Reaching out to families when their children start school is a great way to demonstrate what your PTA is all about. When parents see from the start that taking part in PTA activities is fun, friendly and rewarding, they’ll be more likely to get involved once their children are settled at school.
Here are some ways you can help new parents learn about what you do, and feel inspired to join in:
Give out welcome packs
Most of our members find sharing a welcome pack goes down very well at a welcome meeting or taster day. Include information about what’s going on at school over the coming months and who to contact if they have questions:
- A short welcome letter about your parent group
- A guide to who’s who on the committee
- A questionnaire to get to know your new parents
- A reply slip for parents to express an interest in helping
- A list of activities that you need help with
- Upcoming events flyer
- Information about any non-event fundraising initiatives they can get involved in
- A copy of your latest newsletter if you have one
- A piece about “Why I joined the PTA” – ask a committee member to write a short blog, example here.
Have a picnic
Social events are a great way to foster new friendships. Picnics or strolls in a local park are great ways to get together informally. Non-fundraising events can really help to cement those all-important new relationships and unite everyone. Give plenty of notice to ensure the biggest turnout possible.
Run a BBQ
Same as the picnic idea, but what about putting on a BBQ and raising funds too? This will work great over the summer months or at the beginning of term. It could even help families get to know each other before school starts so that things feel a little bit familiar come September.
Stay in touch
Keep connected with new parents and make sure they are aware of your social media page if you have one. Share helpful, fun and friendly posts with photos to keep them in the loop! If you gather any contact details from parents, read our guide on GDPR and consider putting together a newsletter.
Be visible around school
Make a presence around school with friendly and welcoming posters, make it obvious that all new parents are invited to your next meeting, and share all the details of what’s coming up and who they can get in touch with. Visit our PTA resources for templates.
Try a parent buddy system
New parents will gravitate towards one another as they’re on the same emotional journey but they can also benefit from the advice of those who have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Try a parent/buddy system to put new parents in touch with other parents who live nearby. This can lead to car-pooling to PTA events and saving on fuel costs.
Be a friend
You might have heard some primary PTAs talk about inviting parents to “tea and tissues” after the first school drop off. This can be a good way for new and existing parents to share first day experiences over a drink and cake. Alternatively, if an event isn’t possible, you could give out a tea bag and pack of tissues along with a poem about starting school to each parent on the first day. Remember to include contact details on there to let them know you are there if they need anything.
Planning something different? We’d love to hear all about it, inspire others and share your idea on the PTA Facebook page.
We wish you every success!