The PTA section of the Barrett website is used for many different purposes: to inform families of upcoming events, to request volunteer help, to post forms and information that may be timely or continuous, and to keep Barrett families "in the loop" about Barrett issues and needs. The website is updated continually at the request of the PTA by the website coordinator.
The After-School Enrichment program offers fall, winter, and spring classes taught by Barrett teachers, parents, and outside vendors. Over the last few years, we have offered a wide assortment of classes, which have included sports (e.g., yoga, basketball, roller hockey), Spanish, science, piano, cooking, and more. Any parent or teacher can take the initiative to teach a class or organize a vendor for a class. The coordinator(s) with the help of additional volunteers, organizes the classes, works with vendors, publishes an available class list for each session, manages class enrollments, and collects fees. Additional volunteers are needed during the classes to supervise logistics of moving children from regular class or extended day and supervising pickups from the class.
The Health & Wellness Committee is a group of parents who have an interest in children’s health and nutrition. The group has chosen a few issues or topics to focus on each year (e.g., nutrition in the cafeteria, healthy snacks, drinking water campaign). The committee hosts periodic meetings throughout the year to discuss and plan activities. As a part of encouraging exercise, there will be a few Family Gym Nights where children and their families can enjoy basketball, indoor soccer, and dance and exercise classes. Other events planned include Naional Walk to School day, Ice Skating Event at Kettler, 5K Fun Run and National Bike to School Day.
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Teacher Appreciation Lunches
Teacher Welcome Back Breakfast (Allison Holt, 703-465-0580)
Fall - during first Parent-Teacher Conferences (Roxana Orihuela, 703-647-9678 and Veronica Lucas, 703-485-7524)
Spring - during second Parent-Teacher Conferences (Allison Holt, 703-465-0580)
May - National Teacher Appreciation Week (Teresa Flores, 703-625-4268 and Juan C. Rodriguez , 703-582-2035)
For the first two dates, the coordinator sends out flyers two weeks in advance asking for monetary donations. Money is used to cater a lunch (vendor is generally suggested by the teachers).The Chair copies and circulates flyer for the children’s Friday Folders; ensures adequate supplies of plates, napkins, cups, beverages, etc., are on hand; arranges for catering delivery or pickup; and recruits volunteers to assist in setup and cleanup of the buffet table in the library. For the last date during Teacher Appreciation Week, the PTA has budgeted funds to pay for a catered lunch. The Chair(s) need to ensure the ordering, delivery of check to food vendor, and secure volunteers for setup and cleanup.
Reading Fun Day Celebration (Rachael Bauer, 703-241-0977, Co-Chair OPEN)
The students are rewarded with a fun, activity-filled day in June if they meet the principal’s challenge of reading 35,000 books during the school year. The Chair works with the school staff to plan the event, activities, and lunch. A number of volunteers are needed during the event to assist with the activities, serving lunch, and cleanup.
Sally Foster is an early fall fund-raising event offering a wide range of products for sale from a catalog and via website including wrapping paper, magazines, and gift items. The Chair works with Sally Foster, publicizes the event, and coordinates the logistics of ordering and delivery. A few volunteers are needed to assist with the logistics. The whole school is asked to participate in selling.
Fall Book Fair (Jennifer Sauter-Price, 703-664-0936 and Kristen Hope)
Bradford Books comes to Barrett to sell a wide offering of books for a few days in September. Volunteers are needed throughout the school day for the five days of the sale and one evening to assist with sales.
Barnes and Noble Day (Heather Weir, 703-598-1140)
Barnes and Noble will donate 10–20% of its sales to Barrett for anyone who mentions the Barrett book fair ID number at the register on Saturday, December 5th. The Chair arranges the logistics with Barnes and Noble, publicizes the event, and coordinates volunteers for the event. Additional volunteers are needed the day of the event (from approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for gift wrapping services and story time.
Used Book Sale (Sarah Campany, 703-553-9011)
In conjunction with the Writers and Arts Fair held annually in May, the PTA sponsors a used book sale. The coordinator facilitates the donations of used books starting a few weeks before the event, publicizes, and coordinates the volunteers. Volunteers are needed the night of the event in shifts to assist with the setup, sales, and cleanup.
Box Tops for Education Program (Nena Shaw, 703-536-4342)
Box Tops for Education is a General Mills school fund-raising program. Barrett earns cash for every eligible Box Top from hundreds of well-known General Mills brands such as Betty Crocker®, Pillsbury®, Kleenex® and Ziploc®. Parents can cut the Box Tops for Education logo from products that they buy and send them to school with their child or put them in the Box Tops collection box in the school lobby. The Chair collects the Box Tops and submits them to General Mills for reimbursement. A full listing of eligible brands and the program is at www.boxtops4education.com.
