Milton High School is All in for our Students

Milton High School PTSA is committed to excellence. Colin Powell said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” Milton High School’s PTSA made a commitment to becoming a National PTA School of Excellence by strengthening our programs relative to our focus area goal from the National PTA School of Excellence Program as “Ensure Health & Safety of Students”, with the objective to support students’ emotional and mental well-being through our programs and events.

Milton PTSA student and parent volunteers are on hand for our orientation session.

Milton PTSA student and parent volunteers are on hand for our orientation session.

To accomplish this goal, we offer information, education, support and guidance for the growing community concerns over our teens’ mental health. Recognizing that the teen years are wrought with internal and external stressors, we provided a forum in the fall to discuss the topic via our Milton Mom’s and Dad’s luncheon featuring outside speaker John Trautwein of The Will to Live Foundation. During the second semester, Dr. Daniel Falor spoke to us about “Hormones, Brain Chemistry, and Depression in Teens”. One of our business partners, Whole Foods, hosted this event in memory of an employee/former MHS student and provided a demonstration of healthy nontoxic snack solutions suitable for the teen years. We welcomed all families within the community, including Milton parents as well as parents from other area high schools.

Milton students test their texting and driving skills on driving simulators during a "Don't Text and Drive" event running concurrently with AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign.

Milton students test their texting and driving skills on driving simulators during a “Don’t Text and Drive” event running concurrently with AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign.

We also shared power by promoting and supporting MHS Kindness Week, a student initiative to encourage random acts of kindness in the MHS community. Our support of finals week included a social media blast to encourage parents to text their student MHSWLVU and #RepTheM, striving to bolster their confidence and ease their stress over testing.

Our goal related to Speaking up for Every Child was to increase Safe Home Pledge rates by giving parents an opportunity to pledge their support. The pledge focuses on the prevention of underage drinking and drug use, with the parents pledging to provide a well-supervised environment that will combat possible occurrences of drug or alcohol use in their home. The pledge is printed on the backside of all bilingual PTSA membership forms and is available on the Milton High School and PTSA websites. All families are encouraged to sign the pledge, and those families are then listed on the PTSA website in the Safe Home Pledge page. Due to our efforts at communicating the importance of the Safe Home Pledge, we successfully recruited over 400 families to sign the Safe Home this year.

In addition to Supporting Student Success outside the academic realm, our family involvement committee hosted a “Don’t Text and Drive” event concurrent with AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign. Two driving simulators were staged in the cafeteria during all lunches and the students tested their texting and driving skills. The computer software used with the driving simulators reinforced to students that texting and driving is indeed dangerous. As a result, students pledged their commitment to not text and drive on a large banner that was prominently displayed in the hallway. [Read more…]

Make a Difference on Global Youth Service Day

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Photo Credit:

Want to make a difference at your school while having fun too? Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), April 17-19, is the world’s largest service event. Join students, parents and teachers in all 50 states and in more than 120 countries to make your community greener, smarter, safer and healthier.

Fourth graders are reading to kindergarteners in Michigan to improve reading skills. Middle-school students in Tennessee are holding a cooking demonstration to promote healthy eating. A senior class in California is planning a school-wide canned food drive to support the local food pantry. These are just a few ways to get involved.

Whether you are working to improve your school or neighborhood, your city, or a community halfway around the world, powerful things happen when students, teachers, and parents come together to create a culture of service in schools. Students can also partner with other school groups, such as their PTA or PTSA to participate in ongoing volunteer projects.

Students gain skills in leadership, critical thinking, and communication that are critical for college and career success. Teachers provide opportunities for students to use their education to solve actual problems in their communities, making learning real and relevant. (In fact, youth who volunteer are 50% less likely than their non-volunteering peers to disconnect from school.) Parents partner with teachers and students to help their children develop character and citizenship skills while honing their academic strengths. Student volunteers don’t just help others with service projects- they benefit greatly from the experiences themselves!

Global Youth Service Day is a great on-ramp for more extensive service in your school. YSA’s Classrooms with a Cause and Semester of Service programs provide frameworks to engage students over a few weeks to a whole year. National PTA’s programs, such as Connect for Respect and Take Your Family to School Week, feature guides on how to engage students in larger year-round projects like bullying prevention.

Ready to begin? YSA can help! Visit to download Youth Changing the World, a toolkit to help young people develop their own service projects from creation to completion. On this site, you can choose a cause, plan and register your project, see other projects taking place near you, and tell your story of success. For more information on how students can become engaged PTSA members and combine service experiences with education advocacy, visit

 Karen L. Daniel is the Vice President of Programs at Youth Service America. YSA (Youth Service America) supports a global culture of engaged children and youth committed to a lifetime of meaningful service, learning, and leadership. Karen L. Daniel is the Vice President of Programs at YSA. As a student engagement expert, Karen facilitates trainings, writes planning guides, and develops programs all over the world. She is currently writing a book about how parents can raise children that change the world. If you are interested in collaborating with Karen on a new project, she can be reached at