Idea Share


We have some amazing Long Beach PTA Units who run fabulous programs and events, and we are all about sharing what works.   If your PTA has a great event, fundraiser or program that you would like to share with others, please complete the Activity/Program Report found in your RED BOOK and turn it in to your area advisor. We’d love to include your information!

Madison PTA’s Winter Fun Fest

Fundraiser: No

Date: Thursday, December

Location: On Campus

Summary:  Joint effort with Riley to celebrate winter with Polynesian dancers, BMX stunt show, 13 craft workshops, food trucks, a book fair, vendors and an opportunity drawing.

Success: Working with another school, crafts and entertainment very well received.  Promoted the event through crafts brochure, tele-parent, calendar listing in local paper.

Suggestions: Give more incentive for volunteers to show up.  Many signed up but not many worked.

Expenses:  BMX Stunt Show:  $1,000;  13 crafts:  $1,000 

Bixby PTA’s Family Fun Night

Fundraiser: No, but raised $500

Date: Friday night, October

Location: On Campus

Summary:  Picnic, ice cream social with a live band.  Families/teachers come dance and meet new friends. Raffled off prizes, cash made pays for event. 

Success: The live band, and we sold spirit wear also.

Suggestions: Have more “booths”.  We plan to have a membership table, scrip, box tables, etc.

Expenses:  Expenses are less than $200, plus $400 for the band.  The raffle for donated prizes pays for the event, plus a little profit.

Gant PTA’s Welcome Back Picnic

Fundraiser: No

Date: 1st Friday after school starts

Location: On grass at school

Summary:  This was a welcome to school picnic with DJ music.  Families bring their own picnic dinner or buy from on-site BBQ.

Success: Selling popcorn (by Boy Scouts) & cookies (Girl Scouts).  PTA info table and sign ups.

Suggestions: We’d do everything the same.

Henry PTA’s Mother-Daughter Tea

Fundraiser: No

Date: Saturday in October, 11a-2p

Location: School Cafeteria

Summary:  Mothers and daughters gathered together for crafts, pictures, and a formal tea party with scones, pastries, finger sandwiches, fruit, cakes, tea and lemonade.

Success: Everything – the students from local middle school were servers, tables were donated, real china, fine linens, and crafts were simple.  It was a great time to bond as ladies.  This was a first time event and everything came together beautifully. 

Suggestions: If we had more space more people could have attended.

Expenses:  100% donation

 Henry PTA’s Family Movie Night

Fundraiser: No, but made $250

Date: First week of school

Location: School Yard

Summary: We watched Madagascar 2 and families ate hot dogs, popcorn, and piled up on blankets and chairs.

Success: We had about 250 people show up, the movie screen and lighting was amazing and our families ended the first week of school on a solid happy note.

Suggestions: Have more food available to sell.

Expenses:  Donations – 50 hot dogs & buns, 5 cases of water, 50 cups of coffee, popcorn, 3 dozen cookies, 50 capri suns

Prisk PTA’s Family Meet & Greet

 Fundraiser: No 

Date: Friday night, September

Location: On Campus

Summary:  A welcome back to school social event including dinner (taco guy), dessert, a chance to meet the principal & PTA leadership, and learn about PTA programs.

Success: Had a tent where families could buy tee shirts, sign up for membership, buy SCRIP, buy disaster kits, and we displayed Reflections information to get them interested right away.  Fun music played in the background.

Suggestions: We’d do everything the same.

Expenses:  To offset the food vendor cost we charged a small amount, DJ music, balloons and butcher paper.  We spent about $2,000.

Buffum PTA’s Ice Cream Social

Fundraiser: No

Date: September

Location: On Campus

Summary:  This was a welcome to school event for Buffum families.  We served ice cream sundaes free of charge.

Success: PTA and parent involvement, we were surprised but we had a good turn out.

Suggestions: Maybe put chocolate and caramel in squeezable containers.

Expenses:  Ice cream, sprinkles, bowls, spoons, napkins

Henry PTA’s Grandparents Dinner

Fundraiser: Yes, raised $600

Date: October

Location: On Campus schoolyard

Summary:  Dinner, dancing, cafe alfresco with grandparents.  The theme was jazz music, old cars, and costumes from 1920’s – 1950’s

Success: Many volunteers, great food and super ambience 

Suggestions: Prep food in a more organized and efficient manner for quick distribution.

Rogers PTA’s Staff Jog A Thon

Fundraiser: Yes, profited $22,000

Date: February 2010

Location: On Athletic Field or Campus

Summary:  Students sponsor staff, staff dress up in costumes and run 

Success: Students planned the event and picked theme, so they had ownership.  Kicked off with a great video with staff to get students excited.  Virtually no overhead, increases school spirit and brings community together.

