June 4, 2013 Volume 13, Issue 6

Pasta is more than just a noodle

By M. Goodwin

From driving students on Flex Days and fund-raising to organizing community service events and the beautification of the school, the Parent, Administrator, Student, Teacher Association (PASTA) never fails to keep RCHS running smoothly.

A lunch that PASTA provided for the flex day drivers and for faculty.

PASTA at RCHS was "formed to support the teachers, staff, and students and to encourage active parent participation by providing meaningful ways for parents to support the mission and goals of the school--stated in the original charter application," according to raleighcharterhs.org.

Due to lack of funding, many events at RCHS would not be possible without the help of PASTA. Members of PASTA coordinate building and grounds work days (which include all of the work day activities that take place on the school campus), Flex Day transportation, test proctoring, teacher appreciation activities, the beginning of the year book sale, and a student social on the second Friday of the year. These are only a few of many events that PASTA puts together for RCHS.

Vice President of Volunteers Debra Hurst believes that it is important for students to know that PASTA "helps enrich their education by providing the necessary volunteers and the required funding to help create a positive and fun learning experience throughout their high school years."

All RCHS families are encouraged to join PASTA with a small membership fee of $25. Once a family joins PASTA, they can volunteer in a variety of ways. They might do something as simple as bringing in food or drinks on event days, or organize an event by joining one of the specific committees. Hurst states that "volunteer opportunities are often announced in the RCHS newsletter and on the RCHS Website. Parents can let me know of their interests, skills, and availability, and I can help assist them in getting connected to the right group."

In addition to helping the school run smoothly, joining PASTA connects families to the school and to each other as a community. Hurst says that it is beneficial to become part of PASTA because "parents involved in PASTA have a better understanding of the challenges [RCHS] faces and they become part of the solution. They feel more connected to the school by being more involved." PASTA Secretary Tracy Whitt adds: "The more you volunteer, the more you know the teachers and students that are attending the same school your children attending."

Community Liaison Hannah Page appreciates PASTA, stating: "PASTA serves as an essential link between faculty and students… [and] builds a sense of 'RCHS community'."