We are part of an incredible community in Saddleback Valley. Our PTA’s play a vital role in engaging our families, supporting our school sites, advocating important issues & being a VOICE for ALL CHILDREN! On behalf of 4th District PTA (serving all of Orange County) & Saddleback Valley PTA, we are so proud of Trabuco Mesa Elementary PTA for being recognized with the PTA Kindness Award & to Trabuco Hills High School for their Creative Program Award.
Trabuco Mesa Elementary
PTA KINDNESS AWARD from 4th District PTA
Several years ago, the Orange County Department of Education launched the Billion Acts of Kindness campaign, whose stated goal might be to achieve a certain measurable marker, but whose real purpose is to change the climate on school campuses for our children. Since that mission so closely aligned with our own, we at Fourth District PTA decided to further the initiative by recognizing PTAs who have embraced kindness and launched a program of their own at their respective schools. (By the way, if you haven’t checked it out yet, please visit Kindness1billion.org to learn more about OCDE’s initiative, which to date has amassed more than 14 ½ million acts of kindness.)
The PTA President at this next school reported that: Kindness is a way of daily life, not an exceptional act, among the students and staff at our school. Our school
community understands that even the smallest act of kindness can make the world of difference to others. Some examples of what they do to promote kindness on campus include: A buddy bench, where any lonely student can sit, knowing that a friend will soon come to sit with them. Upper grade students are paired with younger students as big buddies to foster relationships across grade levels. One classroom has established the SEAKers program (which is Students Engaging in Acts of Kindness) encouraging students to perform random acts of kindness. The PTA also helped establish a “Unified Gardening” program, which brings neurodiverse and neurotypical students together to grow a garden, while also cultivating friendship and community. They also host a Unified PE program so students may participate together in physical education games and recess activities as well. There is no better way to build friendships than through play, and what a great way to teach others that kindness is fun! Lastly, the PTA regularly highlighted kindness activities in their newsletter so that all would know about them, and to encourage that kindness to spread.
For their inspired and important work in fostering kindness on our school campuses, we want to recognize Trabuco Mesa Elementary from the Saddleback Valley Council of PTAs.
Trabuco Hills High School PTSA
CREATIVE PROGRAM AWARD from 4th District PTA
Every child, one voice, is not just our motto. For this next PTA, it is their directive. They are truly walking the walk to make sure all students are a welcome part of their school families and are receiving the support they need.
The author of this award application told a beautiful tale of her own son’s experiences as an active PTSA Board Member. Despite his developmental delays, he was embraced and able to serve his school community in many ways, including serving as the board’s historian and volunteering at multiple events. She and others were inspired to make sure that all students, including those with exceptional needs, have the best high school experience possible. She reports that their PTSA has a true heart for all learning abilities- not just those that “fit the mold.” To that end, they formed a committee to help look at school activities through a different, more inclusive, lens. One notable outcome from the work of this group was to provide a sensory room for the dances held on campus. This room would enable any student with unique needs to take a break from the noise or even stay in the room the whole time. Although there were not many students who utilized this sensory room, the awareness, sensitivity, and kindness displayed by its mere existence inspired many families and students to participate in the dance, who otherwise might not have. The comfort and care that went into the planning helped them know that this would be a safe and welcoming place for all students. The success of this and other events has been a result of collaboration among the parents, teachers, staff, and administration. They report: We are past the time of, "It would be nice to have a special needs chair.” We are to the point where it is necessary to step up to meet all students’ needs.
For their innovative approaches to raising one voice for every child, we would like to recognize Trabuco Hills High School from the Saddleback Valley of PTAs.