Panda Partners

About Panda Partners
2018-2019

Panda Partners is the parent-teacher-student organization (PTO) at Our Community School. We are excited about going into our 8th year as the PTO group at school. Panda Partners is open to all families, students, teachers, and staff at OCS. There are no membership dues required to join or participate and we are an official non-profit 501c3 group. We divide our support efforts into three main committees which are: Outreach, Community, and Service (which just so happens to be O.C.S!).
 
The Outreach Committee is committed to supporting families at OCS. Our Panda Pantry backpack program helps families in need by providing nutritious weekend food. The program is supported by Panda Partners, food drives (run by the 5th graders), and donations. The committee also recently initiated a ‘Community Closet’ to allow for a free exchange of clothing as well as a Farmer’s Market in an effort to reach all families and encourage healthy fruit and vegetable choices. Outreach Committee also gathers helpful community resource information to provide to our families and donates 10% of our ‘friend-raisers’ income to a separate Village Fund coordinated by the school Vice-Principal.
The Community Committee helps foster connection and community spirit. Events include the Welcome Back Breakfast for parents on the first day of school and the Watermelon Welcome for everyone at pick-up on the first Friday of school. Panda Café serves up (free!) coffee almost every Friday morning after drop-off on the patio behind the library and is a great opportunity to meet up and chat with other parents. Panda Playdates and Pizza Friday are a monthly favorite, as is the Pancake Breakfast held in the fall, Staff Appreciation in the spring, and our Dine Out Days which are held most months, just to name a few.
 
Our Service Committee plays a vital role at OCS. The focus is to help provide volunteer service and assistance to OCS both in the classrooms through Room Parent Coordination as well as throughout the campus. Service Committee coordinates volunteers for Recess Reading in the library and annual Panda Arts projects, and provides Pandawear (school spirit wear), ink recycling programs, and even helps families get nutritious organic food baskets that are delivered to the school via Good Life Organics. Through the Room Parents, we help to ensure good communication with teachers, families, and staff while also supporting teachers with any assistance they may need (field trips, class activities etc.).
 
All significant fundraisers at OCS are sponsored and run by the school. Although Panda Partners does do a bit of minor ‘friend-raising’ to support and maintain our important programs, the focus of our group is to support our school and create connections within our school community.
 
Our Panda Partners meetings are scheduled each month and vary in time and day so that we can provide opportunity for all to attend. Students are always welcome to participate, and younger siblings are welcome to attend with their parents. Champions, OCS’ before and after-school program, is also available for childcare. We welcome you to join us and hope you come to a meeting and share your ideas and experiences with us!
Panda Partners is proud of the successful achievements of the past seven years that have been supported by our dedicated, fun, and strong volunteer community. Equally, we are very grateful to be a part of your child’s OCS story. We look forward to seeing you on campus and wish everyone a fantastic year ahead.
 
Tina Deer - Panda Partners President
president@pandapartners.org
(Like and follow us on Facebook at: ‘OCS Volunteer Group Panda Partners’)