Dear Piney Branch community,


First, I want to acknowledge that so many of us have been spread incredibly thin over the past months and I know many are disappointed that the Fall semester will be online-only. I wish things were better and easier, especially for our friends, families, and neighbors with the most and hardest challenges. I have been touched by the extent that our community reaches out to support each other, and I encourage all of us to continue that support to the best of our ability.


THANK YOU to those of you who have been in touch with me about your concerns for Fall so far. Community input on the obstacles and worries of our school families is crucial. So far, I have gotten suggestions to revive PTA enrichment clubs with an online format, provide a platform for new families to connect with one another and the Piney Branch community, and budget enough support for successful Fall virtual learning for our most vulnerable families. For the coming year, our top 3 PTA priorities will be pandemic support, Equity initiatives, and student and staff enrichment. We are going to need lots of volunteer support, so please offer some of your time and talent if you are able. To review our list of existing volunteer opportunities, please visit our committees page. If you have any additional suggestions or concerns, please email me at sgoupell@gmail.com.


I hope many of you have been reading about our incredible local food support collaborative with Takoma Park Elementary, East Silver Spring Elementary, and Takoma Park Middle schools. I am honored that Piney Branch PTA is part of such an extensive outreach program. To quickly recap, the group started by passing out bags of groceries to about 30 of our school families back in March 2020. That effort quickly grew. At the start of summer, we handed out $50 grocery gift cards and boxes of fresh produce once a week, thanks to generous donations from the community and an MCPS produce grant. Moving forward, we hope to continue our weekly distribution of produce boxes and add boxes of shelf-stable food as donation and grant funds allow. We currently serve about 300 families from within our community.


If you're able to DONATE to our food support initiative, please do so at https://tpespta.net/donate-now. If you're able to VOLUNTEER please sign up at

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0A4AAFA72FA0F58-gift. If you are a family in need of ASSISTANCE WITH FOOD, please email takomafood@gmail.com.

Your Piney Branch PTA President for 2020-2021,

Sarah Goupell