Update from 2018-19 PTA President

Welcome back to school Gator families!

As your new PTA president, I am SO EXCITED to kick-off this year! We have a wonderful year ahead with so many great programs and events already in the works. This year is Gayton Elementary’s 30th anniversary, and the PTA looks forward to “Bringing the Magic” at our kick-off event and Family Picnic Sept. 27.

We’ll be bringing back the Gayton Talent Show for 4th and 5th grade students (March 12), and looking forward to a SPRING carnival again (May 3).

As the PTA has planned for this school year, we carefully looked at the results of the school-wide survey that went out this past May. We had an incredible response, with 285 people responding to the survey about PTA priorities and fundraising. As a result of those findings, Gator Giving has been re-imagined to combine families’ favorite way to give with the cause they most want to support. Money donated to Gator Giving will now directly support teachers in the classroom.

We asked our teachers to tell us: what would you do if money were no object? They had no problem coming up with their wish lists: “young scientist” lessons, a remodel for Gayton’s garden, flexible seating and cheerful rugs for our classrooms, leveled classroom libraries, and turning our STEM lab into a “maker space” were just a few of their ideas. The sky’s the limit for what we can do with your support. If you participate in just one fundraiser this year, make it this one!

The suggested donation to Gator Giving is $50 per child at Gayton, annually. Make a gift online or send a check to school made payable to “Gayton PTA.” Your donation is tax deductible.

Another important update involves our playground. Last school year through the “Play for All” campaign, we were able to raise an incredible $50,000 through a Fun Run, Fall Festival and corporate sponsorships. As a result, we added a new large play structure, a Gaga Pit and a new swing set to our playground. This school year, a key priority will be to address the drainage issue on the playground, with a focus on partnering with Henrico County and seeking corporate sponsors to help fund a solution developed pro-bono by a Gayton parent and his engineering firm. If you know a business that would be interested in marketing to our school community or you would like to help on this committee, please e-mail Susan Zebley at susanzebley@yahoo.com.

As things get rolling this year, I want to make sure your voice is heard and that you feel included! We are working to make it easier for you to know about PTA decisions and priorities in a transparent way. This is your school – and this is your PTA! Please consider joining the PTA for just $5 – you’ll get access to our online school directory and support educational advocacy at the national level. We have so many ways to get involved at school (whether you have time during the day, in the evenings or just working on things from home). We always need more people to get involved on a PTA committee or volunteer as Gator Aides.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas!


Amanda Byers
Gayton PTA President