PTA gives us a voice in education of children

Cher in the City

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I had a very interesting weekend. Instead of my usual laundry, house cleaning and catching up on the last few shows of Single Ladies on Demand ; I went to the Georgia PTA Leadership Convention in Atlanta.

Richmond County Council PTA President Monique Braswell was adamant that it was important for me to understand the impact that Richmond County has as a PTA on a state and national level. If you know Mrs. Braswell, you know she rarely takes no for an answer.

I have always thought the importance of the PTA was that it established a line of communication between parents, teachers and students. It was at the convention that I actually saw that it is that, and so much more.

There were amazing resources for those attending the convention: vendors offering materials, facilitators and speakers on subjects such as health and nutrition, texting and driving, cyber bullying and more.

At one point I was so overwhelmed by the amount of free resources available, I went to the car and got a box to load up.

It was quite impressive. Even more impressive was the sheer number of people who attended from Richmond County.

Because its PTA membership had increased over the past year, Richmond County had more votes on some key issues at the convention. The PTA delegation operated just like a political delegation. It was fascinating to watch.

It was also very clear that the more members of PTA that we have from our area the more we will be able to look out for the interest of the students, parents and teachers here.

PTA membership gives you a voice.

Back to school is just around the corner. The Community Wide PTA and Back to School Festival will begin at 1 p.m. Aug. 6 at James Brown Arena. It's a free event and yes, it will offer free school supplies, a children's fun zone with inflatables, free pizza and ice cream, and resources for parents and students. The event will also have representatives from all area PTAs.

I think all parents and teachers, and even people who may not have children but who still care about the children in our community, should join the PTA. It's a chance to have a voice. And remember, if you don't use the voice you have, it might just go away.

Back-to-school fun

BACK-TO-SCHOOL EXPO: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, ASU Christenberry Fieldhouse, 3109 Wrightsboro Road; free with donation of any school supply; vendor booths, United Way Stuff The Bus program; (706) 823-3443

UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL'S BACK-TO-SCHOOL FESTIVAL: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 30, Evans Middle School, 4785 Hereford Farm Road; free; information about immunization, extended care programs, college planning, safety; universityhealth.org/calendar

COUNTYWIDE YOUTH EXPLOSION: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 30, Edgefield Soccer Field, 696 Mims St.; 10th annual Women in Unity Youth Rally; free lunch for children 17 and younger; school supplies given at 1 p.m.; (803) 637-2010

COMMUNITY WIDE PTA AND BACK TO SCHOOL FESTIVAL: 1 p.m. Aug. 6, James Brown Arena; school supply and bookbag giveaways


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