Parent Talk discusses community engagement with Eileen Collins, President of Laurel PTA and the 2010 Comcast Parent Involvement Matters Award Semifinalist.
Two things Eileen Collins takes seriously-play and the power of positive thinking. You may wonder how serious can a person can be if they live by those two things” Well, just ask the community of Laurel Elementary School and the city of Laurel. When Eileen took it upon herself to spearhead an effort to replace the outdated playground equipment at the school, she took on a roller coaster ride of challenges and obstacles. But rather than close her eyes and wish the ride was over, she took every turn and dip in stride and at the end- KaBOOM!- To everyone’s delight, the long hours of meetings and grant writing, raising funds, and coordinating volunteers turned into a playground!
Always one to keep the play going and getting others in the game, Eileen went back to the city of Laurel to encourage them to apply as a KaBOOM! Playful City USA. And when the city won the award, she chaired the celebration planning committee. In September 2009, the Celebration of Play Day was attended by over 300 people and included Raven LeRon McCain, outdoor games and, of course, Eileen, who was right in the thick of it, which has resulted in events like the Popcorn Fridays fundraiser to support an after school arts program and the school’s spring musical “We Haz Jazz,” with Eileen at the lead, there’s a never a rainy day where she’s not signing “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.”
Time: 8:30pm-9:30pm (EST)
Call in number: 1 (914) 803-4591