When my oldest child started Kinder, and in First grade, I was the most anti-PTA person I'd ever met. I had to keep it quiet - I thought that it was a way for people with no lives to get control and power in a setting where they didn't have to get hired and couldn't get fired. I thought it was the most inane way to spend one's time.
Until. Until my oldest child begged me to get involved with the PTA when we changed schools. So I put my pride and convictions aside and did it for my kid. And mostly because I knew it was a way to get to know the school - really get to know the school. And maybe I could get up on my soapbox and complain about how no one there had a life. I was bitter about the times when it took me away from my family - I'd say to my husband "Why would I be involved with something that claims to be for my children but actually takes me away?" This is ridiculous! And I may have stomped my feet. Or not. But probably.
But then I jumped in with both feet, figuring that old saying must be true - "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." And lo and behold, there I am in the middle of the biggest fundraiser of the year.
All that money! Our PTA was able to pay for a lot of extras for our school - things that the kids didn't necessarily NEED, but some great things for them. Programs - at assemblies, special science programs, BOOKS and more BOOKS, benches for the front of the school, benches and shade at the field, trees!, lunches for the teachers, extra supplies for the teachers, the list goes on and on.
None of these things were imperative. But all of it makes my child's learning experience better and their teacher's happier and better able to do their jobs. So I've done a complete 180 degree turn from where I was four years ago, and I'm so happy that I did.