The Wrightsville Beach School PTA hopes to ease back-to-school blues with two upcoming events before the 2014-15 school year begins Aug. 26.
An Aug. 16 kindergarten play date will take place at Wrightsville Beach Park from 9:30-11 a.m.
Elizabeth Beacham remembers attending the 2011 play date with her daughter, then an incoming kindergartener.
“Both my daughter and I were nervous but excited and immediately felt a warm welcome from the teachers and other parents and PTA members that were there,” Beacham said.
Now president of the PTA, Beacham said the group organizes the event to make the transition less scary and uncertain.
“It’s to make incoming students and parents feel welcome, to ease the anxiety of incoming kindergarteners so they can meet new friends and have familiar faces on the first day of school,” Beacham said.
Parents are able to meet school staff and PTA members and purchase prepackaged school supplies and T-shirts while kids enjoy a snack and play.
All students returning to Wrightsville Beach School are invited to an Aug. 21 open house, where they will meet their teacher for the year. Beacham said the open house provides the same opportunities offered at the play date for students at all grade levels.
In response to the long lines that form to purchase school supplies during the open house, the PTA launched an online store this summer so parents can buy supplies ahead of time.
The online store is located at http://wbspta.corecommerce.com
The prepackaged supplies are a big hit, Beacham said. The PTA works with teachers to offer all materials required for each grade at lower prices.
Beacham said she hopes to engage parent involvement with the PTA during both events.
“Many hands make light work and together, the more parents that are willing to get involved and help out, the more things we can do for the school and the more support we can give to our teachers,” Beacham said.
Parents can volunteer time to the PTA or donate to One Big Splash, the main source of revenue for PTA-sponsored activities. One Big Splash was created as an alternative to fundraising campaigns that make kids travel door-to-door selling candy bars or wrapping paper. Instead parents can pay a $75 one-time donation per student to fund the programs offered throughout the year.
The next event on the PTA calendar is a Sept. 26 back-to-school carnival in celebration of Wrightsville Beach School’s 60th anniversary.