Parent Involvrment Committee is experiencing growth

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/26/00.

Quilt The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) at the Paynesville Area Elementary School is experiencing growth and activity under the direction of Karlene Gray, its chairperson.

Todd Burlingame, elementary principal, recognizing the important role that parents play in their child's education, is delighted to see the energy and unity emerging from this organization. The PIC has adopted the mission statement: "Parents and teachers working together to benefit all children, staff, and families."

Rose Schaefer displays the quilt she pieced together for the elementary school.

"Our goal is to involve as many people as possible to live up to the motto, "It takes an entire village to raise a child," Burlingame said.

The first meeting was attended by two parents, but that number has grown to over 50 parents volunteering at school. The PIC meets once a month at 7 p.m. in the media center. Some of their activities include: Scholastic Book Fair, classroom volunteers, General Mills boxtops, Campbell soup labels, school store, track and field day, club choice fund raiser, school pictures, elementary choir, and planning monthly themes for the school. The PIC has sponsored "Muffins for Mom" and "Donuts for Dad," as well as provided coffee, juice, and cookies during open house and conferences.

Before Christmas break, each staff member received a survival kit as a token of appreciation. Another goal of the PIC is to bridge the gap between the parents and teachers by recognizing each other's value, and working together to benefit everyone.

In January, the PIC is working on a "Kindness" theme. Over Christmas break, the students were busy working on quilt squares. This was a family activity where the student and parent decorated a quilt square illustrating an act of kindness. The squares were collected and are currently being sewn and tied together by local groups and individuals. Each classroom's finished quilt will be donated to local shut-ins or churches.

Each staff member also designed a quilt square. This quilt will be raffled off for $1 per ticket. To conclude our January Kindness theme, we will be having a Kindness Night dinner on Monday, Jan. 31. The Kindness meal consists of a barbeque sandwich, chips, milk, cookies, and treats. The meal will be served from 6 to 7 p.m. in the elementary school cafeteria. At 7 p.m., families will be able to enjoy a puppet show, sponsored by the Paynesville Human Rights Commission.

All the classroom quilts will be on display at the Kindness Dinner.

To celebrate February, I Love to Read Month, the PIC will be hosting a family reading night from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Author and writing specialist, Joyce Bumgardner, will be in Paynesville working with the students and staff during the day. At 6:30 p.m., she will be in the gymnasium working with parents and their children on a writing exercise.

The Parent Involvement Committee is volunteer driven and always looking for new members, Burlingame said. Their next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 29, at 7 p.m. in the elementary media center. For more information, call Burlingame at 320-243-3725.

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