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Pivik's PTA honored by state association

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | Plum Advance Leader
Susan Carnahan with Zachary and Serena check out some of the books in their new classroom at Pivik Elementary School during a tour of the new school last August. The school's PTA group organized the tour. The organization's effort to increase membership and activity earned it a state award.
Lillian DeDomenic | Plum Advance LeaderDeDomenic
Christina and Geoff Woltjen on their way to the gym with Alexandra, Hannah and Max. The school's PTA group organized the tour. The organization's effort to increase membership and activity earned it a state award.
Lillian DeDomenic | Plum Advance Leader
Anxious to start the school year, Ellie and Jack Tongel tour their new school with mom and dad, Mike and Robyn. The kids' grandparents, Jack and Beverly Barilla, were also on hand for the public tour. The school's PTA group organized the tour. The organization's effort to increase membership and activity earned it a state award.

Pivik Elementary PTA President Francine Nichols set out this school to get more parents involved in the group's activities.

The push paid off.

Pivik PTA's membership jumped 77 percent — from 230 to 408 members, according to statistics from the Pennsylvania PTA in Harrisburg.

The success was noticed outside the Plum School District. The Pennsylvania PTA plans to recognize the Pivik Elementary PTA at its convention with a State Membership Award.

Theresa Mucciolo, Pennsylvania PTA membership chairwoman, said the Pivik PTA is the only one of the 406 PTA member groups to receive the award. Mucciolo said the award is given to the PTA group that has gained the largest increase in membership based on student population. Pivik has about 530 students.

“It is very exciting,” said Mucciolo, of Scranton. “Her (Nichols') commitment and determination to have parents involved in the PTA is impressive.”

Pivik's PTA will receive the honor during the 104th Annual Pennsylvania PTA Convention April 19 to 21 in Tannersville, Monroe County.

Pivik's PTA receives two complimentary registrations to the convention and two tickets to the banquet. Nichols said she and assistant treasurer Lori Vickroy plan to attend.

“This year, we are getting great support from parents,” Nichols said.

Nichols said she encouraged Pivik teachers to join the group, and sent information home with students.

Membership dues are $6 a year, Nichols said. The money goes to the state group, to the Plum Council of PTA and to the Pivik PTA.

Nichols said more parents, grandparents and relatives who have joined the PTA are volunteering to help with events such as class parties.

“I've seen a huge increase in attendance by parents and family members,” Nichols said. “Parents enjoy volunteering. They have said they didn't realize how much they were needed and how much fun they have doing it.”

Pivik Principal Gail Yamnitzky is proud of the group's work.

“Our PTA is an amazing group of parents who will do anything for the children of Pivik,” Yamnitzky said. “We're so fortunate to have a great partnership with them. And the leadership team volunteers so much of their time to see that we have the best of everything.”

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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