The Valley Forge Middle School PTO is a volunteer organization of parents that exists to support the administration, staff, faculty and students of VFMS. By offering programs, raising money and providing volunteers at school and PTO events, we work to enhance every student’s experience at VFMS. Below is a list of the PTO’s activities; click on a header for more information:
The editor of the Blast is Lori Benedict. If you wish to submit an event or news item for possible inclusion in the Blast, please submit it to the Blast editor by 4 p.m. Friday for potential inclusion in the upcoming Sunday’s Blast using the form on our website under the PTO Email Blast tab. Please include your name, email address and phone number with a submission.
You may sign up to receive the Blast here.
The PTO’s website is designed to be a central point of resources for VFMS parents providing information about day-to-day activities at VFMS and the PTO’s activities. Additionally, on the PTO website, parents can learn about PTO programs, sign up to become involved, make a donation to support the work of the PTO, and read about the PTO at work.
The website administrators are Emma Yan and Marine Havel. You can reach them through our contact form and selecting VP Communications & Volunteers.
Every year, the PTO publishes a directory of VFMS families. It also includes key school phone numbers and personnel, important dates and meetings, a calendar of PTO events, a directory of the PTO board and committees and a Directory of faculty.
Directories are available to purchase at a cost of $10 each, $15 for two and $20 for three. Order your directory online here.
The Directory is created each year by PTO volunteers. The Directory editor is Julie Kanto.
The Directory features advertising of local businesses and organizations that support the PTO financially by purchasing an advertisement. The advertising coordinator is Doug Jones. To place an ad, or for information, use our contact form and select General Inquiry.
Each year, the Directory features a cover designed by a VFMS student. Design submissions are solicited in September through notices in the Blast and on the PTO website. Orders for directories should be made by 09/18, and directories will be distributed at the end of October.
Every school year, the PTO organizes a Principal Meet & Greet for each of the four grades (two for 5th grade). The Meet & Greet is held at the home of a PTO volunteer and offers parents the opportunity to meet, talk with and hear presentations by Principal Matt Gibson and a group of teachers and guidance counselors in the respective grade.
The dates and locations of the Principal Meet & Greets will be posted on the PTO website calendar.
The PTO will recruit hosts for the Principal Meet and Greets. Please contact PTO Vice President for Socials Stacey Pellegrini through our contact form and selecting VP Socials.
In late August, before the beginning of the school year, the PTO hosts a breakfast for families of students from outside the VFMS area who will be new to the school. The breakfast provides new families an opportunity to meet other newcomers and faculty and staff and for new students to explore VFMS through a scavenger hunt.
The New Family Breakfast coordinator is Jenni DiMaio.
The PTO provides volunteers to hand out schedules to incoming 5th graders when they visit VFMS during the last week of August before school begins. These volunteers also take orders for the VFMS Directory and sell spirit wear.
The PTO provides snacks and a coordinator for the annual 5th Grade Math Night that takes place on Wednesday November 9th 2016 in the cafeteria. To volunteer to coordinate snacks, please contact PTO Vice President for Communications and Volunteers Marine Havel on our contact form and select VP Communications & Volunteers.
The PTO provides volunteers to help chaperone students at the annual bowling outing at Devon Lanes. To volunteer to coordinate the PTO support, please use our contact form and select VP Communications & Volunteers to reach Marine Havel.
The PTO brings art and artists into VFMS by funding and selecting visiting artists and occasional artists in residence. Each year, the Cultural Arts program provides one or two all school assemblies featuring a variety of performance arts such as theatre, vocalists, dance, magic, juggling and drums. Grade level assemblies have included comedic Shakespeare, slam poetry, a play about Greek mythology and author/illustrator visits. In addition, an artist in residency during the 2013-14 school year resulted in the ceramic tile mosaic that now decorates the VFMS lobby.
The PTO Vice Presidents for cultural arts are Jamie Lynch and Emily Brunner. To become involved, use our contact form to reach them by selecting VP Cultural Arts.
The PTO hosts a number of social events throughout the school year to give students and parents an opportunity to get together and to raise money for the PTO. Some of the events that are held annually are the New Family Breakfast, the Parent Social and the Ice Cream Social.
For more information or to become involved, please contact PTO Vice President for Socials Stacey Pellegrini through our contact form.
The PTO helps make graduation from VFMS a memorable and happy occasion for our graduating students and their families. A team of two or three PTO volunteers serve as 8th grade graduation coordinators. They oversee volunteers preparing a memory slide show that will be shown at the 8th grade graduation ceremony. In addition, these 8th grade parents plan the 8th grade reception that takes place in the VFMS cafeteria following the graduation ceremony. This responsibility includes ordering/purchasing the cake and beverage refreshments that will be served as well as overseeing a small committee of volunteers who set up the refreshments in the cafeteria, cut and serve cake and beverages to the graduates/families and clean up at the end of the event. The coordinators also work with the PTO’s Beautification team to decorate the stage with flowers and balloons on the morning of graduation.
The PTO is currently recruiting coordinators for the Class of 2017 graduation. Please contact PTO Vice President for Socials Stacey Pellegrini through our contact form to volunteer or for more information.