Suggestions: More parent supervision during run

Expenses:  Expenses for plaques for staff sponsored $500+ level ($300 cost), snacks for students who brought in $300+ level ($100 cost), and photos ($100 cost)


Gant PTA does a “Salute To Reading Week” where we have different reading events, including our Scripps Spelling Bee, a “Read In” which consists of everyone wearing pajamas (teachers, too) and reading all day.  We have Special Readers come in and read, upper classes read to younger ones, and parents come into the class and read with their kids.  The week also includes an author’s day where a children’s author comes in and talks about their books and we sell autographed copies of them.  We typically sell about 150 books.  We also have a used book sale/exchange where kids can buy used books for very inexpensive or in exchange for another book.  We usually move 800-900 books.


Tincher PTA had a wonderful event called Family, Photos and Fun Night. This was a free night of family fun for everyone! Thursday, November 18th was the date of the event. 5:30PM to 8:30PM. There was a Dessert Bar for warm drinks and tasty treats, pre-holiday shopping at Candy Cane Lane, crafts at the design tables and free holiday photo. We also had a professional photographer present to take holiday photos of families. If you brought a can of food you received a raffle ticket for a great give-away. It was a blast and a great family building activity.


Prisk PTA has made great efforts to reach out to the special education population on our campus.  We wrote a letter to these special families inviting them to join the PTA so that they could help us know how best serve their children’s specific needs.  We also had parent education presentations by specialists at a PTA meeting to talk to parents about sensitivity and support of our special kids.  We paid for braille casual reading books to be added to our library, because there had only been curriculum based reading available. We also added a special education teacher category to our teacher of the year program so we could be sure that all our great teachers had a chance to be recognized.  PTA partnered with a tutoring service to help our special kids write an essay in class about their wonderful teacher.  We also purchased some special supplies (like a non-invasive thermometer) for the nurse so that she could better serve the students who had tactile issues.  We continue to look for new ways to accommodate the needs of ALL Prisk students.

Helen Keller PTA each year just prior to Halloween, celebrates with a Trunks and Treats evening on campus. Family members of students bring their cars with their trunks decorated for Halloween and treats to pass out. The students and guests Trick or Treat at each trunk. The evening also includes music, a pumpkin walk, a parade for the kids to show off their costumes, fun carnival-type games and face painting. Many wonderful volunteers make this event a huge success every year!


Stanford PTA To help encourage participation at PTA meetings, we arrange to have speakers at each of our meetings.  We take care of our business first and quickly (30-45 minutes) then we allow for a speaker to present for the next 30 to 45 minutes.  This has greatly improved the attendance at our monthly PTA meetings.  This year we have had or will have the following topics:  “Get to Know the Stanford Administrators & Staff”, “The Madness of Middle School” presentation by a family counselor, “Reflections Reception”, “ How to Fill Out High School of Choice Applications”, “Drug Awareness and Your Child”, “A Chat with Millikan, Poly, and Wilson High School Principals”, “K.Y.S.S. – Keep Your Self Safe against Cyber Bullying”, “Star Testing Information”, “Founders Day and Honorary Service Awards”.


Tincher PTA has a Go Green Weekly Email Newsletter. This is the main artery of communication to our parents. We have 700-800 parents that have signed up for Go Green. I usually provide a president’s message that has to do with a current event or learning objective, we have the calendar, the chairs reminders, a call to action and safety information.  We have a great system for the way we receive the information as well. The chairs submit to Go Green, I (president) submit, and anyone else that needs to provide content and then the principal reads the draft and approves it from there. All of our pdf newsletter files are linked through the email.


Gompers PTA offered a Family Fun Night called ” Mad Science Halloween Spooktacular”. It was an opportunity for our Gompers Community to come together to celebrate the Halloween holiday in a safe learning environment with a scientific twist. The children and their families saw a show of amazing science experiments and received spider web cotton candy and made a container of ghostly goo.


Gant PTA supports the arts with an annual Talent Show organized by the parents and held at Stanford’s auditorium.  Everyone is allowed to display their talents (as long as they are appropriate talents).  We also put on a full scale student Spring Musical performed on the Cal State Long Beach campus.


Twain PTA  had our 4th annual Veteran’s Day Celebration the Wednesday before Veteran’s Day.  The children invited their family members who were veterans and we had a spectacular program.  Mike Murray was our keynote speaker and he taught the children the importance of honoring our veterans.  Each grade level learned the military song for a branch of the military and sang it for the veterans.  After the program, the veterans visited classrooms to speak to the students and answer any questions.  Following the classrooms, the veterans were treated to a luncheon in their honor.  It was an inspiring and moving day.


