Parmer PTA wins awards for membership growth

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Willie Bradley has just as much school material, if not more, as his two children. He hauls around book bags and briefcases crammed with notes, legal pads, pens, and receipts - all related to a job he said he never really asked for - that of president of W.O. Parmer Elementary's Parent-Teacher Association.

At an April 2005 meeting of the school's PTA, Bradley said he didn't even realize his name was on the ballot to be elected until his wife pointed it out. But after a show of hands, Bradley was made president of a PTA that then consisted of just 36 people.

Bradley took his job seriously and helped jumpstart a membership drive at the Greenville school. By August 2006 membership in W.O Parmer's PTA had grown to 153 parents and teachers.

&#8220Communication was it,” said Bradley. &#8220We sent flyers out with the children along with a letter asking for their membership. I've always been the type of person that likes to talk and joke with people and I think that may have helped, but the main thing was letting people know about the PTA.”

Bradley and his fellow parents' efforts paid off. The school's PTA was recognized this year by the Alabama PTA with three awards: The Early Bird Award (awarded to all PTAs reporting 50 percent increase in membership over the previous year early in the school year); The Gold Leaf Award (awarded to all PTAs equaling or surpassing the previous year's membership); and The Oak Tree Award (awarded to all PTAs reporting a 20 percent increase over the previous year's membership).

W.O. Parmer Elementary was the only public school in Butler County to receive the three awards. The PTA set several goals for itself this school year with membership being the main focus, said Bradley. The PTA was also able to obtain plastic safety plugs to go over electrical sockets thanks to a generous donation from Wal-Mart, he said.

He and several parents, along with W.O. Parmer Principal Catherine Sawicki, spent Spring Break in March painting the first grade hallways, said Bradley.

Bradley said he would continue to serve in the PTA, but would like to allow another parent the opportunity to be president.

&#8220I'd like to give someone else a chance,” he said. &#8220It's time consuming and its volunteer, but the rewards are many.”

Sawicki commended Bradley's work, and that of all the parents.

&#8220We certainly have a great team of parents working to make our school better,” she said.