The PTO hosts a luncheon for faculty and staff on the last day of the school year. The PTO is currently recruiting a coordinator for the 2016-17 school year Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. Please contact PTO Vice President for Socials Stacey Pellegrini through our contact form for more information.
The PTO raises money to provide financial support to VFMS. In the 2013-14 school year, the PTO donated approximately $28,000 for the purchase of 60 iPads to be used in reading programs at VFMS as well as funds for aprons for use in art classes, a cultural arts performance by Harris III, an illusionist, and a variety of Golden Apple Grants.
Supporters can make a donation at any time through the PTO’s Direct Donation program.
Fundraising activities take place throughout the school year. They include the social events, sales of locker shelves and spirit wear, book fairs, sales of tickets to Hershey Park, fundraising events at Handel’s and Kiwi, and other activities.
For more information or to become involved, please contact PTO Vice President for fundraising Tereza Keohane through our contact form by selecting VP Fundraising.
The PTO sells spirit wear to raise money for the PTO and to raise VFMS spirit. Spiritwear may be purchased on Curriculum Nights (Tuesday September 6th for 5th/6th grade and Wednesday September 7th for 7th/8th grade )or through the Spirit Store here on our website.
The Spiritwear Coordinator is Karen Wilder.
The PTO sells locker shelves that fit VFMS lockers and can be removed and reused during all four of a student’s years at VFMS. Orders for locker shelves are accepted during the spring and summer and can be made through the PTO website. Locker shelves are delivered to school at the end of August.
The coordinator for locker shelf sales is Trish McFillin.
The PTO collects Box Tops for Education to raise money for PTO activities. The collection box is located in the main office throughout the school year. You can participate by clipping the official Box Top for Education from the box and sending it to VFMS with your student. The PTO receives 10 cents for each Box Top.
The PTO Box Tops for Education coordinator is Karen Ridder.
The PTO awards Golden Apple Grants to support to support outstanding and innovative programs, ideas and/or purchases which will enrich the educational experience at VFMS. The standard Golden Apple Grant is $200 and typically up to 10 grants will be made available during each school year.
The coordinator for Golden Apple Grants is Tarina Mahtab.
The PTO assists with health and vision screening at the beginning of each school year. Volunteers assist the school nurse one morning in September to assess weight, height and vision of each student.
The Health and Vision Screening Volunteer Coordinator is Kristin Courtney.
The coordinator for the Dental Clinic program is Cathy Mauro.
PTO volunteers help VFMS with the Lost and Found twice during the school year. Before winter break and the end of the school year, volunteers go through unclaimed articles, pull out items with names on them for return to the student, then wash the remaining items and donate them to an organization serving people in need.
The Lost and Found coordinator is Pat Connolly.
The PTO will offer a Wellness Week in the winter to inform and encourage VFMS students to make healthy nutrition and exercise choices.
The Wellness Week coordinator is Missy Farkouh.
The Beautification team is working on some exciting ideas. The coordinators are Gerry Morgan and Sukie Carpenter.
The role of the Vice President for Issues and Affairs is to keep our VFMS community abreast of topics and issues that will affect our school and students. The VP works to provide information and resources to keep our community well informed about the decision making process and how we as parents can participate in the process.
The PTO Vice President for Issues and Affairs is Jennifer Newhall; use our contact form and select VP Issues to reach Jennifer.
The Parents’ Network Coordinator organizes VFMS parents’ gatherings at which parents share their ideas and concerns about raising middle school kids. The group is informal and usually meets for morning coffee or lunch. Sometimes the gathering will have a topic, such as “summer camps,” “cool after school activities,” etc. Parents’ Network meetings are announced through the PTO Blast and appear on the PTO website calendar.
The PTO Parents’ Network Coordinator is Angelica Riley.
The PTO assigns a representative to the Interschool Council to keep the PTO informed about issues raised at the Interschool Council. The Interschool Council is a monthly meeting of school district administrators, representatives from all T/E schools and school board representatives covering topics relevant to the district.
The PTO Interschool Council Representative is Karen Vadner and Tina Webb.
The PTO assigns a representative to the Tredyffrin Easttown Music Parents Organization (TEMPO) to keep the PTO informed about TEMPO issues and activities. TEMPO is an organization that supports music programs throughout the TE School District.
The TEMPO Representative is Anne Callis.
The PTO assigns a liaison to ARCH to keep the PTO informed about ARCH’s activities around youth issues, with an emphasis on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. ARCH is a coalition of parents, educators, and community members committed to promoting the well being of youth in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships. ARCH serves as a resource to families as they help their children form a positive self-image, make healthy choices, and reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
The PTO ARCH liaison is Sukie Carpenter.
The PTO is currently recruiting a volunteer for the Interschool BUILD liaison position for the 2016-17 school year. To express interest or get more information, please use our contact form and select VP Communications & Volunteers to reach Marine Havel.
The PTO assigns a representative to the Tredyffrin Easttown School Board to keep the PTO informed about issues and business.
The PTO School Board Representative is Jennifer Showers.
The PTO is currently recruiting a volunteer for the position of Audit Review Committee chairperson. To express interest or get more information, please use our contact form and select VP Communications & Volunteers to reach Marine Havel.