Chance To Win $100K For Your School!

Earth to Echo Your school can win $100,000
in 3 easy steps!

Go to

1. Enter the name of your school
2. Watch the Earth to Echo trailer
3. Vote on your favorite poster image


The school with the most votes wins $100,000. Plus your vote will help determine the fan favorite EARTH TO ECHO special edition poster.

Voting ends on June 2, 2014 at 11:59p Pacific Time. Good luck!!!

Parent Participation: Know Your Strengths, Know Your Boundaries

by Tanya Anton |

Now that school is back in full swing, as a public school parent I’ll bet you’re being hit up every which way from Sunday to contribute to your kid’s school. Gone are the days where you drop your kid at the door and expect the school/district/city/state/government to take care of everything else. With reduced budgets and diminished staff, regardless of the type of school you go to, schools need our help. And they are not shy in asking for it.

While parent participation is essential in today’s economy and the best way to build a strong program-rich community at your school, everyone needs to contribute something but it helps to pace yourself so you don’t burn out later.

Ask yourself the following questions: What are your strengths? What are your limitations? What are your boundaries? If you and your partner work full-time and your time is limited, consider writing a lump sum donation to the school.

You can also commit to a monthly payment plan so it is budgeted and spread out over the course of the school year.

If money is tight in your family but you have time to give, consider what you like to do or do best, and give of your time and expertise.

Can you help out in the classroom, or in the office? Can you write grants or the school newsletter after hours? Are you good at organizing or clean up? Can you work in the school garden or lead a fundraising event or man a booth at the upcoming festival? Will you bake cookies or make tamales or sell Tshirts? Can you go after business partnerships and wrangle a technology upgrade for your school? Can you solicit donations or equipment cast-offs or other services or benefits from within your business contacts? Can you chair a committee or mentor some kids or help supervise the play yard? Can you lead a prospective parent tour or special class project or launch an afterschool enrichment program?

We all have something to offer. But we work best when we are doing what we are good at and love to do. Are you a visionary, a connector, a number-cruncher or a worker bee? Do you like to work with kids, with staff, with other parents or alone? Cast your skills wisely and be realistic about the kinds of projects you can take on and the amount of time you can give to the cause. Ask to share duties if you sense you’ve taken on too much.

Every thriving school is surrounded by a strong community of support, both physically and financially. And if everybody offers in a little something, then much can get accomplished without burning out that core few who always manage to do more than everyone else. What is it that you do best and what will you offer to your child’s school? Time, skills, money, or perhaps a combination of all three.

How have you participated in your child’s school? Tell us how. Share your story. You just might inspire someone else.

Want to use this article on your blog or website? You can as long as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Tanya Anton, author, speaker, public school consultant and advocate, is the creator/founder of helping parents demystify and navigate their public school options in Los Angeles. To read more articles by Tanya or to learn about her Guidebooks, House Chats, Consultations, and popular Seminars, visit or email us at
© 2011 by Tanya Anton, All Rights Reserved.

PS Smart Tip: Socialize

Get Smart, Get PS (Public School) Smart

*Today’s public schools are full of challenges it’s true, but now more than ever is the time to work smarter, to work together to improve our school experience. In this section we’ll offer handy smart tips you can use right now to boost your school community.

Now that we’re nearing the end of the school year, many parents are downright burnt and crispy from all their efforts volunteering, fundraising, organizing auctions, carnivals, book fairs, etc. They need a little TLC. Some appreciation for all their hard work. After all, they’re not getting paid for it, and in many cases it’s the parents’ efforts that end up funding the special programs and enrichments the district can no longer provide.

While some schools are still squeezing parents for donations and to commit to next year’s committees and officer positions, a smarter idea would be to throw a big social event (think potluck or bbq or happy hour) to bring everyone together to bask in gratuitous flattery and mutual admiration. We’ll all do more for the cause when we feel welcomed, connected and appreciated. Moms and Margaritas? I’m in! Might just feel more tempted to join that grantwriting committee with such awesome compadres around me.