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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Letter To The Editor...........

Coudersport PTSA
After two years as the President of the Coudersport Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) I am required by Association bylaws to step down. These two years has been equally fulfilling and disappointing.

It has been fulfilling because I feel we have done really great things for the children of Coudersport school district. A sampling of our activities include the Secret Santa Shop with scholarships for children whom otherwise would be hard pressed to buy gifts for their families, Breakfast With Dad, the Art Festival with its showcase of area artists, the Science Fair judged by Mansfield University science students, thousands of dollars towards the 6th grade trip to Washington D.C., $500 scholarship to a graduating Senior, an Internet Safety Assembly for elementary and middle-school aged children, a Buffalo Museum of Science assembly, funds for the Safety Patrol, teacher appreciation programs, and much, much more. And all of this is done on only one annual fundraiser.

My work with the Association has been disappointing because parent and teacher participation has been practically nil. I do understand that teachers, after a long day of school, must prepare lesson plans, grade papers, attend parent-teacher and staff meetings, work on continuing education, and many act as sports coaches.

It would be helpful to have their guidance when we are dividing funds. High school students’ parents, I understand, can be overwhelmed with sports, booster clubs, etc. but again, their input and help would be very welcome. But I simply can not understand why out of more than 400 students in the elementary school, only a handful of parents have helped out with programs. We send home flyers requesting help and they never return. Paper reminders, e-mails, and signs, are displayed for the monthly meeting times – and our meetings are usually attended by only the four officers.

Without the work of the PTSA officers – Nancy Trimbur, Vice-President; Paula Cochran, Treasurer; and Connie Brown, Secretary - all of the above programs would have died before they started.

Our next, and final, official meeting is tomorrow, Thursday, May 7th, at 6:30 p.m. in the Coudersport Elementary School Library. At this time we are required to choose new officers. I would hate to see this wonderful Association come to an end – which is in danger of happening.

It is now time for parents to step in and lend a hand. Don’t look for someone else to do it because that’s what everyone else is doing! The work is not too difficult, nor too time-consuming, and the gratification – the rewards you get for what you’re doing for your kids – is immeasurable

Sharon Fitzgerald
President, Coudersport PTSA
2007-2008 and 2008-2009


Anonymous said...

Thanks for volunteering your time and serving our kids. Parents definitely need to be more involved with our schools.

Anonymous said...

some of the parents who have kids in the elementary school also have kids in high school. between work ,running a household,kids after school activities (some of which parents are either leaders or coaches)and other organizations that the parents may belong too.when do they get to find the time for their family.something always has to give and pointing out what "you" did well thats great but its not going to make someone who is short on time .rush to volunteer .there are other ways to ask for help other then calling people out on here.thanks for your time.i'm sure if not for "you" it would have died long ago.

Anonymous said...

The PTSA does wonderful things for our school. You all are greatly appreciated!!! Please know that.

Anonymous said...

Poster 2:56

I totally agree...

And not to mention our whole school system sucks.

Anonymous said...

OK--2:56 PM genius, how would you get people involved in the PTSA? This letter was well written and is very appropriate. The situation is what it is...and yes parents are super busy, but if we think this organization does things that are needed and that enhance the schools, it needs help. Yes...she could call or stop a lot of parents on the street one on one...she and the other board members have probably done that a lot. If I was in her shoes, I would have probably done the same thing, although probably not as effectively as she has. Thanks, Sharon and the other board members for all of the great work with the PTSA.

Anonymous said...

"I totally agree...

And not to mention our whole school system sucks."

If you truly believe that, then you should be the first one to step up and try to facilitate the change and produce something positive.

Shame on you if you are sending your child to a 'sucky' school system and all you're doing is complaining.

Well written, Sharon. Thank you for your time.

Anonymous said...

Great job PTSA!!!! Does anyone watch "Weeds" on showtime? Sure doesn't seem like th PTSA they have....Maybe everyone should watch the first season and see what community involvement does for the PTSA! If I lived in Coudy I would be sure to come

Anonymous said...

I hope this call for help breathes some new life into the PTSA. Our kids deserve it. Thanks current board members for keeping the organization afloat!

Anonymous said...

maybe we need fewer activities than more. in this day and age of everything has to be organized the only quality time a family gets is in the car shuttling kids from one event to another.

the ladies mentioned above including sharon do an excellent job, give it their all, and should be commended. but by trying to give our kids everything we end up not giving them the one thing that matters.....time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your comments. I'm sorry if it looked as if I was personally tooting my own horn. I especially wanted to applaude the other members of the board and the handful of parents who stepped in to help when help was needed.

Anonymous said...

sharon- great job!! & many kudos to the rest of the committee & to all who have done anything.

& to the poster who thinks our school systems suck- WELL THEN GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE. its only what you make it.

Anonymous said...

Sharon, Great job! as a member of PTO @ NOPO Childrens School I sympathize and totally agree with you . If only more people realized that our children are our future. At Northern Potter, we have the administration hindering us. Keep on plugging along ! our children are worth it, no matter how frustating it gets !

Anonymous said...

Sharon, thank you so much for all of your time and efforts. It is truly appreciated.

To the two naysayers on both probably have some of the worst kids in our school system. You are both the reason why our school has problems....idiot parents like you!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Sharon was trying to toot "her" own horn. She was stating the facts of what the PTSA organization as a whole does for our school. She is the President of this organization, and with this title is trying to keep the organization afloat so the children will benefit from all the many events that this organization offers. Science Fair, Arts Festival, money to help pay for the sixth grade trip, academic letters once they get to the high school, assemblies, bookfair, etc. Who do you think will supply all of these activities if the PTSA folds because they have no members/officers to run the organization. It will not run itself, as I do believe many people seem to think these types of organizations do. Letters have been sent home, pleas have been made via word of mouth. They don't seem to work. So Sharon has reached out to the community in other ways this time. So hopefully people came out to the meeting and are willing to volunteer their time to keep this organization afloat for the children.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

While most of the comments posted mention the fact the parents are so busy taking children here and there, as a mother of 5 children I can sympathize. I feel that the organization does so much for ALL of the children of Coudersport Area not just Your Child. So many have parents who simply can not come to event due to work or commintments at home.(Elderly parents, caring for relatives) The PTSA has been there for ALL of the children for well over 30 years! They used to be the Lice Checkers, nice job huh. But it saved a lot of families some real headaches. They began the Kindergarten Orientation, the visual screening and thought Academics needed a boost and started the Academic Letter to encourage students to strive for excellence in studies as well as sports. Not all children have the priviledge of Christmas Shopping, so the PTSA began Santa's Secret Shop. This allowed ALL of the children an opportunity to have the joy of giving Christmas gifts of their choosing at a very reasonably price and a large number of these children have scholarships given to help the families financially in need. They have encouraged reading by having Book Fairs which allowed children an opportunity to own their own books. Again looking to help families they initiated the Buy one Get one Free Book Sale. I could go on and on but I know by know you are bored reading this. I just want to say the a large number of Coudersport women and a few men have given countless hours to enrich the lives of ALL of the students in school, that's k-12 and I am here to say I was priviledged to be a member for that many years and worked with those dedicated adults who chose to enrich a child's life with as little time as an hour a month. Great job Sharon and board and here is a challenge to those who might not think they can help, help one hour or one day and it could change your life and it surely will help to change a childs life.