Parent Faculty Association
History and Mission of the Parent Faculty Association
Sui Wah School was founded in 1986 by a group of Chinese who were very enthusiastic about introducing Chinese language and culture to the younger generation in Hawaii. There was no formally-organized parents association when the school was first started. The tie between the parents and the school started to emerge as some parents volunteered regularly to serve snacks and drinks for the students during the recess. Not only did they donate the snacks but they also donated the time and effort to distribute the refreshments. Whenever there were special school activities, some parents participated voluntarily to give their support, making those activities successful. The official beginning of the formation of the Parents Association was in 1988 when the first “Parenting” workshop was organized.
At that time during its once-a-month meetings, a group of parents would gather together on Saturday nights at the Liliha Library. Their children would come along to the meeting.
A delicious potluck dinner started the meeting. While the adults were involved in discussions, the young children, under the supervision of older ones, were busy in doing crafts, arts, or games. Every one, young and old, was very satisfied at the end of the night.
Some families even managed to follow up with enjoyable midnight snacks after the meetings for more fellowship. Today, some of these parents have become board members of the school and others still participate in our important events.
After about a year, the meetings had to cease because our most convenient meeting place, the Liliha Library, had to closed for renovations. In addition, many of the parents became busy and the principal herself became more involved with school business so that there was no time left for the meetings.
Nevertheless, the school and the parents realized that a more structured Parent Faculty Association (PFA) needed to be re-established. After several meetings and planning, and with the principal’s fortitude and hard work, in September 1995, a new PFA was established under the leadership of our former parent, Mr. Ronnie Chueng. In the following years, with the efforts of the devoted parents, the PFA has developed into an organization is a key component of Sui Wah School today.
Under the policy of the PFA and the school, PFA is a separate organization that accompanies and coordinates with the school. Its major mission is for parents to discuss and exchange their ideas, experiences, difficulties, suggestions, and two-cents on raising children in America so that they would learn more about American culture, social structures, values, educational philosophies, and educational system. Moreover, the attitudes and behaviors of the Americanized youth are discussed in the context of the two different cultures in the hope that they can find more appropriate ways to raise the next generation.
As the PFA matures, the school also continually strives to improve in all areas.
For a school to success in America, you must develop a sense of belonging amount its parents. Their participation and devotion contribute in no small way to any educational institution. The important roles the parents play in supporting and bringing their expertise to the school cannot be underestimated.
Accordingly the PFA plays an active role to achieve the following:
· To be a bridge between the school and the parents.
· To provide recreational and social activities for parents and their families.
· To sponsor seminars and workshops on different topics, such as finances, health, insurance, or hobbies, so that parents can expand their horizons.
· To help the school in carrying out its big events.
The PFA is continuing its expansion and development in all areas. As time goes on, changes in membership of the parents cannot be avoided. The school wishes to see more parents getting involved in the organization so that there will be a stronger connection between the parents and the school, and more social and informational events and activities can be planned for parents and students. For the spirit of the school and for our children, the PFA can create a wonderful learning atmosphere for all.