PTA

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at PS 166

Welcome new and returning PS 166 families! We’d like to introduce you to the PTA!

PS 166’s PTA includes parents, teachers, and administrative staff, and welcomes the meaningful participation of all its members.

If you’re looking for ways to get involved in the school, or have suggestions and ideas about a particular issue, come to a PTA meeting! PTA meetings are a great way to get to know your Principal, your PTA Executive Board and School Leadership Team (SLT) members, fellow parents, and staff members, and to find out what¡¯s going on in and around school. (The volunteer members of the PTA Executive Board and the SLT are elected by the parent body at the June PTA meeting every year).

PTA meetings are held in the school cafeteria on the third Wednesday of every month, primarily in the mornings with an occasional evening meeting. Childcare is provided for evening meetings. Please check the online calendar, or look for flyers posted in the school, to find out about meeting dates and times.

Your PTA at Work

Parent involvement is a vital component of a successful public school. As we all know, budget cuts have affected all public schools in New York, making it necessary for parents to raise funds to rescue numerous programs and services their children have come to rely upon. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of so many parents, and through its non-profit fundraising arm “Friends of PS 166,” PS 166’s PTA has raised funds to purchase classroom and recess supplies, provide classroom support to our teachers, hire a science coordinator, support our award-winning Chess Club – The Manhattan Knights, support the website, and offer educational enrichment opportunities to all PS 166 students. The latter include a Kindergarten flower-planting program, “chess in the classroom,” programs for 1st and 2nd graders, a 3rd grade horticulture program, a 4th and 5th grade musical instrument instruction program, and a field trip to the Catskill watershed.

PTA funds also allow the After School program to stage an annual theater production to celebrate our school’s namesake Richard Rodgers – a PS 166 alum, the Grandfather of Broadway, and an inspiration to so many composers writing today. Many of our student productions like “The King and I,” “Cinderella,” and “Once Upon a Mattress,” (written by Mary Rodgers, Richard’s daughter), celebrate the Rodgers legacy. The children have also staged other musicals such as “Guys and Dolls” (2009), which received rave reviews from real Broadway actors who came to watch!

PS 166 Fundraising

PS 166’s two major fundraisers are the annual Fall Festival and the Spring Auction, both of which would not be possible without the participation of our energetic parents, our children, and the wonderful local merchants and businesses who donate goods and services to our school.

We also have a number of other fundraising initiatives throughout the year including book and magazine sales, PS 166 merchandise sales, a Fund Drive, the OneCause.com button on our homepage, and holiday concerts and theater performances, like Broadway Sings, that feature real Broadway actors. Events like these celebrate our theater arts program and help bring in funds while bringing our community together.

The grant-writing committee is always looking for funding partners, and Friends of PS 166 would like to remind donors that all contributions to the organization are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Friends of PS 166 tax ID is 13-4193484.

PS 166 Parent Committees

There are several parent committees that facilitate parent involvement in our school. These include Gardening, Green/Wellness, Richard Rodgers Day, Technology, Teacher Appreciation, and Community-Building. Click here and scroll down to find a committee you might want to join, or maybe there’s one you’d like to start yourself!

PS 166 is Going Green!

The NYC DOE uses 65,000 disposable cafeteria trays each day. In November 2010, thanks to the generous support of the PTA, our school replaced its styrofoam trays with bagasse (sugar cane). We look forward to the day when greener, less costly, and less wasteful options will be available, such as reusable trays, and when the majority of our trash can be composted. Until then, we will continue to opt for alternatives to styrofoam, which is toxic to manufacture, leaches harmful chemicals into hot food, and does not biodegrade.

In an effort to provide waste-free lunch options, the Green/Wellness Committee has sold LunchSkins reusable sandwich bags. The PS 166 School Store sells stainless steel water bottles, canvas totes and T-shirts, featuring a student-designed logo. Contact ps166merch@gmail.com to find out more about how to order PS 166 merchandise!

Since 2010, PS 166 has had the Wellness in the Schools “Cook for Kids” program in place. Our WITS Chef in Residence, Stefanie Devic, and culinary school graduate interns, work alongside our cafeteria staff to prepare meals that are cooked from scratch daily. Olive oil is used for sauteeing vegetables, a fresh salad bar is offered daily, as is a chilled water station. In 2011, we will provide WITS Labs to our children. Chef Stefanie will talk to our children about the importance of healthy eating, and teach them to cook healthy, nutritious foods in the classroom.

PS 166 has launched several recycling programs including textiles, e-waste, and bottle caps. We have also offered a communal paper shredding service around Earth Day since 2010. In 2011, we will partner with PS 199 to launch a sneaker recycling program.

In 2010, PS 166 won first prize in the “Green Cup Challenge,” sponsored by the Green Schools Alliance. The Challenge is an inter-school energy conservation competition which helps schools to measure their energy consumption and find ways to reduce it, while cutting greenhouse gas output, and saving money. In 2011, PS 166 won 4th place and a $10,000 prize, and saved 23.25% and $2,400 on its electricity bill in just one month through simple energy conservation measures like turning off unnecessary lights, raising shades and making use of natural sunlight, and powering down and unplugging unused machines and appliances.

PS 166 is officially a No-Idling Zone. Thanks to a strict new no-idling law passed by the City Council in January 2009, vehicles cannot leave their engines running in front of the school for more than one minute.

Because the State and DOE now require that only non-toxic, green cleaning supplies and soaps be used in the school building, PS 166’s Green/Wellness Committee has been distributing green cleaners and microfiber cloths to every classroom since 2009. When purchasing back-to-school and other classroom supplies, we encourage parents to remember non-toxic brands like Seventh Generation and 100% recycled paper products.

We look forward to your participation in the PTA and in our school!

Please contact PTA Co-Presidents Erin Volkmar or Kerri Keiger if you have any questions.

PS 166 PTA

P: (212) 678-2829 F: (212) 579-4542
132 West 89th Street, New York, NY 10024