Grocery Store Programs (Karen Hildebrand, 703-528-1298)
Several grocery stores and retail outlets have programs that donate money to schools if you patronize their stores. Last year we raised over $5,000 with programs through Harris Teeter (our biggest contributor), Safeway, Giant, and Target. There are a growing number of other opportunities. The coordinator manages the accounts with the vendors and publicizes the programs to drive participation. There is also an opportunity in early fall for parents and children volunteers to stand in front of Harris Teeter to ask other store patrons to designate Barrett as their school of choice for donations. In a neighborhood of dense high-rise apartments, this has proved to be a fun, easy, and lucrative activity.
Direct Mail Campaign (Nancy Birnbaum, 703-532-1668, Co-Chair OPEN)
The direct mail campaign requests donations from Barrett parents, staff, alumni, and friends to honor Barrett teachers and staff. These donations support important PTA programs that are run throughout the year. The direct mail campaign generates about $6,000 each year and takes place in the spring. Barrett teachers and staff who are honored with donations receive a written note informing them of the donation made in their honor. The direct mail campaign is scheduled so that the notes to the honored staff and teachers are sent during teacher appreciation week in May. Additional volunteers help coordinators prepare and distribute the mailing to the Barrett community, compile the responses, and prepare and distribute tax receipts and notes to honorees.
For the first social event of the year, the coordinator copies and circulates the flyer as well as coordinates 3–5 volunteers each for a set-up and clean-up crew for the evening of the event.
Bingo Night (Tania Herrera, 571-274-0421 and Maria Blanco , 703-407-0559)
A family event where Barrett families come together for a fun evening activity they can do with their children. Lots of prizes are given and children like practicing their numbers in both English and Spanish. Pizza and refreshments are available to purchase for dinner. Tasks include getting donations from parents and staff for buying food and prizes, purchasing prizes, production and circulation of fliers and banners for event, ordering pizza and getting fruit and refreshments for sale, recruiting volunteers to set up, staff the sale of bingo cards and food, and clean up. The previous organizers have full documented notes based on last year’s experience.
Family Valentine's Day Party (Felisa Agustin, 703-312-0862 and Maria Vargas, 703-618-2149)
A Valentine’s celebration with dancing, food, and a big raffle for the kids and their families. This is usually held on a school night in early February. Families make cash donations to buy prizes or donate items for prizes. They are also asked to contribute a dish for the food sale. Main activities include producing and distributing flyers and reminders asking families to make contributions and to attend the party; securing a DJ; recruiting and working with volunteers to produce and hang decorations in the gym for the event; recruiting volunteers to set up for food sale of sale of raffle tickets, to staff those sales, and to clean up; and conduct the raffle.
The PTA operates a school store that provides school supplies for sale throughout the school year. This is a fund-raising activity for the PTA. The School Store is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 8:20 a.m. The coordinator prepares an inventory of supplies, orders supplies from the grade-level supply lists to stock the store, and coordinates parents to run the store. Five volunteers are needed to run the store each weekday morning.
This was a new program that started for the 2009/2010 school year. The Chair of this committee starts in the Spring of 2011 and is responsible for coordinating the school supply list with teachers and Edukit, promoting the program, collecting orders and receiving the kits in the Fall of the next year. Additional volunteers are needed to help collect order forms and distribute the kits in the fall.
Go Green Committee (Stephanie Dempsey, 703-816-5190 and Lora Strine)
The Barrett Outdoor classroom coordinators have many opportunities for Barrett families and community groups to be involved in the educational Courtyard Garden and the Peace Garden in the front yard of the school. Parents can sign up to be involved throughout the year (provide an e-mail address and the coordinators will notify you when needs arise) or just volunteer for garden workdays. The kids love learning about the gardens, and child care for garden workdays is provided for younger siblings.
Volunteers are needed for: watering and weeding gardens throughout the fall, spring, and summer seasons; helping during scheduled garden workdays (weeding, planting, and providing child care and water and snack donations); planning and planting new gardens for the classrooms to learn from; providing advice to garden committee for appropriate plantings, etc., and collaborating on garden-oriented learning opportunities for the students; donating plants in the fall when dividing home gardens; and working with individual classrooms to help teachers and students with class-oriented plantings.
Picture Days (Tania Coderre, 703-527-7589)
Student individual pictures are taken in the fall and class pictures are taken in the spring. The Chair works with the vendor to organize the logistics, payment, and the volunteers. A few volunteers are needed to assist on Picture Day.
