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Eastside Parent Receives Georgia Parent Leadership Award

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Parent Capucine Pansy Received Prestigious State Award.

An Eastside Elementary School parent and Co-President of the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Capucine Pansy, has been selected as one of six winners of Georgia’s Parent Leadership Award. The award was created by the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia PTA to recognize parents across Georgia who utilize their various skills and talents to strengthen our schools and positively impact the lives of our children.

Tammi Love, Parent Outreach Facilitator at Eastside Elementary, nominated Ms. Pansy for the award and wrote that “Ms. Pansy empowers and encourages other parents to be advocates for their children ensuring that they have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.”

The following is an excerpt of Ms. Pansy’s nomination that was written by Ms. Love.

“Mommy, please help at my school!” was the plea from an eight-year-old girl that compelled Capucine Pansy to stretch her parent involvement past classroom visits to helping to impact the school community. Pansy did not want her daughter to think her school wasn’t important. It was. So she decided to give 100%.


Pansy has embraced Eastside Elementary School to be her second home, often seen in the halls, classrooms and various school events promoting student achievement and parent involvement. She currently serves as Co-President of PTA, Room Mom for her daughter’s third grade classroom, member of the Parent Advisory Council and she serves as an Eastside PIP (Parents Informing Parents) volunteer for the school’s Parent Resource Center. By nomination of her school, Pansy is also a recent applicant for a new parent leadership initiative offered by Douglas County School System – Vision and Voice Parent Leadership Institute 2013. The Institute is a series of five workshops for parents of students that attend Title I elementary schools in Douglas County.

One of Pansy’s most remarkable and encouraging attributes is that she serves the school community steadfastly, even while suffering with a disability that causes her chronic pain in her legs and head. “I may not always feel my best but I will give them (the school) the best that I can, even if I’m lying down,” Pansy admits. Pansy’s loyalty and dedication is a leading example for others to serve others in the midst of circumstance or tribulation.

As an avid school volunteer, Pansy is a welcome marquee board, personified. She tirelessly extends her hand and heart to parents and families and effectively communicates the importance of their involvement in their children’s education at all parent events at the school. She reinforces the school message to parents to volunteer when they can, no matter how little the time may be. She has been instrumental in boosting camaraderie among parents, teachers, and staff. She has implemented gift and reward opportunities for parents and students to encourage PTA participation. She pledges that PTA will be more than fundraising; rather it will focus on programs that help children. Pansy partnered with the school counselor to welcome nearly 100 grandparents to Eastside for Grandparents Day and she partnered with the Parent Resource Center to welcome hundreds of parents into the school this school year for parent workshops focused on the subjects of reading and math.

Pansy upholds student success in her home and allows that vigor to pour into her support of students at Eastside. Specifically, the PTA coordinated a Reading Under the Sun event that allowed parents to spend lunch time reading with their children in the school courtyard. Parents were encouraged to bring books from home to read. Pansy not only brought books for her child but went to the public library and checked out bags of books to bring and share with families who did not have a book to read with their child. Additionally, Pansy is working with her daughter’s teacher to help implement a new reading initiative that will reward children for reading books at intermittent periods throughout the school year, instead of solely at the end of the school year. Pansy also creates themed gift baskets for children and parents to reward classroom participation and parent involvement. Her themed baskets include school supplies, puzzles, calendars and inspirational items.

As a member of the Parent Advisory Council, Pansy shares her power by participating in decision-making that affects children and families. All Council members help to develop the school’s Improvement Plan, develops the school’s and district’s Parent Involvement Policy, develops the Student-Teacher-Parent Compact, provides input regarding parent workshops and trainings, and provides input regarding Title I programs and budgets. Pansy’s strong education and employment history in Finance has allowed her to use her talents to assist with the development and creativity of the school’s PTA budget. Pansy is working collaboratively with the PTA Board to partner with surrounding businesses and community groups to raise funds through fundraisers that will help teachers with resources in the classroom, students and the Parent Resource Center.

As a result of Pansy’s work at Eastside, the school has increased its partnerships with the community. Specifically, Pansy is working diligently to collaborate with senior citizen centers in Douglasville to connect students, families and staff to community services and civic participation. Students will create greeting cards for the seniors to let them know that people care.

Ultimately, Pansy desires to be the best parent she can be. She empowers and encourages other parents to be advocates for their children ensuring that they have access to learning opportunities that will support their success. She is instrumental in setting PTA meeting dates to be held in conjunction with parent engagement activities to emphasize the importance of education and she consistently asks parents for feedback and offers avenues for such. As a PIP, she has helped to guide and direct parents when they visit the school and she has made personal phone calls to parents, encouraging them to attend parent workshops and events. Pansy also serves on the PTA Board at Cooper Middle School in Cobb County where another daughter attends. Pansy is the Cooper Rewards Program Chair, helping with the fundraising efforts of the school.

Pansy recognizes two benefits of being an active parent: (1) Her daughters have developed a drive to learn because they see their mother helping at school and (2) She is learning more about her daughters as they grow and progress in school. These are seemingly simple benefits that are loaded with surmountable promise, birthed from the passionate plea of a child. Eastside Elementary School is grateful for the unselfish work of Capucine Pansy. It is with great honor that we nominate her for the prestigious Georgia Parent Leadership Award.

 

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