One of the highlights of Plymouth Meeting Friends School is our warm community. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) plays a vital role in organizing events and raising funds that benefit everyone at PMFS. Parent and family participation is what adds dimension and vitality to our community. The PMFS PTO is comprised of the entire school community, both parents and staff.
The PTO performs three essential overarching functions for the school:
- Coordinating resources and volunteers for a number of community-building activities each year. Running the Annual Strawberry Festival is the largest PTO-led effort.
- Engaging in a number of fundraising efforts where proceeds go back to the school to support a variety of efforts. Recently, the PTO funds have supported technology, student assemblies and purchasing materials for nature play.
- Serving as an important representative at School Committee meetings and as a day-to-day liaison to the School Administration.
- Back-to-School Picnic: In September, everyone comes together to have a picnic at school. The picnic features grilled foods as well as samples of the offerings of the lunch program. It’s a free event and a great introduction to the community.
- Coffee with the Head: Parents are invited to stop by for coffee and conversation with Brenda Crawley and other staff and parents throughout the year. PTO provides refreshments and company.
- Halloween Breakfast: Parents provide and enjoy baked goods and hot drinks in the morning, just prior to the annual Halloween parade. The teachers and children parade in costume through the PMFS campus, finishing at the blacktop, for a fun start to the day.
- Leaf Raking Day: PMFS families and Plymouth Monthly Meeting members come together to rake the enormous amount of leaves on campus. Leaf pile jumping does occur. A delicious hot lunch of soups and bread is provided by the Meeting.
- Winter Family Fun Night: Families come to the gym for a shared activity. Recent past activities have included Craft Night (bring on the fuzzy monster pencil toppers and homemade slime!) and Movie Night (pizza, popcorn, PJs and sleeping bags).
- Wassail: Prior to the December Holiday Sing, current families, PMFS friends, and alumni gather for wassail (a hot mulled cider), snacks, and an opportunity to celebrate community.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Justice & Service: Join the PMFS community for a day “on,” not a day off. Featuring social justice education and action in age-appropriate ways, highlights for our students usually include making homemade gifts and assembling individual food donations for a local nonprofit.
- A Family Event during National Screen-Free Week: Meet up with families on the playground after dismissal for some outdoor fun. This is a way to avoid the electronic devices and have some fun with friends.
- Faculty Appreciation Luncheon: The PTO serves lunch to the teachers on one of their work days after school is out, as an expression of gratitude for the care and teaching of our children.
- Parent Talks: Expert-led parent information evenings provide continued learning opportunities on the latest topics and trends in parenting and learning. In the past, Parent Talks have focused on gender diversity, screen time, growth mindset, and nature play.
The PTO raises funds used to support school programs such as new computers, playground equipment, visiting authors, and assemblies.
- Food Program: The PTO’s primary fundraiser! Each day a different lunch/snack item is offered, including pasta, pizza, salads, and soft pretzels. These items can be ordered two times per year (September and January) for weekly delivery to the classroom for that semester.
- Dining Out for PMFS Nights: The PTO partners with area restaurants on pre-arranged dates, during which a portion of your bill is donated to PMFS! Participating restaurants have included Pizzeria Uno, Iron Hill Brewery, Maria’s Pizza & Pasta, and California Pizza Kitchen.
- Box Tops for Education: The PTO collects Box Tops for Education throughout the school year, sending them off in batches in exchange for funds.
- Amazon Smile: A simple way for families to support PMFS every time you shop at no additional cost. Amazon Smile has the same prices and shopping experience as Amazon; the only difference is that .5% of the purchase price comes back to PMFS. Simply go to smile.amazon.com and select Plymouth Meeting Friends School as your charity of choice.
- Strawberry Festival: An annual celebration that draws current families, alumni, friends, Meeting members and the local community to PMFS for food and fun! On the first Saturday of June, all of the children perform with their classes, and then everyone (really, everyone) participates in this family carnival featuring homemade strawberry shortcake!
Ways to Stay Involved
- Read the Virtual Red Folder (“VRF” as we call it) delivered to your email inbox every Thursday. This always will contain the latest information from the PTO on opportunities to volunteer, donate, and come together as a community. (Hint: this is the easiest way to click a link and complete a simple form to sign up to volunteer at a PTO-sponsored event!)
- Check your child’s Red Folder which comes home in backpacks every Friday for flyers and handouts from the PTO.
- Know who your Class Parent is (check the Red Book); there are typically two for each grade. Your Class Parent can answer any questions you have and/or liaise with the PTO to ensure you are in the know. They also send out special class-specific correspondence regarding a number of PTO volunteer and donation opportunities (e.g., each class is responsible for a specific portion of the Strawberry Festival and classes donate different food items for MLK Jr. Day of Justice & Service).
- Sign up to volunteer for any number of events. From co-clerking some of our larger functions and coordinating collection of donated resources to coming early to set up or flipping burgers during an event, there are many chances to pitch in and help make our events a success. Your PTO Co-Clerks are always available to answer questions regarding events and help you to get involved.
PTO Meetings 2020-21
All parents and staff are automatically members of the PTO. The PTO holds monthly meetings during the year. For the 2020-21 school year, all meetings will be over Zoom, on every second Wednesday of the month, at 8:00 pm. The first meeting is the exception – it will be on the 4th Wednesday: September 23, 8pm. Zoom links will be sent closer to the dates. All parents are encouraged to come and share their time and talent to support our work of community building and fundraising throughout the year.