Tonasket PTO Gears up for Winter Carnival

TONASKET – The second annual Tonasket PTO Mid-Winter Carnival is slated for Friday, Feb. 24, at Tonasket Elementary School from 5:30-8pm.

In 2011, the Tonasket Elementary Parent Teacher Organization hosted over 1000 students and family members for a night of games, food and fun.

“We’ve added games and features to make this year’s carnival more enjoyable and ‘wins’ more accessible to all players of all ages,” says Carnival chair Martha Wood. “We’re looking forward to another great night with our students and the community.”

The PTO, in its third year of existence, has a goal of raising $5,000 to purchase elementary playground equipment.

“The PTO sponsors the carnival as both a fundraiser and a venue for families to get out together,” said Kari Alexander, PTO president. “We’re very much in a building stage. It takes a while to gather momentum and prove this organization’s worth to families. We fundraise, host meetings and sponsor family activity nights, but our underlying goal is to get the word out about how beneficial it can be for parents to spend time with students in their school environment.”

The Tonasket PTO is taking the cue from national PTO organizations and educational researchers such as Anne Henderson and Nancy Berla.

The authors have summarized over 30 years of studies relating the effects of parent involvement in their children’s academic success: “When parents are involved in their children’s education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in school and the schools they go to are better. Their success shows in their grades, tests, attendance, and behavior.”

“The research shows what teachers already know,” says Alexander. “Students with involved parents perform better at school, but sometimes it’s not that easy. As a parent, it can be hard to find the time for extra activities. But if we can provide access to activities where students have fun with their families while gathering parental support for the PTO, then we open the door to family interaction and potentially improved academic success. But Friday night, we hope families will come out simply to have some fun.”