Why do we have a PTA?
We are fortunate at our school to have a PTA that is and has been an integral part of the school community for many, many years. In its time Friends of Sunnyside has raised thousands of pounds, which has been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education experience and the school’s facilities.
Friends of Sunnyside is about much more than simply fundraising. The PTA exists to provide closer links between home and school and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. It is fun too – just ask any of the Committee members or PTA helpers. Obviously, as in any organisation, we have experienced some challenges but with the continued support of parents and staff, Friends of Sunnyside has always succeeded in its efforts.
All parents and members of the school community are invited to get involved with Friends of Sunnyside, even if they only have a small amount of time available.
Friends of Sunnyside is extremely conscious of the ethos and diversity of our school, and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this.
Links with local businesses
We have, over time, developed strong links with the local community and are always well supported by both residents and businesses, for which we are very grateful. Many are very generous providing donations for raffle prizes, auction items etc. and some have taken part in our Christmas and summer fairs. We are extremely grateful to them as all this has made a huge difference to our fundraising efforts.
Role of the Committee
The Friends of Sunnyside committee consists of three Officers: Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We meet on a regular basis, usually once or twice per term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary when we are planning larger events. Parents and staff are all welcome to come to these meetings & we also have activities to occupy any children you may need to bring along.
Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Some of our most popular events are:
Christmas & summer fairs; red & green day raffles; Easter raffles.
We recently held a very successful fashion show in liaison with M & Co.
In the past we have run monthly 100 squares, car boot sales & a craft club which produced handcrafted items that were then sold at our fairs!
So you can see there is always something going on. We always try and respond to the children’s requests; it is great to see them having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that Friends of Sunnyside has donated.
We raise money in other ways too. Donations from parents are extremely important. You can donate time, money, items for sale, raffle prizes and auction lots or offers of services and skills.
How we spend the money we raise
Following a fundraising event the money is banked straight away. It is at our PTA Committee meetings, that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed.
Usually, our head teacher will have a ‘wish list’ of items that the school would like the Friends of Sunnyside to consider funding.
Sometimes this will be as a result of the children asking for something, e.g. new playground equipment. At other times it will be for resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment e.g. the large sand pit in KS1 playground & sets of waterproof clothing used during outdoor activities. The PTA funds are spent on the ‘extras’ that are not provided by the school’s budget, thus making our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting.
The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting our school, your child/ren will feel the benefit, along with everybody else.
Of course there have been times when we have been fundraising for a large project. In the past, we have supported the following special projects: development of specific areas of the playground e.g. ‘fit trail’, climbing frame etc. gardening equipment, greenhouse & sound equipment for school performances.
However, whilst saving for these, we have still managed to find funds for smaller items thanks to the generous and continued support of our parents.
How you can get involved
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through Friends of Sunnyside.
Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you can’t come into school. There are always jobs that can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare e.g. wrapping gifts, preparing raffle tickets etc. We really couldn’t achieve what we do without the behind the scenes help that we receive.
You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use, everything is potentially valuable to us. Perhaps you have some good ideas for new fundraising events.
And finally, we are always extremely grateful to receive donations as mentioned before.