Alabaster PTO always looking for volunteers

By Emily Reed

When Keri Southern joined the Parent Teacher Organization through her kid’s school system in Alabaster she became connected with the inner workings of where her kids went each day.

“It has honestly been very rewarding for me to be able to see firsthand what goes on for my kids at school each day,” Southern, of Alabaster, said. “When I took my first child to Creek View Elementary, I did not know a soul, and now my third child is there and I feel like it is my home away from. I have gotten to know the teachers and find out what they need, I have gotten to know my child’s administration at the school, and I have gotten to know others moms, which has been such a valuable resource.”

Each school has its own PTO complete with volunteers, a president, vice president, treasurer, and many other jobs that comprise a group of parents seeking to help the schools where their children attend.

“It is a network of people that are there to support the school where your child attends,” Southern said. “The main reason the PTO is there is we are a fund raising tool for the schools by hosting several fundraisers throughout the year, and we also volunteer for different things that are held at the schools throughout the year.”

Southern is currently a member of the PTO board at Creek View as well as a member of the PTO with Thompson Intermediate School.

Southern said all of the schools within the district are always looking for volunteers to join the PTO, and sign ups are usually available on registration day.

According to Thompson High School’s website, those interested in becoming involved with the PTO have the opportunity to make positive changes in the school, distribute information on a regular basis via e-mails and a website so that members can be informed and school issues and activities in a timely manner, show an interest in your child’s education and school activities, show support for the school and improve the relationship between parents and school personnel, and to have fun.

“We are always looking for people to sign up to be a member of the PTO,” Southern said. “Thankfully with technology, things are so much easier and if we have an e-mail address, we can really utilize that, and send out an e-mail if we need volunteers for something.”

An example of something Southern often volunteers for at Creek View is to help pop popcorn on “Snack Attack Day,” where volunteers are needed to pop popcorn to distribute to students that purchase the snacks.

‘We usually spend the morning popping popcorn, bagging it up, and then we go around and deliver it to the classrooms,” Southern said. “The dynamic is different at each school, and each school has its own set of needs, but every school always needs volunteers or an extra set of hands. Even if it is something as simple as making copies for a teacher, or cutting things out, there is always a need.”

Southern said the best way to find out more about each school’s own particular PTO is to contact the school office for more information.

“It is nice to be able to be involved with where your child goes to school,” Southern said. “I love seeing my kid’s in their environment, and for me it is comforting to be able to know what is going on with them.”