Services & Programs

Thomas Paine Elementary School PTA uses funds, volunteer donations, and volunteer hours to provide several services for students and teachers and to support ongoing school programs and projects. To see a breakdown of expenditures for these services and programs, please see the Budget page.


Parent-Teacher Conferences: the hospitality chair organizes potluck dinners for the nights that teachers stay late for parent-teacher conferences in October/November and again in March. PTA volunteers donate food and other items to help make these long days a little easier for our dedicated teachers. Watch for PTA emails with donation requests!

Teacher Appreciation Week: the hospitality chair organizes potluck breakfasts and lunches with the help of PTA volunteer donations. Funds are used to purchase the teachers a gift or service to show our appreciation for them. The hospitality chair also puts together a daily list of suggestions for students to pamper their teachers. Watch for PTA emails with donation requests!

Classroom Technology: currently, the PTA spends the majority of our funds on Promethean Boards for our classrooms. In 2015, we were able to purchase four more boards, bringing the total up to 14, one in each general education classroom and one in a cross cat special education classroom! This is the highest of any school in the area. In the past, PTA has purchased other technology as well such as laptop computers and iPads.

Battle of the Books: the Battle of the Books program is a voluntary reading incentive program open to all 4th and 5th graders.  Students work on teams to read a list of 30 books and then compete in a quiz-bowl like battle at the end of the year.  Parent volunteers run meetings once a month during the lunch/recess period.  PTA helps purchase necessary books and materials as well as t-shirts for the participants.  For more information, please see the Library Page.

Field Trips: teachers often request funds from the PTA to subsidize school funds and parent fees for special field trips. For example, in 2015, PTA funds allowed the fifth graders to visit the Challenger Learning Center in Woodstock, IL. Students learned about the Challenger space mission and participated in real-life group scenarios including a Rendezvous with a Comet and Mission to Mars, enriching the STEM curriculum and common core standards for fifth grade.

Fifth Grade Trip: each year the graduating fifth graders have a special celebratory field trip. PTA funds often help make this trip bigger and better. In 2014, the fifth graders went to the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center and to Skateland.

Yearbook:  A PTA volunteer takes and compiles pictures from school events along with classroom pictures into memorable book. To make the yearbook as affordable as possible, this is not a fundraiser, just a service the PTA provides for the school.   We use TreeRing, which uses recycled paper and allows parents and students to customize two full pages!

PBIS: Positive Behavior Interventions and Support is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. At Thomas Paine, PBIS has been highly effective in helping students form positive behaviors and reducing office referrals. Each year, the Thomas Paine staff chooses a theme for PBIS programming and the PTA helps purchase supplies and fund celebratory assemblies and field trips.

Mentor Program: the mentor program at Thomas Paine matches community members with students in need of support. Mentors are so dedicated, they often follow their students throughout their entire school career. Thomas Paine has the highest number of mentors in the district. The PTA funds two lunches during the year to celebrate and thank our mentors.

School Garden Program: PTA members, Jaimee Gleisner and Jamie Minnaert-Grote, have formed a school garden committee dedicated to turning the inner courtyard garden into a full sensory garden for Thomas Paine students to enjoy.  For more information about the garden program, please follow the link above. Garden Program (to view PDF file).