The following public comments were made at the September 12 Harford County Board of Education meeting by Emily Gudel, vice-president of legislation for Harford County Council of PTA. A copy was provided to The Dagger for publication:
Good evening President Wheeler, Vice President Grambo, Superintendent Tomback, Members of the Board of Education.
My name is Emily Gudel and I am the vice-president of legislation for Harford County Council of PTA.
We wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone why involvement in PTA is important and how our group supports each local school unit.
Parents may wonder: What does PTA do? Why should I become a member?
I am here to tell you that an active PTA does plenty. As the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation, PTA provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child and the best tools to help all children be safe, healthy, and successful.
PTA addresses issues that are important to parents and public school administrators. We fight for full funding, quality teachers, and the resources for schools to thrive. With shrinking budgets, greater class sizes, and government mandates, the challenges of delivering quality education are as daunting as ever. These realities make PTA volunteers an increasingly powerful and needed partner.
Involved parents understand the challenges schools face and become part of the solution. When school administrators develop a closer relationship with parents, student achievement improves, and the school develops a positive reputation in the community.
Each local PTA organizes and effectively utilizes its hard-working, dedicated volunteers–the parents, grandparents and other impassioned members of the community who are ready to help. Through membership fees and fundraisers the PTAs support school programs, building improvements, and educational events. All money raised by the PTA goes directly back to the school.
In addition, PTAs improve communication by coordinating school newsletters and informational fliers. Regular meetings allow us to share information and enable parents, teachers and administrators to share ideas and concerns and find solutions to any issues that may arise during the year.
In just a few weeks, we will host an event that should be of interest to parents and the citizens of Harford County:
On Thursday October 20th HCCPTA will sponsor our annual legislative night in Bel Air High School; this is your opportunity to meet an amazing variety of elected officials including representatives from the Governor’s office, Maryland State Dept. of Education, County Executive’s office, County Council, Board of Education, Sheriff’s office and local and state delegates.
ALL of us complain our elected officials are inaccessible and removed from the public. This is YOUR chance to be heard on a very personal level. Please take advantage of this opportunity so rarely available to the citizens of Harford County.
You do not need to be a PTA member to attend this event, if you were a parent, if you are a parent, if you HAD a parent your voice is important and deserves to be heard.
Mark your calendars!!!
October 20th , 7-9pm , Bel Air High School
Thank you for the opportunity to address the Board this evening. We look forward to working with all of you on a successful new school year.