What is the PTA?
The National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA) is a non-profit established in Alexandria, Virginia. It is the largest and oldest volunteer organization for children and youth.
There are 54 PTA congresses throughout the US, DC, USVI, Puerto Rico, and Europe (military families, through the U.S. Department of Defense). The National PTA recognizes 23,000 U.S. groups.
The National Parent Teacher Association was created in 1897 in Washington, D.C. as the National Congress of Mothers by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Alice Birney’s original vision and Phoebe Hearst’s (wife of U.S. Senator George Hearst and mother of publisher William Randolph Hearst) social and financial aid gathered 2,000 people from throughout the country to address issues impacting their children at the three-day event. The National Congress of Mothers flourished fast at the national, state, and municipal levels.
Fundraising and so much more!
It is the primary responsibility of the local PTA to foster cooperative partnerships between families and educational institutions for the benefit of children. This can involve a wide variety of tasks, such as finding and arranging volunteers, honoring deserving individuals at award ceremonies or other events, hosting workshops for parents, and celebrating the efforts of teachers.
A common misunderstanding is that the PTA’s main purpose is to raise money for schools when in fact, it is not what they do at all. Still, in places where school districts have to make do with less money, the local PTA might hold a fundraiser to buy playground equipment or pay for a music teacher at the elementary school level. When the PTA is responsible for raising a sizable amount of the school’s discretionary funds, it has considerable sway over which extracurricular activities are supported. In a perfect world, the school’s PTA would collaborate with the administration and the school site council to determine which programs would be the most beneficial to the school.
PTA meetings at a school’s location can provide a forum for discussions on a wide range of educational topics and concerns. It’s possible for teachers to discuss new reading programs or difficulties with student discipline with the local community of parents. Community members with specialized knowledge might provide presentations on how to strengthen relationships with adolescents or provide essential details on efforts to improve educational practices. Concerns from parents may be voiced over issues such as assigned homework or suggested alterations to the educational program. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) can also play an important role as a mediator by offering a venue that is free from bias for the purpose of settling disputes that may emerge in schools as a result of debatable topics.
When kids are encouraged by adults to participate in the decision-making process and share their points of view, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) might transform into the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) at the high school level.
One of the simplest ways to become involved with the school where your child attends is to join the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). You will be provided with up-to-date information on school events and processes, given access to instructors and authorities, and given the opportunity to meet other parents.
You’ll be familiar with state financial matters as well as other challenges, in addition to educational policy, and if you have problems at your child’s school that requires the attention of the state or the federal government, the PTA can bring it to the attention of the National PTA.
From the National PTA, you can get a discount subscription to the National PTA publication Our Children, which covers family, health, and safety issues, legislative briefings, and nationwide highlights of the PTA’s work and activities. Thereto are other resources on parenting, education, etc. you gain access to by joining the PTA.