West U PTO president is all about community
Whether she’s collecting socks and shoes for children or working with a group that provides business clothes to help women get on their feet, Jennifer Gatto’s volunteerism is always in style.
Since 2003, the West University resident has volunteered with Dress for Success Houston, an organization that provides professional attire to disadvantaged women. She loves being part of a program that helps women get a fresh start. “It’s really a neat organization that lets you be a part of helping a woman get back on her feet again,” she said. “It’s a very uplifting experience.”
She has also served as co-chair for the annual Fathers and Flashlights camp-out that raises money for West U park maintenance. “Fathers and Flashlights has raised more than $200,000 for the parks (since it started six years ago),” she said. “The parks in West U are not funded by tax dollars, so these events really keep our parks great for kids, growing families and the community in general.”
Gatto has also been a member of the West University Elementary PTO for the past five years and has been involved in various leadership positions for the past four years. She is the PTO president for the 2012-13 school year. In this role, Gatto helps organize lunches for teachers, art programs for students, curriculum enrichment events and various community service projects.
One of those projects is the recent Shoes That Fit drive. West U students and their families collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes and 3,500 pairs of socks to distribute to students in area schools. “Our school has more than 1,200 students and more than 50 teachers,” Gatto said.
“We’re really fortunate that our school has such an amazing parent base. It’s really been amazing to see it all come together and see how many people are willing to give their time, money, energy, everything, to keep up our school and maintain the high level of education that we have. It’s really been a neat experience being PTO president.”
When she’s not busy fulfilling her duties as West University Elementary PTO president or volunteering with other community organizations, Gatto enjoys reading and spending time with friends.
ABOUT JENNIFER GATTO
OCCUPATION: West University Elementary PTO president; community volunteer
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: West University resident
FAST FACT: Originally from the Northeast
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