PTA Committees

Most of the larger projects at PS 261 are spearheaded from within a committee, which are always looking for new members! Below is a list of the PS261 PTA committees and what they do.


Committee Co-Chairs: Kathleen Mulholland, [email protected]

and Amy Williams, [email protected]  

The 5th Grade Committee organizes  the 5th grade activities and mementoes, which include a 5th grade trip, a class t-shirt, a yearbook, a party and the stepping up celebration. The committee holds fundraisers throughout the year to make sure all children are able to participate.


Committee Co Chairs: Aurelia Duke: [email protected] and Sadie Ishee: [email protected]

PS 261 has a unique, PTA-led After School Program that operates 5 days a week, from the end of the school day until 6 pm and provides high-quality, low-cost after school care to PS 261 students. We are able to do this because of the hard work and dedication of the After School Committee, a small team of parents that oversees the After School Program. The After School Committee functions essentially as a board of directors for the program, overseeing its budget, facilitating new ideas and initiatives for the Program, and otherwise supervising its operations.

The after school committee meets once per month in the evenings from 6 to 7pm.  Members may also take on the responsibilities of projects outside of the meeting times, as their schedules and interests permit. This committee provides a volunteer opportunity designed to accommodate the schedules of working parents like those most likely to depend on the after school program.


Committee Co-Chairs: Jessica Hamlin, [email protected] and

Holly Scull, [email protected]


The PS261 Arts Committee is an advisory group of parents and teachers that support the integration of the arts into the fabric of the school community and curriculum. The committee works with teachers and the administration to support efforts in the classroom, provides resources for arts enrichment for the whole school, and opportunities to involve the greater school community in arts experiences!

Join us for our monthly meetings at 8:15am in Heather Weston’s office:

2017 – September 13, October 4,  November 1, November 29

2018 – January 3, February 7, March 7, April 11, May 2, June 6

Email Jess Hamlin [email protected] to be added to our GoogleGroup and receive upcoming announcements.

Check out our arts page for more information and ways to get involved!

Here’s what we do… 

Arts Day Outdoor Installation



We work with each grade level to find arts experiences that enhance classroom studies for integrated arts experiences. This could include a field trip to a dance performance, a multi-week drama residency, or a workshop with the Center for Architecture.



We work with the Arts Specialists at PS261 to support enhanced arts experiences in the curriculum. This might include organizing special assemblies or artist visits that introduce kids to modern dance, found-object art, or music from around the world, plus organizing fieldtrips to museums or special events around the city.



For the annual PS261 Fall Fest, the Arts Committee creates several booths to give kids and families hands-on experiences with the arts. Our terrifyingly popular Haunted House, figure drawing stage, and photography studio all are supported by amazing parent volunteers. Bring your ideas and helping hands to this great community event.

In March the Arts Committee presents PS261 Arts Week. A school-wide, week-long celebration of the arts – every classroom participates in a workshop with a visiting artist, students experience theater and dance during special arts assemblies, and there are random acts of art throughout the week including all-school art projects. We need artists and general volunteers to make this week happen!

Also in March we host The Talent Show!  During the talent show, students who have created an act–dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument, speaking or demonstrating a martial art or similar skill–will have up to two minutes to perform on the auditorium stage.


Last year we began a new partnership with the Metropolitan Museum of Art <link to:>. Starting with the 3rd grade Arabic curriculum, students visit the Met’s world-renown collection of Islamic Art. Met Educators also work with students in the classroom throughout the year. Special events at the school and at the Met are open to families and the greater PS261 community.


Committee Chair: Alyssa Becker: [email protected]

Alyssa Becker


The fundraising committee oversees all fundraising activities of the PS261 PTA and works together with the administration, teachers and parents to make these efforts more inclusive, effective and fun. We brainstorm new ideas while making sure existing fundraisers meet the needs and expectations of the school. We are hoping to raise money to renovate our library, provide assistant teachers to each grade and to build a STE(A)M Lab.

The fundraising committee meets monthly at 8:30am for about an hour in Heather Weston’s office. You can be involved on an ongoing basis or to help out with a specific fundraising event/goal.







Committee Co-Chairs: Tanya Friedman, [email protected] and

Maisha Sapp, [email protected]

The mission of the Social Action Committee is to:

  1.  Create structures, organize events and lead the parent community to build relationships across difference so that we can support each other and the school more effectively and model for our children,
  2.  Respond to social and political needs in the community and
  3.  Advocate and provide support for curriculum that addresses racial and social justice and involves and amplifies student voice

In 2017-18, the Social Action Committee will organize a Fall Family Potluck, a Spring Family Picnic and the annual teach-in and day of service for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day.  Committee members also coordinate workshops and groups where parents can learn and collaborate on how to be in authentic community across difference and parenting issues related to racial and social justice, communication and identity development.  And we take part in an ongoing Listening Campaign, designed to ensure that all voices in the 261 community are heard.

The Social Action Committee meets once a month and everyone is encouraged to join us


Committee Co-Chairs: Kim Haden, [email protected] and

Heather Noto, [email protected]

STEM is an acronym for the integration of the four disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Last year PS261 formed a STEM committee focused on educating, engaging, and enticing our children in these interdisciplinary areas. Some exciting activities planned so far for this year include: Big Apple Crunch promoting healthy eating, Engineering is Elementary projects integrated within the science curriculum, school-wide Science Fair, math nights and much more! We plan to meet monthly and could use your help.

Inquiry leads to innovation and success. Let’s get our kids asking “what if” and “why” more often!


Chair: Andrea Strong, [email protected]

The Wellness Council is devoted to making our community a healthy, lively, mindful and environmentally-conscious place to live, learn and play. Our agenda includes growing and maintaining our garden, encouraging recycling and sustainability, teaching our kids and their families about nutrition and fitness, beautifying our school with art and greenery, and engaging all of us in school-wide wellness-related events that foster community, such as staff appreciation events, outdoor yoga parties, family wellness nights, cultural pot lucks, community service and so much more!  We look forward to sharing many days of gardening, cooking, dancing, eating, and playing together.