PTA kids

Being involved in PTA activities provides children with opportunities to learn new skills, make friends, and gain confidence, says Nuala Calvi

PTA parents can be valuable role models for their children, showing them the importance of caring for others, volunteering for charitable causes and giving back to their community. Getting your children involved in PTA activities also gives them a chance to learn different skills, make new friends and grow in confidence – and, as these PTA parents and kids reveal, it can even lead to a few unexpected perks…

Sarah Everson, former PTA secretary at Halsford Park Primary School, East Grinstead and her daughter Megan, 10

Megan: Being a PTA kid definitely has its perks. I get to know about all sorts of things before anyone else – for example, I knew we were getting a new trim trail in the playground and what equipment we were getting. I can go into all the fairs early and stay late, and if there are cakes left over, I get to eat them. Mum ran the Friday tuck shop, and I used to help her make up the bags of sweets. If any were slightly damaged, I got to have them. Ive also made friends with other kids whose mums are in the PTA, so now Ive got friends in other year groups that I wouldnt have otherwise.

The downside is that it takes up time. Once a month theres a meeting in the evening, and my dad will have to put me to bed, or I might have to run my own bath. Its not massive, but it affects me a bit. Also having to go places, like going to school at the weekend. But I bring my scooter and get to zoom around the playground, which I wouldnt usually be allowed to do.

Its certainly made me appreciate how much time and effort goes into things behind the scenes, and thats inspiring.

Sarah: Megan helps me out with PTA activities a lot, especially if there are sweets involved! She carries bags to places for me and often comes down to the school to help haul things out of the PTA shed. Weve done a lot of gardening parties, where we go to school to cut back trees and improve flowerbeds. All the PTA kids come down. Megan got to use the secateurs and learn about plants (as well as running through the sprinklers), which inspired her to go to our allotment more often.

I also volunteer as a Guide leader, and I think seeing your parents doing these things engenders a volunteering ethic. My older daughter, Zoe, is 15, and shes come back to help at every primary school fair weve had since she left. She recently helped out at the open evening at her secondary school, and shes doing some volunteering for her silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. Megan says shes going to come back and help at our Christmas fair as an elf when she leaves, just like her sister.

The PTA was recently in need of a new treasurer, and Megan wrote a letter to encourage parents to come forward, talking about all the ways the PTA has enriched her life at school. It made me feel very proud and impressed that shes obviously taken in a lot of what Ive been doing. 

I think seeing your parents doing these things engenders a volunteering ethic.

Anna Butler, PTA chair at Archbishop Wake CE Primary School, Blandford Forum and her son Franklin, 11

Franklin: Sometimes having a mum in the PTA is quite annoying, but more often its fun. I get to have a go at things I wouldnt normally get to do, like doing the face paints, giving out glow bands at the school disco and selling paint at the colour run. I also made a Victoria sponge cake with my older sister to raise money for our leavers hoodies.

Doing PTA stuff is a good way for me and Mum to spend time together. I like being able to help out and be involved. This year I helped her organise the dog show at our summer fair, and I got to come up with the categories – there was fancy dress dog, dog most like its owner, loveliest lady and most handsome boy.

Mum being on the PTA has inspired me to volunteer and do things for charity. Im going to help with a cake sale at my new school for their open day, and Im doing a sponsored run this year for Parkinsons disease because thats what my grandad has.

Anna: Being on the PTA has impacted family life – there have been a lot of times when Ive had to go to Friends meetings – but from being very small, both my kids have always wanted to come with me. Franklin used to come along even when he was very little and would just get a box of toys out and play.

Hes been involved in all the sponsored events weve organised, such as Fit Friday, where people ran around the track to raise money for a childrens charity and a sponsored walk we did around the grounds after Covid. As a result, hes always thinking about how he can raise money and help people out. For example, hes doing a 2km childrens run at Run Bournemouth this year.

Franklins organisational skills have really developed from being involved in PTA events. The Year 6 pupils raised money for their hoodie fund by running their own stalls each week and came up with all sorts of things to sell, from sweets and cakes to unwanted books and stress balls made out of balloons and flour with silly faces on. They raised over £350! His entrepreneurial skills are impressive – hes a little Alan Sugar.

Doing PTA stuff is a good way for me and Mum to spend time together.