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Kalkaska Public Schools

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All About Elementary PTO

The Kalkaska Elementary Parent Teacher Organization is a nonprofit group whose membership includes all parents or caregivers of children who attend Birch Street Elementary and Cherry Street Intermediate, along with all staff and administration.

The Kalkaska Elementary PTO is about men and women working together toward a common goal. That goal, simply stated, is creating a better school and a better educational experience for our children. We strive to create an atmosphere where teachers, administrators, and support staff can do their best work - and so can our children. There's so much more that can be done and we need your help. The motto of the Kalkaska Elementary PTO is “Together, we can accomplish more.” We look forward to seeing all that can be and will be accomplished this school year when we come together, as a group and as a community to enhance and maximize the education of every child.

What are the purposes of the KEPTO?
The purposes of the KEPTO include developing a closer connection between school, home, and community by encouraging parent involvement and providing a forum for open discussion; improving the environment at Birch Street Elementary and Cherry Street Intermediate by providing volunteer and financial support; and enhancing the educational experience of our children by supporting academic and social activities.

What does it mean to be a member?
That depends on you. You can be a member in name only or you can become an active member. We invite you to become an active participant in your student’s education by being an active participant in the Kalkaska Elementary PTO. Mom and dad, grandparents, neighbors, and siblings, we need your help! Being an active participant, being involved, is not synonymous with being “sucked in”. The level of involvement is up to you! Contact us for information about our Three for Me program and learn more about how a small amount of time translates into a huge amount of involvement.

Why should I be a participating member?
Participation through volunteering allows you to be “hands on” with your child’s education. All research indicates that when families are involved, a child is more apt to get higher grades, be more likely to graduate, and go on to college. Our children love to see us in this environment where they spend seven hours a day. You get to know your children’s teachers and your children’s  friends.

Participation through attendance at PTO meetings gives you a voice. You help decide what we do as a group. You help decide where the money should go. If you are new to the Birch or Cherry Street Schools, the established families are available to answer questions and ease your transition into becoming a school family. If you are new to our community, we’re always happy to help wherever possible. An added bonus is that you have the opportunity to meet wonderful people who can become great friends. FREE childcare is provided at every meeting.

Participation through fundraising allows us to continue to help our schools. It is our privilege that we are able to provide the supplies, equipment and activities that our school budgets can no longer cover. We are only able to do that through our Birch and Cherry Street families’ willingness to participate in our fundraisers. Cash for Trash, our Walk-A-Thon, and Krispy Kremes sale are some of the ways we raise money for items such as literacy and math support, a new popcorn machine, or second grade science equipment.  It also helps in funding the chess club, Early Morning Readers club and garden club, as well as PTO programs such as Donuts with Dad and our FREE Family Fun Events.

What are the benefits of membership?
The benefits of membership are very rewarding. You have the knowledge that, with your participation and involvement, the educational and social experiences of all students at Birch and Cherry Street schools have been greatly enhanced.  That is in addition to the benefits listed above.

Is there another level of membership?
The next level of membership is to be a voting member. Ideas, suggestions, and discussion are always welcome from all members, but our bylaws allow that only members who have made a $5 Parent Group Contribution, prior to the January meeting of the current school year, are allowed to vote during meetings or hold office on the board. This contribution could provide transportation to field trips or supplement a teacher’s classroom supply order. It could also equate to the purchase of 50 glue sticks or 120 pencils. This Parent Group Contribution is kept local and in our schools. Voting takes place on the budget, changes in fundraising or programs, bylaws, and for the election of board members.  

As an automatic member of the Kalkaska Elementary PTO, you are encouraged to partner with your student’s school in their education. One way to do that is through volunteering. The KEPTO has made that very easy for everyone!