School board meeting photo

Leah Brown, a member of the newly-formed Trousdale County Parent Teacher Organization, spoke to the Trousdale County School Board at its meeting on Thursday night. The school board unanimously approved the bylaws of the new parent-teacher group, thus making it official.

The bylaws for the newly-formed Trousdale County Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) received unanimous approval from the Trousdale County School Board at its meeting on Thursday night.

The local parent group was formerly part of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), but members decide to transition it to a PTO after the group lost its membership in the PTA as a result of COVID.

“We are in transition from a PTA to a PTO,” said Trousdale County PTO member Leah Brown. “When COVID hit, we lost all of our members except for two or three, and we couldn’t afford to pay the (national PTA) dues. So, we lost our membership.”

Across the country, PTOs have been created to help support and improve community schools through parent volunteers. Thus, most organizations hold fundraisers to provide money for projects that benefit local schools.

As its first official fundraiser as a PTO, the newly-formed Trousdale County PTO is holding a craft sale and silent auction today from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, located at 773 McMurry Blvd. in Hartsville.

“This particular fundraiser is to help get ready for teacher appreciation week for all three schools,” said Brown. “We have something small planned each day for the teachers. That’s going to, hopefully, brighten their day.”

Although the Trousdale County PTO has hit the ground running, it has not yet decided whether or not to pursue membership in the National Parent Teacher Organization, but is taking a wait and see approach at this time.

“We are kind of going back to the drawing board to start small, then determine if we want to take it to the national level,” said Trousdale County PTO member Nancy Wibbeler. “We (are) okay as long as we have support from you all (the school board) and the principals at the schools.”

With a new school year approaching, local PTO members are trying to get the word out to help draw potential new members into the organization.

“Definitely, with this new school year, we really would like to market and advertise,” said Wibbeler. “(We want to) say, ‘Everybody’s welcome. There are no dues. Here’s what are mission is and what we are trying to do.’ And then (we can) really start to form that partnership with the schools.”

Brown added, “I want to get the parents involved, not just with the PTO, but involved with each other.”

For those interested in PTO events or becoming a member, individuals can visit Trousdale County PTO Events on Facebook.

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