During their School of Excellence journey, the PTA at Dapplegray Elementary School, located in Rolling Hills Estates, California, focused on improving the social and emotional health of their students in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic.

One of their initiatives was to create a safe place during the lunch recess for students who needed a playground alternative. Working with the school, they partnered with the community, families, and local businesses to provide programming in art, dance and movement, yoga, sports, and tennis during the lunch recess. These activities gave students a structured and safe place to express themselves. 

On average, 210 students, which represents one-third of the student population, attended the various programs when they were offered. Student feedback was very positive, and many indicated they looked forward to the programs. 

The PTA also hosted outdoor playdates at local parks where students, teachers, and families could get to know each other and build vital relationships. The investments in these inclusive family engagement playdates will create lifelong friendships. The PTA also expects they will inspire more volunteers and engagement at school and PTA programs in the future.

Read the original story and learn more about how PTAs across the country are building their communities here.