Woodrow Wilson High School On Saturday, October 23, 2011 Wilson High PTA in conjunction with the Volunteens of Long Beach, joined Quilts of Valor (an organization that makes quilts and pillows for the wounded war soldiers).  On this day (which corresponded with Make a Difference Day) high school boys and girls were invited to come to the media center on the Wilson High campus and make quilts.  Sew Vac donated 20 sewing machines.  Starting in September we asked the families at Wilson for donations of fabric for the quilts.  The fabric was then delivered to Quilts of Valor and the quilt squares were cut for the quilts.  The supplies (scissors, thread, pins, etc) are all donated by Quilts of Valor and families.  The students arrived at 9:00 am and received quilt making and sewing machine instructions.  They were then put into groups of 4 and started designing their quilt patterns, pinning the squares together and then sewing the squares into a quilt.  They even sewed on the borders.  Over 50 students attended Quilts of Valor and the majority of them were boys.  A pizza lunch and snacks were served and the day ended around 4:00 pm.  Over 20 beautiful quilts were made.  The atmosphere of this event is amazing.  The kids are very serious about making their quilt the best it can be.  Most of these kids have never touched a sewing machine or sewing needle prior to this day.  The sound of them talking, laughing and the playing of music while they are working is fantastic.  Some kids left to play a game for their sport and came back to finish.  The founder of Quilts of Valor, Barbara Winkler, then takes the quilts and has them finished and delivers them to the soldiers.  This is what makes the kids feel that they are really doing something very worth while and special.  The photos of the men and women receiving these quilts take your breath away.  The boys and girls definitely feel this.  Every student there asked to come back next year.  Our mayor, Bob Foster, heard of this event and came by to visit with the boys and girls making the quilts.  He was absolutely astounded by the event and atmosphere.  Two Wilson alumni parents, Shelley Rooney and Yasemin Altuner and myself, Holly Reinhard, along with Barbara Winkler of Quilts of Valor and her helpers put this event together.


Hudson PTA wrote 418 letters in support to our active service personel on the front lines of the battlefield working with Operation Gratutude in Van Nuys.


Kettering PTA began hosting  Library Nights 3 years ago when a group of parents wanted to bring the books in the Kettering Library to life by having a themed evening event that focused on the wonders of reading.  Kettering library nights are held 3 times during the school year. With each night having it’s own theme the library, computer lab, intermediate hallway and one classroom are transformed using the imaginations of the kids, parents and staff. Some of the evenings from year’s past were “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Indiana Jones and the Adventures in the Library, Camp Ketterongo and Comic Books and Super Heros. Each of these nights have featured activities such as storytelling, sing-a-longs, comic artists, character actors, book hunts, computer games, prizes and the checking out of books by our librarian.  The library nights are very popular and are filled to capacity with over 100 kids attending the 90 minute evening.


Cleveland Elementary PTA organizes 2 opportunities for our school to support our ” Adopt-a-Family” program. The program is designed to provide support to Cleveland families who need a little help during the holidays. These anonymous families are chosen by the principal, counselor, and school nurse. PTA organizes purchasing, wrapping and delivering the gifts to the office.

  • Our first organized event is “Coins for Caring” (Nov), where each class collects pennies to be donated toward our fund. But, there’s a catch.  During lunch, there is a designated sabotage table set up where students can put silver coins or dollars in any of the other classes jar to negate their penny total. The class with the highest penny count wins a hot chocolate party. It’s a school favorite and the competition between the teachers makes it even more fun. This year over $1000 was raised!  
  • The 2nd event is “Spirit Grams” (Dec). We deliver simple special messages with little prizes attached for any student or staff member at our school. Staff members send them to each other, students/teachers buy them for their classes, parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents etc… Because of all the participation this year, we raised over $1000!


We are happy to report that those funds allowed us to fulfill the wishlists of 8 Cleveland families and provide additional gift cards to each family for food.


Emerson PTA hosted its first annual Emerson Art Festival, with booths featuring do-it-yourself art projects, as well as local music groups, creating a permanent mural on a school wall assisted by staff from the Museum of Latin American Art, and a drama presentation and workshop assisted by the Long Beach Shakespeare Society.


Prisk PTA is very proud of its “WINGS” program (We Include Newcomers and Give Support) which connects with and mentors new families on our campus.  We provide refreshments and parent volunteers to answer questions at school of choice parent tours, kindergarten orientation, and Open House.  Our favorite event of this year long program is the free breakfast mixer for the new parents where we introduce PTA officers, give a basic run down of PTA’s purposes on campus, and we answer all their questions.  It is great to give them a forum of all new parents, so that they are more comfortable asking questions and feeling connected.


