Over the past few years, Moorlands Elementary PTA has been working on campus beautification, beginning with the installation of a bottle cap mural and culminating in the completion of a garden surround. The years of effort have resulted in a school entrance that is both beautiful and welcoming.
Two elements of the beautification project
Bottle cap art mural – The bottle-cap mural which serves as a colorful backdrop to the new garden was originally completed in 2016. This collaborative project was an experience of tremendous support and community-building and so many positive lessons for Moorlands students. The process has done so much more than just teach students about the environment and using recycled materials to make something beautiful. The lessons that it has taught them in pulling together resources, goal-setting, project process and hard work and perseverance has been invaluable in their educational experience. They all have such pride and ownership of their work now that the see the mural up on campus. They will never look at another bottle cap the same-- and many have expressed interest in making their own bottle cap art project, so this experience really doesn’t end here.
The Garden: In the spring of 2018 a garden committee was created. The support within the Moorlands community was overwhelming to move forward with finishing the beautification project since everyone was so proud of the mural. The garden was built to be used-- for families and visitors to walk the path, sit on the bench, smell the flowers and admire the beloved mural. Garden Chair Janna Snider elaborated, "My hope for the garden is that staff will use the space for meetings on sunny days, for class volunteers to take small groups outdoors to read and discuss literature, a place to calm a child down who is struggling, and for parents to take their child’s picture on the first day of Kindergarten. It is truly a community space for all to enjoy."
Congratulations to Moorlands PTA and to the Moorlands Elementary community on completion of this amazing collaborative project! #PTAProud
25 volunteers, 5 work parties, 15 yards of dirt removed, 14 new yards added, and 175 plants! The bench, paid for by the PTA and made out of recycled milk bottles, was custom made for Moorlands and measures about 19’ long.
Thank you to Janna Snider, Garden Chair, Moorlands PTA, for sharing her before and after project photos!
This amazing community resource is available to our community thanks to Canyon Park Middle School PTSA in partnership with the school district and Bothell United Methodist Church. It is a huge responsibility to operate a resource like this and it is a testament to the dedication of CPMS PTSA and the many caring volunteers who make the time to operate this resource for Northshore families.
At Northshore Council PTSA's general meeting on September 16, 2019, Threads & Treads Coordinator Kelly Hennessey briefly spoke to the work that they do and the families they serve and invited Northshore PTAs to contribute their support either by budgeting an annual financial donation or by volunteering. She also shared that at the during this year's NSD Back to School Fair, they provided outfits to more than 100 people, and in just the first few weeks of school, they have been averaging 50 people a week who visit and take home clothing. And they are working to help broaden their impact by offering Saturday shopping hours once a month.
The importance and relevance of Threads & Treads in our Northshore community cannot be understated. And CPMS PTSA and the Threads & Treads volunteer leaders are working hard to make that known! Through email campaigns, social media, and by sharing their story with local PTAs and community leaders at our Northshore Council general meeting, they are already seeing successes and gaining additional support.
Seeing the work CPMS PTSA and their dedicated volunteers are doing to not only operate Threads & Treads-- but also to help it grow and become an even stronger resource in our Northshore community-- makes us PTA Proud!
A big shout-out to Westhill PTSA on their incredibly successful back-to-school membership campaign that resulted in 161 sign-ups BEFORE school even started! That is only 7 members short of their total membership for all of 2018-2019!
How did they do it??? Westhill PTSA kicked off its membership year with a social media campaign in their Westhill Elementary PTSA Facebook group. On August 19th They shared their Olympics theme for the year and announced their "Gold Medal Goal" of reaching 200 members (nearly a 20% increase over their 2018-2019 total) and encouraged families to sponsor a teacher.
In the two weeks that followed, they offered regular updates and encouraged families to sponsor their teachers and staff members. They shared a video that debunks common membership myths (watch the video) and promoted their online membership sign-up option (which they offered through their website, www.westhllptsa.org). A week into the campaign, they shared an update, listing the teachers who had been sponsored so far, and hyped up their teacher sponsorship efforts. One day, they posted 7 times throughout the day, giving regular updates as more sponsorships came in. It really built excitement and gave a lot of visibility to the campaign and drove even more families to participate. This prompted Westhill PTSA to broaden their focus to encouraging people to sponsor staff members as well. By the next day, they only needed 14 more memberships to ensure every staff member could join. A few more posts with updates (9 more! 7 more! 5 more!) and by August 31st, they had received 60 total sponsored memberships-- enough to cover the ENTIRE Westhill Elementary staff.
The campaign was conducted entirely via social media and word-of-mouth and their community responded to the challenge in a big way.
"The level of donations was incredible and we were able to get people to sign up and tack on a teacher. We were able to share with the staff during their in-service day and they were very excited and thankful," reported Westhill PTSA President, Lindsay Christiansen, who credited their Membership Chair, Missy Cornwell, for her creative approach and for driving the campaign.
Not only did Westhill PTSA kick off their membership year in a fabulous way, but they were able to build excitement and bring their community together while also showing their support for their school staff in a big way.
Way to go, Westhill PTSA!!!
At the beginning of June, Frank Love Elementary PTA shared photos on their Facebook page of a newly-installed bottle cap mural. The mural, which overlooks the campus entrance, serves as a colorful welcome to all who visit the school. Northshore Council contacted FLE PTA to learn more about the project and how their PTA was involved.
