PTA Committees


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

5th GRADE Committee Co-Chairs: Elizabeth Zick, Reedu Wood, Nicole Clark

[email protected]

The 5th Grade Committee organizes the 5th-grade activities and souvenirs, including a 5th-grade project, a class t-shirt, a yearbook,  and end-of-year celebrations. The committee holds fundraisers throughout the year to make sure all children can participate.

AFTER SCHOOL Committee Co-Chairs:

Sophia Straker-Babb, Nancy Ziegler Nayar

Nancy Ziegler Nayar and Sophia Straker-Babb

PS 261 has a unique, PTA-led After School Program that operates five 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 can 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 primarily as a board of directors for the program, managing its budget, facilitating new ideas and initiatives for the program, and supervising its operations. The afterschool committee meets once per month in the evenings from 6 to 7 pm.  Members may also take on projects outside of the meeting times, as their schedules and interests permit. This committee provides a volunteer opportunity designed to accommodate working parents’ schedules like those most likely to depend on the afterschool program.


Committee Co-Chairs: Jenny Fox, [email protected], and Danielle Contray, [email protected]

Danielle Contray and Jenny Fox

The PTA Book Committee’s mission is to promote a love of reading and inspire students to explore the world through books. Throughout the year, we support teachers by selecting and sourcing quality books for their classroom libraries that reflect the diverse community at PS 261. We are also launching an author visits series and run Book Talk, a program for more advanced readers in the upper grades. Our most significant feel-good fundraising events are the annual Dollar Book Fair, where donated books are sold for a dollar or less, and the Read-a-Thon, where students get sponsored for minutes read. These events raise thousands of dollars for the school and get thousands of books into students’ hands. 

FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE Committee Co-Chairs: JoAnn Kamuf Ward, Thomas Forster, Beth Friedland

[email protected]

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. The fundraising committee meets monthly for about an hour over Zoom. You can be involved on an ongoing basis or help out with a specific fundraising event/goal.

SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE Committee Co-Chairs Nikki Caliste and Suzy Meyers Jackon

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 a curriculum that addresses racial and social justice and involves and amplifies student’s 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 an 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.

Garden Committee Co-Chairs: Nadine Berger and Aimée Schiwal