Tincher PTA has a pre-school-starting event in which we have families attend to sign up for PTA, buy planners, PE clothes, earthquake kits, spirit wear and all the necessities for a great beginning of the year. We also had the list of students and what classroom they would be in for the fall. It also acted as a great social event as well. This happened the Friday before school started. We made almost $7,000 on the event. It was a great success.


Gant PTA hosts a Welcome Back to School BBQ the Friday of the first full week of school. Provides a time for new families to get info about Gant, returning families to see friends, and all to have a good time.  We have a DJ and a PTA booth.  We are also proud of our “Pi Night” annual event where math related games and puzzles are available, as well as delicious pie!


Patrick Henry PTA hosted a Grandparents Dinner where we celebrated on an October evening with our campus schoolyard as the backdrop.  The celebration included dinner, dancing, and cafe alfresco.  Our theme was jazz music, old cars and costumes from the 1920’s through the 1950’s.  Many volunteers made this event very successful with great food and beautiful ambience.


Buffum PTA held its annual Harvest Festival in October, 2010. We went BIG for our small school. Families came in droves to eat grilled burgers and hotdogs, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones and much more. Students enjoyed playing on the super slide obstacle course, having their face painted and washable tattoos, and winning at all the booths set up by our many parent volunteers. We had over 50 parent volunteers and over 100 families come to enjoy the festivities bringing our families together to celebrate our school!


Emerson PTA had a great “Back To School Bash” in September – a party with food, booths, face-painting, games, info on health and activities.  It included a free family movie and all were encouraged to bring their whole family, blankets and chairs to hang out and meet new friends.


Carver PTA has added a brand new PTA Center to their campus this year thanks to their principal giving them use of a bungalow.  The grand opening offered coffee, juice, bagels, cookies and door prizes.  The room includes a small play area for the children of volunteers and a space where the PTA will be able to host their Holiday Boutique, Book Fair, and Executive Board Meetings.  They also have plans to add a monthly “Carver Morning” where they will give follow up meetings in the morning for those who could not make the evening PTA meeting.  Also planned for next fall is the “First Day Boo Hoo Kinder Tea” for the moms who are dropping their kids for the first day of school.  This will be a time to connect with new parents and get their ideas for the school year.


Hill Classical Middle School PTSA is proud to sponsor four incentive days during the school year.  As encouragement for following all of the school rules students work on receiving zero points.  This includes proper school attire, remembering planners, being on time and numerous other standards at Hill which students are required to follow.  If students do receive a point, they are given time to work the point off.  At the end of a designated time all students who have zero points receive a free treat at lunch courtesy of the PTSA.  At Christmas time the special treat was candy canes.  This has become a fun way for our PTSA to be on campus interacting with the students and encouraging them to keep up the good work!


Millikan High School PTSA hosted a two part series on college planning. We partnered with the GEAR UP coordinator and a representative from Long Beach City College to present ‘Keys to Success – College & Career Readiness’  and ‘Teens and Financial Aid 101’ . The meetings were well attended and the information was much appreciated.


Gant PTA supports the arts with an annual Talent Show organized by the parents and held at Stanford’s auditorium.  Everyone is allowed to display their talents (as long as they are appropriate talents).  We also put on a full scale student Spring Musical performed on the Cal State Long Beach campus.


Cubberly K-8 PTA had a great fun event this year, Family Night at Skate Depot.  Everyone who attended had a great time.


Fremont PTA  Beginning in early October each school year, the Fremont Drama Club jumps into action.  It is one of our most far-reaching, extra-curricular PTA-funded programs, every student in school is welcome to participate and typically over half of the student body joins in.  Each grade has a large group number in the show, with the 4th & 5th grade students auditioning for lead roles.  The director and assistant director of the program are former Fremont parents who are professionals in the theatrical world.  Through twice-weekly rehearsals, over the course of four months, they (along with the many parents who teach the children their dances and chaperone the rehearsals) teach the children the process of theater, help them gain confidence in their abilities to perform before and audience, and nurture a sense of teamwork amongst the entire cast and crew.  Parent participation in the program is also immense, in addition to working directly with the students, they sew costumes, build sets, direct sound & lighting, and coordinate the ticket sales and concessions.  It is a massive school community event, enjoyed by all!   This year’s play was “Seussical, Jr.” and debuted the last weekend of January at Wilson High School’s theater.  220 children and nearly 200 parents worked tirelessly to create this beautiful, fun production.  Over the course of three shows, the children performed before an exuberant audience of nearly 1,000!  It was a celebration of many hours of hard work and a wonderful experience for all involved.

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