The mural began as a 5th grade legacy project in 2017-18 in coordination with local artist, Stephanie Roman-Olvera. Parents, students, staff and community members collected and washed thousands of bottle caps which the artist used to create the colorful image. Then the 2018-19 5th Grade Class and Promotion Team partnered with Frank Love PTA, the artist, school administration and Northshore School District in order to bring the mural to completion. The PTA helped fund the mural project via its School Beautification budget.
Frank Love Elementary PTA co-President Sara Lennerblom describes the mural so well: "This community mural is [a] beautiful reflection of our FLE Community and we are thankful to the many hands that provided time, talents, and bottle caps to make this legacy gift to our school a reality. It will have a lasting imprint on our campus for years to come!"
It is so inspiring to hear stories about successful community-school partnerships such as this! Thank you so much, Frank Love Elementary PTA, for your part in making this beautiful mural happen and for sharing the story with Council!
Earlier this month, Arrowhead Elementary worked on a school-wide project called "Kindness Connects Us." The goal of the project was to celebrate acts of kindness that happen every day. Teachers and students worked together to nominate each other for kindness 'links' which were then connected to create chains in each classroom. On June 13th, a school assembly was held to combine all of the links-- creating a giant chain that gave a visible representation of how far their kind acts had reached. Arrowhead Elementary PTA provided Otter Pops and organized a group of parent volunteers to help pass those out and assist during a special celebratory all-school recess.
The Kindness Connects Us project was created by Arrowhead staff as a way to positively reinforce the ongoing work of Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS)-- the district-wide framework being used to improve school climate and provide integrated supports for improving social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students. The result of collaboration by Arrowhead's MTSS/PBIS and Equity & Diversity teams, Kindness Connects Us worked to build on the theme of Kindness that the school had been focusing on throughout the year. They also coordinated with Arrowhead PTA to help spread the word to families and organize the culminating celebration-- turning it into a wonderful opportunity for family and community engagement as well.
The project was kicked off by having each student create an "Identity Link" to show kindness to ourselves and to celebrate their individual and unique identities. Each class picked from one of three identity link options. Teacher Jessica-Lynn Tompkins (also a project organizer) described this first step, "The identity links are included in our kindness chain to ensure that everyone (staff and student) had a link right away and to symbolize that even though we are different, we are one community."
For two weeks, teachers gave out kindness links that included the student's name and a place to mark if they were kind to themselves, to others, or to the school. Each class had a goal of 100 links. Students received links at recess, in their classrooms, and could even nominate peers for links during class meetings. Every student in school wrote messages of how to demonstrate kindness throughout their daily lives. Then they ended the project with an all-school assembly where they connected all of the links and enjoyed some music. Together, the links of paper formed a gigantic chain across the school’s campus! The day of celebration was capped off with a special all-school recess and sweet treats from Arrowhead PTA.
This Kindness Connects Us project involved the entire school community and offered an incredible visual reminder of the power of kindness and how kindness can connect us all.
Many thanks to Arrowhead PTA co-President Kristie Johnson and Arrowhead teacher Jessica-Lynn Tompkins for sharing information about Kindness Connects Us with Council (and for providing some wonderful photos!). We hope that Arrowhead Elementary's project can serve as an inspiration for more collaborative community efforts in our schools!
Hollywood Hill PTA expanded the Art Docent program of their school to include an Artist in Residence program. For 2018-2019, the PTA partnered with Kevin Creekmore, owner of MoltenWorks and President of the Woodinville Arts Alliance, who helped students create some whimsical garden art using fused glass techniques.
Kudos to Hollywood Hill PTA for their work on enriching their docent program and for developing a wonderful bridge between school and community as well as between student work in the classroom and the work of a professional artist. It is a wonderful example of how a PTA can leverage community partnerships to help provide amazing experiences for students! #PTAProud
To learn more about Kevin and MoltenWorks, you can visit his website at www.moltenworksglass.com. To learn more about the non-profit Woodinville Arts Alliance, go to www.woodinvilleartsalliance.com.
Check out some examples of the glass pieces located throughout the Hollywood Hill campus in the photos below.
Many thanks to Hollywood Hill PTA President Diana Christensen and their Artist in Residence Chair, Torrey Edwards, for sharing information about their Artist in Residence program with us!
ArtSpring is an Art Festival designed for Northshore middle and high school students who are supported by the Functional Skills & Academics (FSA) program. This year's event was an experience in community and creativity as students, teachers, paras and peers from 7 Northshore Schools came together at Brightwater Center on May 2, 2019. Students unloaded from their yellow buses and found their way into ArtSpring to participate in the art projects that were designed just for them: crayon rubbings, printmaking, watercolor hearts, sensory bags, jelly fish sculptures, and more! The kids loved sitting for caricatures and face painting and petting the gentle support dogs. And the teachers loved seeing their students having such a great time with their peer mentors and the artists.
All students went home with wonderful art projects in their Safeway grocery bags. We thank Safeway & Albertson’s foundation for their support of ArtSpring through the Educator grant they awarded to Kenmore Middle School and the Northshore School District. We appreciate and acknowledge the importance of the grants received from Inglemoor High PTSA, Bothell High PTSA, Kenmore Middle PTSA, and Skyview Middle PTSA. We could not do it without the enthusiastic support communicated through these grants!
Look for ArtSpring installations in your schools soon and get ready for more specially designed art events in the years to come embracing students of all abilities.
More information about ArtSpring can be found on NSD's website: www1.nsd.org/artspring
Below are some photos that capture the joy of art and community for our kids at ArtSpring!
Many thanks to NSD art instructor JoAnn Grambush for her contributions to this article!