What’s In A Name? Choose Something Fun for Your PTO

My children attend a wonderful local child care center a few days a week. Until recently, their classroom names were strictly descriptive: infants, early toddlers, older toddlers, and so on.

When the new director came aboard, she decided to jazz things up a bit. The classrooms still have their “official” names, but now everyone has an animal as well.

My son and his early toddler classmates are now the “owls” (they are definitely a nocturnal bunch, if not particularly wise yet!) and my daughter’s early preschool class is the “monkeys.” I’m not sure what the infants are – maybe the sloths, because they sleep a lot and don’t move around much?

This has been fun for the kids – my daughter’s class recently set up a pretend town called “Monkeyville” – and helpful for the parents, too. We know that all of the cubbies with a given animal on them belong to a certain class, and it’s definitely given everyone more of a sense of classroom community. Which is what it’s all about, even when the kids are very young.

Grown-ups crave this sense of community, too – which is why it makes sense to give a little thought to what you call your parent-teacher organization. Unique names for parent teacher organizations can help strengthen your school bonds.

What if, for example, you had a PCA: A Parent Community Association? What better way to bring home the fact that community-building is what you’re all about?

The American School in London recently made this change, noting in a news release that “[t]he new name, Parent Community Association, underlines both the actual membership of our organization— the parent body—as well as the organization’s strong commitment to be inclusive of the entire school community.”

Great stuff. You could also think up a fun, memorable name that lends itself to a fantastic acronym: Parents At Wakefield South (PAWS), for example – which would be particularly good if your school’s mascot is an animal that has paws. Or the Mayberry C.I.A. – Community In Action.

Once you’ve come up with the perfect name for your PTO, don’t stop there – try to carry the theme throughout all of your communications.

The South Colby Elementary School in Washington State, for example, is the home of the Bobcats. Their school newsletter? The Bobcat Mews. Their school slogan? “We’re leaving our prints all over the place…”

I’ve never personally been out to Bobcat territory, but I can feel the strength of their school spirit all the way over here on the other side of the country.

MemberHub provides you with a wonderful way to organize and coordinate your school community, and the more school spirit you can infuse into the process at the outset, the more effective (and fun) your school communications will be. So do some brainstorming and think outside the box.

Readers, do you have any unique names for parent teacher organizations that you’d like to share in the comments? We’d love to get your thoughts and ideas!