Greetings and Happy New Year to all our PTA Members and PTA Officers!

I hope this newsletter finds you all well! In our January issue you will find tips on keeping your family healthy, grant opportunities available for parents and students and ways to get involved in change for education in Oregon. At the bottom of our newsletter, PTA Officers will find information specific to their roles in PTA. Thank you for reading and have a great month!
Health and Safety:
Healthier students lead to higher academic achievement. One area of focus on student health is dehydration and adequate beverage consumption. Statistics show that over half of all U.S. children and teens are not getting adequate hydration each day. Dehydration is worrisome, as it there is proven impact on the brain and ability to learn. Read more here about the report.

Find out how much water your child needs, based on their age. While water is the best beverage for your family, here are 10 tips to making better beverage choices. As a PTA Member or Officer, you can help ensure students at your school have access to clean drinking water throughout the day. You will find a guide here with a toolkit on providing water access in schools.

Get Cooking with the Great School Lunch Contest!
Do you have foodies, nutritionists, culinary arts fans, and healthy food champions in your school community? Then you want to know about the Great School Lunch Contest! It challenges small teams of kids in grades 4-12 to work with an advisor to create two new recipes and receive cash prizes for their schools!
Find out more or enter here today!

High School STEM Grant Available

Here is an exciting STEM opportunity for high school students in Oregon's Second Congressional District. "The Congressional App Challenge" is underway now in Congress and Representative Walden is helping facilitate the App development competition. This was established by the U.S.. House of Representatives in 2013 and the competition is a nationwide event that allows students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their own originally designed software application on a platform of their choice. The deadline is midnight (EST) on January 15, 2016. For more details and to sign up, see The App Challenge.

PTA Advocacy News:
Join hundreds of parents, kids, community leaders, healthcare providers and more to send a message that it's now time for A Better Oregon! Saturday, January 23, 2016, 10:00 am-2:00 pm (King Elementary School, 4906 NE 6th Ave), there will be a Winter Kick Off Rally. Lunch will be provided at the rally and folks will head out rain or shine following the rally to help gather signatures. Find more information at A Better Oregon.

PTA Leader Announcements & Information:

  • Did you see the list? Congratulations to all the PTA units who are currently in Good Standing! You can view the current list of all units who are in good standing here. If your PTA is not on the list, you may be close and have just a few requirements left to wrap up. PTA Officers, please contact your Council President or Region Director if you have any questions or need assistance.
  • Membership Challenge: The PTA with the most NEW members entered each month November-April will receive a $25 Fred Meyer gift card. Just enter members each month and remit your dues payment to Oregon PTA and you are automatically entered. The last day of each month, Oregon PTA will note the PTA with the most new members for that month and notify them that they won.
  • Membership Chairs: Please make sure you enter any new membership for your PTA every month. Membership payments are also due the last day of each month to Oregon PTA, so make sure and remit all membership dues by the end of the month.
  • Principal and Teacher of the Year: Do you have a wonderful principal at your school? Or perhaps a terrific teacher? Portland Council has two awards to honor a special teacher and principal. These awards will be given out at the annual Volunteer Celebration held in May. Nominations are due April 15, 2016. Find Nomination forms and more information here.
  • Take Your Family to School Week: Feb. 16-20, 2016. We're so excited to share National PTA's theme, "Rock with PTA," to celebrate the amazing accomplishments in the classroom. Showcase your Rock Stars! Celebrate families, students and schools! Visit PTA.org/TYFTSW to checkout the digital toolkit so you can begin planning your event today, and follow National PTA on social media using the new hashtag #TYFTSW16.
  • The Portland Council Clothing Center served 664 PPS students needing clothing, September-December 2015. There is still a need for warm coats, hats and gloves for the remaining winter months. Gently used or new- they all help PPS students in need. Thank you to everyone who has contributed time, donations or clothing to the Clothing Center so far this year! Please take all gently used clothing to your own school and ask that they send it via "the pony" to PPS. PPS will then send it on to the Clothing Center for you. If you are able to assist with a either a financial contribution or a donation of new clothing, please contact Sharon Meigh-Chang, PTA Clothing Center Director at 503.293.0783 or via email.
  • Interested in furthering art in your school? Have you thought about celebrating your current art program with the National PTA Reflections Program? Find more information on this program HERE. Contact Portland Council's Reflections Coordinator, Debra Zavala for more information or assistance. The deadline for Reflections entries for this year is approaching. Be sure and have your submissions turned in to Debra Zavala by January 20, 2016.
  • Good PTA Transitions: The smooth transition of outgoing and incoming PTA Officers is vitally important and can determine the success of your PTA for years to come. Start thinking about transitions for the end of the school year and get your PTA Nominating Committee ready for election season. Find more information on the election of your Nominating Committee here.
Sincerely,
Lisa Kensel
President
Portland Council PTA
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