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"LEADER" Online: Vol. 6, No. 2

Parents Vote "Two Thumbs Up" for
PTA Parenting Movie Matinees


At Cherry Run Elementary School, counselor Ellie O'Meara, principal Peggy Klise, and PTA president Kay Finely teamed up to develop an innovative Parenting Movie matinee program.


by Diana King

The movies are rated PG for "Parental Guidance" and moviegoers happily snack on popcorn and soda. It sounds like a Saturday night at the local movie house down the street. Right?

Not quite.

These moviegoers aren't sitting in the local multiplex. They are attending a PTA Parenting Movie Matinee at Cherry Run Elementary School in Burke, VA. Today's feature films include "Sidestepping the Power Struggle: How to Redirect Your Child's Misbehavior" and "Growing Up in Video World."

"This year our PTA wanted to find a creative way to address a variety of parenting education issues with the parents of our students," explains Kay Finley, president of the Cherry Run PTA. Finley collaborated with school principal Dr. Peggy Klise and school counselor Ellie O'Meara to write a proposal for a $400 grant from the Virginia State PTA to fund the purchase of parenting education videos.

Counselor O'Meara identified the parenting topics she thought would be of greatest interest to Cherry Run parents. She selected programs from the Active Parenting catalog, including the Active Parenting Today Video Library; "Growing Up in Video World"; "ADHD: What Can We Do?"; and "The Parenting Puzzle: The Middle Years."

"We decided to start out by offering a 90-minute matinee on Thursday afternoons in March. This made it convenient for parents to watch the videos and then pick up their children after school," says Finley. The PTA also allows the videos to be checked out for viewing at home by parents or spouses who could not attend the matinee.

Finley developed a publicity plan to alert parents to the video presentations. She promoted the matinees through the PTA newsletter and several flyers sent home with students.

"The attendance has been good and we have received positive feedback. There have been many requests for the PTA to offer this program in the evening next year," says Finley.

"Parent involvement is so important to the success of our students. The PTA grant made it possible for us to try a new way of reaching parents. Word-of-mouth publicity after the first matinee showed that parents liked the casual video format. They've given this program a 'two thumbs up.'"

Reprinted from Leader magazine.
Copyright 2001 by Active Parenting Publishers, Inc.