The Binks Forest Elementary School Parent Teacher Association was named PTA of the year on May 16 at the annual Palm Beach County Council of PTA/PTSA Awards Dinner.
The organization also received two additional honors, including the 2014-15 Community Connection Award and Literacy Award.
“We are thrilled to have received not only the Community Connection Award and the Literacy Award from Palm Beach County Council PTA/PTSA, but also to be awarded the PTA of the Year,” Binks Forest Elementary School PTA President Tanya Siskind said. “Every year, our PTA board strives to streamline events and programs while making them bigger and better. We are thankful for the tremendous support we receive from our parent volunteers, administration and the community. We recognize that the Palm Beach County School District has an excellent reputation for high achieving schools with very active PTA’s which is why receiving these awards is such an honor.”
The Binks Forest PTA was selected this year because of its many accomplishments, including some of the following programs and events.
Family STEM Night was an outstanding example of family engagement where Binks Forest students and families explored more than 20 interactive centers that were set up around the cafeteria. These centers were designed to entertain and enlighten families about science, technology, engineering and math concepts. The community was also invited to share in the fun. The 4-H Club, Mathnasium, the Scientastic Center, Lion Country Safari, Pine Jog and the Solid Waste Authority all attended the event and engaged families with interesting and educational activities. The program was free, and more than 250 people attended. This event brought students, parents, teachers, PTA and community members together with the common goal of exploring STEM topics while having fun.
The Binks Forest PTA coordinated two visits to local rehabilitation and assisted living facility NuVista this year. Each visit was attended by approximately 20 students, who performed music for the residents. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade played cello, violin, piano and sang. In addition to their performances, the students gave out child-made crafts for the residents to decorate their living spaces with. The visits were enthusiastically received by the residents, many of whom do not have visitors regularly. The Binks Forest PTA also coordinated with the school aftercare department for children to make Thanksgiving centerpieces for the assisted living center. The students enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and help others at the same time.
The Binks Forest PTA also worked with the local Meals on Wheels program this year. Students created approximately 200 birthday and holiday cards to be delivered with meals.
“Our PTA has connected with the community through a variety of projects this year,” Amy Rochman, Binks Forest PTA vice president of school services, said. “We created multiple opportunities for our students and families to engage with the community in a meaningful way. Our goal was to benefit those in need, as well as teaching our students about the importance of giving back to others.”
In the Literacy Award category, which also encompassed math, Binks Forest was chosen for the many outstanding programs and events that the PTA either runs or helps fund to increase learning gains and enhance curriculum for all of the students. Binks Literacy Night is an annual event that flourishes and grows due to the collaborative efforts and hard work of the teachers, parents, PTA and community members who donate their time and resources. The substantive effect of Literacy Night can be measured through the school’s high performance in reading.
The Binks Forest PTA Executive Committee consists of seven board members, including a third-grade teacher and Binks Forest Elementary School Principal Michella Levy.
“It is an honor to not only work with but to be a part of such a strong PTA board. We are very fortunate to have a PTA board that will do whatever it takes for children,” Levy said.
ABOVE: Binks Forest PTA board members (front row) Shana Feuer and Sara Hyams; and (back row) Jennifer Weese, Amy Robbert, Tanya Siskind, Amy Rochman and Emily MacMillan.