Does your PTA offer/fund scholarships? Why or why not? And if you do, how do you fund the scholarships?

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    Gena Ward

    What kind of scholarships are you referring to? We offer parents the opportunity to sponsor a PTA member.  Our school has had 100% PTA membership for 31 years and we have been able to do this by allowing parents to pay for other parents to be PTA members.  

    We also offer scholarships for families that can't afford to participate in different events.  We don't want a child to be left out because their family can't afford for them to participate.  

    We are an elementary school so I can see how scholarships may be more beneficial for upper grades rather than lower grades.  We are all trying to do what we can to make sure every child is represented. :)

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    Anne Fallon

    We are a high school PTSA and we offer scholarships to seniors who are PTSA members. These scholarships range from $250 to $1500 and are funded by Scholarship Business Partners--local business owners and general and specific donations from PTSA Members, parents, grandparents and alumni.. 

    We have a dedicated committee who solicit businesses and work on the application and review process all year long.  This year, we were able to give 16 scholarships!  There are many different scholarships created so many kids can apply:we like to say we offer a scholarship for every kind of student: some are academic based, art based, technology based, service to others, for CTAE students, hard-working students, students overcoming adversity, students seeking a vocation, and entrepreneurial students. We are constantly trying to fill a need when it comes up. It feels so good to reward these hard-working kiddos and the sponsors are just as proud to be able to help make their dreams come true.

    We also earmark funds for seniors in need to help pay for college application fees.

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    Melanie Paul

    Anne Fallon - Your PTA's scholarship program sounds fantastic! That's really awesome that you have different types of scholarships, ones that are not just solely based on academics. And it is also great to hear you still gave out 16 Scholarships even with COVID. 

    Do you think COVID had any change on your Scholarship offerings?

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    Anne Fallon

    We had the Scholarships and the funding locked in by Fall 2019 for the most part and certainly by January 2020. It was seamless for the students to apply because we had moved the application online the two years before. The challenge was getting the applications de-identified (blocking out names) and coded and getting these materials to the review panel--5 amazing parents and community members--  who every year dedicate days and days to review all of these applications--and then having a review and selection process on Zoom in mid-march.  Even the panel doesn't know who they have chosen until the reveal on Honors Night in April.  This year, the Scholarship Business Partner Guru (she's the one who people say yes to when she asks them to fund these--she is amazing--that's a good person to have on your team!)  is in the thick of the process of securing the funding and so far, so good. 

    I will post in a few weeks/months with progress re: COVID in terms of funding, however, I can absolutely see offering a scholarship with the criteria asking students what positive action did they take to help their school, family, community this year and we always have the students frame their answers with the context of relating their experience, knowledge actions back to something they learned at the high school whether that was a class, teacher, project or extra-curricular activity.

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