Could the Enon Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) be considered one of the most successful one-year-olds in recent memory? It’s very likely: thanks to their numerous accomplishments during the 2008-2009 school year, the Enon PTO was recognized in the national PTO Today website and within the national PTO organization as honorable mentions in the PTO Today’s 2009 Parent Group of the Year search.
PTO Today, called “the #1 resource for school parent groups,” is both a resource and a voice for the school parent group market. The group is dedicated to “providing a full suite of products, programs, and services to the entire K-8 school parent group market.”
PTO Today’s Parent Group of the Year search helps showcase PTO and PTA groups’ work and increase awareness of the groups. Groups can enter eight different categories of the competition, including Outstanding Family Event, Outstanding Effort to Overcome Major Adversity, and National Parent Group of the Year.
Enon PTO 2008-2009 president Kimberly Richbourg submitted entry for the school in PTO Parent Group of the Year for Outstanding New Group, National Parent Group of the Year, and National Runner Up. In her submission to PTO Today, she wrote, “Enon Elementary has been a community pillar since 1938, continuously striving to create outstanding community citizens. Enon has prided itself on building a wealth of educational opportunities while keeping up with today’s ever-changing dynamics. Our school has always been a vital part and well-respected member of our community.”
The Enon PTO was originally formed at the end of the 2007-2008 school year, marking what Richbourg calls “the beginning of a great endeavor for all parents and staff members.” The formation of a PTO allowed the school to keep all fundraising funds within its walls, rather than requiring money to be sent to state or national dues and fees.
“Having all families [be] automatically active members allows everyone to feel welcome and to be a part of our team,” says Richbourg. “While we do not have any state or national affiliations, or support any political platforms, we continue to stay aware and informed of legislation and political issues that may impact our children’s education and schools.”
Because of the current financial crisis, the Enon PTO quickly realized that they would need to adapt accordingly. Recognizing the importance of volunteers, the group has set up committees of volunteers for literacy groups, classroom small groups, the cafeteria and bus loop, Picture Day, and many others.
In addition, the Enon PTO has helped provide funding and support of programs and committees like Battle of the Books – a voluntary reading incentive program for grades three through five – literacy, math, reading, and fitness family nights; and school-wide festivals and visitors. Among their many accomplishments, they assisted in purchases of computers on wheels, helped subsidize lunches, worked on the student yearbook and school newsletter, established scholarships for Enon alumni to show younger students how high they can achieve, and created a number of incentives to promote good behavior, literacy, music, and responsibility. Their drive to create a 21st-century library and literacy program within Enon has led to the expansion of the Accelerated Reader program to second through fifth grades, and the expansion of the Star Reader program, among others.
“What’s so great about being part of Enon Elementary PTO is that we are able to do so much more than just fun events for the children and our families,” says Richbourg. “With a big thank you to all the families, staff, and community members of Enon, we have been able to affect our children’s learning environment. We are all proud to be a part of Enon Elementary PTO. It is only with support and team efforts that our PTO has had measurable success and will continue to shine.”