Friday Volunteers (Felisa Agustin, 571-319-2024 and Anabella Ordonez, 703-869-8200)
An informal group of Spanish-speaking volunteers gather on Friday mornings from 8:30 to 10 a.m., in the school cafeteria to help teachers and other staff with clerical tasks and preparing instructional materials for classrooms. Main activities include reaching out to other Spanish-speaking parents (introducing the program and extending a personal invitation); leading ice-breakers before starting each session; and overseeing the work to make sure that the jobs are properly completed and the teachers receive the materials that same day.
PTA Reflections Program (Sylvie Mortimer, 703-528-2507 and Audrey Prichard, 703-521-2542)
Reflections is a nationwide, PTA-sponsored ARTS program (or "contest"). Activities include coordinating with the county representative, advertising the program at school for the students to submit one (or more) projects under the following categories: video, writing, art on paper, dance, photography, music composition. The artwork is judged—age appropriately—and the top winners compete at the County Level, and on up through the state, if selected. A great show and awards ceremony (usually at Yorktown) occurs in January for all County Level Reflections winners where they also announce the next level of winners. Volunteers are needed for finding judges; helping organize the submissions; making flyers for teachers' boxes to announce due dates; providing write-ups for the Tiger TV announcements; kicking off the program at a school assembly announcing the theme and due dates; helping to organize, label, and put the artwork on display at Barrett on the main walls; and returning winners' art.
School Directory (Nina Austin, 703-312-4792)
Collect directory information forms from Barrett Families during the month of September for delivery of the directory by the end of October. Principle duties are to format and prepare directory. (Directory is printed and delivered by a professional printing company.) Set deadlines for form submission and prepare flyers and other communication as needed to the school community. Distribute finished directories to classroom teachers via school mailboxes. Volunteer assistance is needed for data entry and/or design.
Grants Support (Laurie Sullivan, 703-228-6288)
Newly founded last school year, this group helps Barrett teachers who are seeking grants with the following: researching grant opportunities as well as editing, formatting, submitting, and indexing finished grant applications. Teacher grant writers will be leading the efforts and the writing with interested parents being "on-call" as needed for assistance. The work will be done primarily via e-mail with small group meetings as necessary.
Lamination (Gladys Buendia, 571-244-3976 and Sandra Fuentes, 703-380-8547)
Volunteers take classroom materials to the Clarendon Education Center to be laminated. Laminating can be done in the morning or afternoon, Monday through Thursday.
Yearbook (Jennie Altieri, 571-274-5200, Co-Chair OPEN)
An annual yearbook is published to capture the students’ memories and highlights of the year. The Chair of the committee collects and process orders from parents and distribute the yearbooks to the classes when they arrive. This is a March – May project. Unofficial volunteers are needed throughout the year to take pictures. In early March parents are asked to forward any pictures from field trips or class activities to Renee Shaw, the Project Interaction Specialist. Although most pictures in the yearbook are taken by Renee, supplemental photographs are always welcome.
Kindergarten Open Houses (PTA officers, Open opportunity)
Countywide Kindergarten Information Night kicks off Barrett kindergarten open houses and tours. A few volunteers are needed for each of about six events held at Barrett between January and April (about two hours long) to answer questions, accompany prospective parents, and/or coordinate PTA-provided refreshments.
New Kindergarten Play Date (Sue Barstow)
In addition to the open houses noted above, Barrett hosts a play date for the prospective kindergartners and their parents on a Saturday morning in early March. It is held on the playground and/or in the gym. The Chair advertises the event and provides light refreshments. Parents and their children (especially the younger grades), attend the event to answer prospective parents’ questions. Volunteers are needed for set-up and to welcome new parents.
Arlington Public Schools provides the ESOL/HILT program to provide assistance to students in their native languages in a variety of ways—placement testing, bilingual instructional assistants, bilingual counselors, and bilingual parental activities. A parent representative from Barrett joins the countywide advisory committee.
CCPTA (County Council of PTAs) (Matt and Jessica West, 703-248-9615)
Barrett needs one volunteer representative and an alternate (open opportunity) to attend monthly meetings of the Arlington Council and report to our membership as necessary. Requires two to three hours on a weekday evening.
ACI (Advisory Council on Instruction) (Sarah Baker, 703-282-2028)
The Advisory Council on Instruction assists in the review of the system-wide curriculum and instructional programs, and in the development of recommendations for improvement of both. ACI meetings are once or twice a month.
Outdoor Lab (PTA officers, Open opportunity)
The Outdoor Laboratory is a 210-acre facility that provides a place for environmental education where elementary and secondary school children can do water study, come face to face with creatures native to the area, and walk through the woods learning about the plants and terrain. The facility is staffed by Arlington teachers but maintained by a nonprofit association, The Arlington Outdoor Education Association, Inc. Each Arlington school has a representative on the advisory committee.