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Parent Teacher Organization Fall Events: The Virtual Edition

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, school districts have shifted the ways their schools operate. As we go back to a new way of schooling, many PTAs/PTOs – Parent Teacher Associations/Organizations – are figuring out how to operate virtually or with new restrictions. Rather than wait for things to return to "normal", PTAs and PTOs should lean in and stay active during these times. They are a critical connection between the school and the parent community and they play a big role in creating a positive school environment whether that environment is physical or virtual. One great way to remain active and at the forefront is to release an updated fall event schedule. If you are at the early stages of doing so, or just want some ideas to add to your schedule, we’ve got you covered with our insight into virtual PTA fall events.

1) Drive Through Ice Cream Social

Is there anyone who doesn’t like ice cream? We sure haven’t heard of such a person! Bring together the whole school community for a day of delicious fun with your PTA’s very own drive-through ice cream social. To pull this off, organizers should impose a car only restriction where people are required to remain inside their cars as they drive past a makeshift counter to get a scoop of their favorite ice cream! Put on some music, hang some pretty lights, and soon you’ll have an atmosphere that’s sure to bring out the best in everyone. Bonus: you can also use this as a membership drive by handing out PTA membership forms & collecting completed forms and dues.

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2) Drive-in Movie Night

2020 theater shutdowns have driven a return of drive-in cinemas, and shelter-in-place requirements have also driven more family movie nights at home. Why not combine the two by arranging a drive-in movie night at your school’s parking lot or playground. Hang a sheet (or use a school wall) and borrow a projector. You can even sell some concession items by laying out single serving items and having a donation box so that people can maintain social distancing while getting their snack.

3) Craft Night

Quarantine has surely brought out the artist in us all, and what better way to come together than to share our artistic talents with each other. Organizations can arrange a virtual craft night where students create a craft of their choice at home and later display it in a virtual meeting. Not only will this allow for human interaction while staying within the home, but it will also help your child’s talents blossom. PTAs can choose to follow a specific theme for each craft night or let loose and see what their students come up with; either way, it is sure to be a fun-filled night for all!

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4) School Virtual Field Trip

If there is one thing students look forward to during the whole school year, it is their much-awaited field trip. Field trips extend learning to outside the classroom, be it physical or virtual, by giving students a chance to apply their classroom skills in the real world. While field trips are an in-person activity, PTAs can organize virtual ones. After all, students should not be missing out on any opportunities just because they are confined to their homes. PTAs can organize virtual field trips in the form of museum tours, online aquarium and zoo visits, planetarium gazing, and much more. The best field trips are those that are interactive so having a scavenger hunt incorporated is a great way to engage students. You can even enter students who complete all scavenger items into a raffle for a prize! Simply hook up with an online meeting platform and bring all the fun of a trip right to your student’s homes.

5) Virtual Bike to School Day

The global pandemic has seriously shortened our hours in the great outdoors. To encourage their students to do so, PTAs can arrange a virtual bike to school day where students bike to school or around the neighborhood and take pictures of their experience. PTAs can encourage social media sharing so that students feel connected to each other’s experience. This is also a great activity to turn into a contest by encouraging students to wear costumes or spirit wear and giving out prizes for the best costume and/or the most school spirit. Thinking ahead to any yearbooks, PTAs can consolidate photos from this event for a yearbook page.

So, there you have it, some fun yet easily doable fall events to ensure that students’ keep up school spirit and that the community and school stay connected during hybrid or fully virtual schooling.

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