By 509J Communications

Parent organizations in schools do so much to help create a positive and nurturing environment for students, families, and staff. The Madras Elementary Parent Club aims to add to the nurturing environment already present at the school and more. 

The group is made up of about a dozen committed parents or guardians. They meet monthly to discuss activities, events, and fundraisers that will help the school. The president of the club is Miriam Pope. She currently has six students in the school district. Five of those are her kids and she is hosting a foreign exchange student this school year. Two of her kids attend Madras Elementary. Pope welcomes families thinking about becoming more involved with the school. 

“It’s always good to have fresh, new ideas,” she said. “So, we love it when new people come and join.”

The club’s main purpose is to help raise funds for the school. 

“These funds are used to purchase technology, to do field trips and assemblies,” Pope said. “We also try to do something for the teachers and staff during staff appreciation weeks, and we also do fun events for the school and families.” 

The club’s most recent event was a family movie night in the Madras Elementary gymnasium. They played the movie, “Happy Feet” at no charge for anyone wanting to join in. 

“It’s just a free event where people can come and hang out and you know, do something different,” Pope said. “We want to provide this fun event for families that’s free and something that everyone can enjoy together.”

The club organizes events throughout the year. In the Fall, they did a fall carnival for families at the school. This was an opportunity for families to come and play some games, engage with other families, learn more about the school yard project that is in the works, and get to know their child’s teacher in a less formal setting. Last school year, they hosted a winter carnival which was a big hit for families. 

In the Spring, the parent club holds another fundraiser called Original Works. This is where students do artwork in their classrooms and families will have the opportunity to order products made from the artwork. It could make a great gift for grandparents, aunts and uncles or anyone else in the family. 

“We always do it right before Mother’s Day so that it’s a nice gift,” Pope said. “I always give those things to my mother in law and she cherishes them forever.”

For Pope, she sees her involvement with the parent club as a way to give back to the school that is doing a lot for her and her family. That work is recognized by the school’s principal, Chris Wyland. 

“The Parent Club at Madras Elementary is filled with volunteers who selflessly give their time to help the school be a great place for students,” he said. “This team of parents and guardians have created many opportunities for students, which may not have been possible without their support. This includes the basketball court, Penguin Patch Holiday Store, and multiple carnival events.” 

The Penguin Patch is a service project providing students with the opportunity to purchase presents for their family during the holiday season. The basketball court is located outside and was connected to a generous grant from the Portland Trail Blazers.

The parent club is always looking for more parents to help with fundraising ideas and organize events. If you’re interested, you can either email the club at or you can call the school and ask to get in touch with Pope. 

If your child does not attend Madras Elementary, you can call your child’s school to find out more about their parent club and how to get involved. 

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