s enthusiasm as something new and exciting is presented to them.

In the past few years, we have presented storyteller Len Cabral, La Musica Dolce, Daniel Butterworth’s Marionettes, Project Wolf, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Shakesperience, the Everett Dance Theatre, the Tomague Museum’s Native American Cultural Performance, the Island Moving Company, the Boston Science Museum and so much more.

Our children are wonderful audiences, who embrace these performances with all their hearts. I know I am a big cornball, but I have to say that watching the faces of our kids, ages 3 to 15, during these performances over the past years as they soak in the profound world of knowledge, culture and art, is one of the most precious gifts of my life.

And the PTO does so much more. We bring the community fun events, including movie nights, the fall outing at Escobar’s Corn Maze and Scholastic book fairs. We sponsor and facilitate parent seminars on drugs, bullying and other important issues. We fund field trips and special events, and we contribute toward the supplies for each and every classroom. We also put out the School Directory.

The best news is that we need you! As luck would have it, there are all sorts of jobs available on the PTO, including president and vice president, for all you overachievers. Come alone or come with friends. If you don’t have a lot of time, but want to help, there is a wide range of volunteer jobs that will suit your schedule, no matter what your level of commitment is.

Get involved and join. We need new energy. This is a time for you to use your creativity and add to the wonderful list of PTO events, including the golf tournament, luminaries, the chair affair and the playground auction.

To kick off our 2009-2010 school year, the Rhode Island Foundation and the Jamestown Education Foundation have collaborated with the PTO, generously granting the school $3,000 to bring the Grammy-winning Peruvian folk music group “Inca Son” back to our schools, this time with dancers and workshops.

Huge thanks to each and every one of you who has helped to make the PTO so great, and welcome to all! Support the Jamestown PTO in any way that you can. Join us in this rewarding opportunity.
Elizabeth Congdon

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