PTA Hero Donna Krache with her daughters at Pikes Peak around 1995
By Donna Krache
I was once PTA president at our family’s elementary school. Knowing that you are an active part of your child’s education is rewarding, but the job is sometimes difficult and thankless.
You knew that already.
PTAs are the backbone of any school, a rotating group of parents, usually over-relying on a handful of people and doing whatever they know how to help the school and its students.
Our group created an afterschool enrichment program one year. About 100 students showed up in the cafeteria every day at 3 o’clock, desperate for engagement, fun, and something to stave off boredom.
The program was good, but it could’ve been great. That program would have been very different had Flex Academies been managing the afterschool program at our school.
We Only Taught Kids What We Knew
We held a drawing activity if one of our volunteers was artistic and volleyball if that was another volunteer’s passion. The schedule filled with what we knew without any consideration of what was popular.
We all worked hard and there were some great times, but plenty of standout PTA volunteers burned out on all the activities, between wrestling with payments, registration, scheduling, and even absenteeism. We did our best to screen someone if we recruited a new parent for an activity, but none of us were human resources people. We also had our own families, our own careers, and limited time we could devote to the afterschool program.
What Flex Academies Does Differently
If we only had Flex Academies back then. Bringing Flex to your afterschool program is like hiring an entire subschool within your school. They handle all administrative issues directly with parents. And at least one Flex coordinator is on site all the time along with the activity experts. More on that later as it is so important.
Speaking with the founder of Flex Academies, I found out that Flex currently manages 23 afterschool programs and four foundations across four states. Flex has helped afterschool programs to thrive while eliminating their headaches, because they handle all program management, including selecting activities your community wants in its school, formalizing contracts with vendors, completing background and insurance checks for vendors, renting space, and registering students. And Flex’s onsite coordinator takes daily logistics off your plate, too. The onsite coordinator is at school every day there is an activity to meet vendors, check in kids, handle any behavioral issues, and manage dismissal.
Flex’s vendor partners focus on now and the future. Kids learn programming, receive fun instruction in a foreign language, or practice an activity like dance or basketball with professional instructors. Flex Academies’ programs are so diverse that many children want to attend every day, and actually attend two or three activities each session. Parents love it as kids are safe, receiving enrichment, and possibly learning a skill they will use for the rest of their lives!
Finally, the PTA can use this program as a significant revenue generator. The PTA only has to provide a PTA Liaison to work with Flex staff to determine specific offerings and promote Flex activities via PTA channels. That eliminates the volunteer burnout issue.
PTA parents owe it to themselves, their school’s parents, and their kids to see what Flex Academies can do at their school. It’s worth your time to talk to Flex. You’ll find yourself holding fewer bake sales and focusing on quality time together.