• Membership Matters: Reevaluating at the End of the School Year
    It’s hard to believe, but the school year will be over in just a few short months. Right now is the perfect time to take a step back and evaluate the impact that your PTA has had on your community over the past year. Have you created a welcoming environment for parents, teachers and community members? If you feel that you may have missed the mark or would like to try some new things, now is the time to try out some new tactics. In a recent article in FastCompany titled, “The Best Brands Are The Ones That Build ... read more
    Published on 2018-04-23By Mary Jo Neil
  • Use Healthy Habits to Prevent Cold & Flu in Time for Graduation
    (Sponsored Post) Cold & flu season is most common during the chilly winter months with peaks of activity between December and February.[1] The 2017-2018 flu season, which is expected to last through May, has been particularly strong, with elevated activity occurring in most of the country simultaneously.[2] In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 45 states are currently experiencing widespread flu activity.[3] With graduation season approaching and school communities gearing up to celebrate student achievements, it’s critical to use healthy habits to avoid illness. Practice these healthy habits to help prevent the spread of cold ... read more
    Published on 2018-04-20By Rory Tait
  • Reading Under the Stars
    As part of Take Your Family to School Week, Wilson Elementary School PTA in Norman, Oklahoma invited their school community to participate in a Family Reading Experience in partnership with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). The Wilson Elementary School PTA coined this event “Reading Under the Stars” where families took part in a read-aloud of Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca and visited four literacy-based activity stations which included craft-making and the creation of space-themed stories. Upon completion of their ‘Astronaut Checklists’, students earned a free space book. Wilson Elementary School PTA was met with wonderful ... read more
    Published on 2018-04-18By Amy Weinberg
  • Parents are critical to education’s success
    This column was originally published via The Detroit News.  I was visiting a local school district, meeting with some of their student PTSA members. While there, I had the opportunity to meet the administrative team — principal, assistant principals, office staff. They were amazed that the president of Michigan Parent Teacher Association (PTA) — a statewide association — was there to visit. They felt compelled to discuss how valuable the PTSA was to their school, to the community (as if I had some say over whether or not they existed). The administrators spoke of the dedication of the PTA leaders, ... read more
    Published on 2018-04-09By admin
  • Jan Harp Domene: A Legacy
    It is more than a positive coincidence that as part of my responsibilities as chair of the Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach Committee, I am privileged to administer the Jan Harp Domene Diversity Award, named after past National PTA President, Jan Harp Domene. Many in PTA knew Jan, particularly during her time as National president (2007-2009). My involvement with Jan began when I was appointed as an At Large Board of Directors member by president Shirley Igo. I quickly got to know Jan through her many PTA activities in California and nationally. She immediately impressed me as a knowledgeable, passionate ... read more
    Published on 2018-03-28By Frank Kwan
  • Explore digital learning over Spring Break
    (Sponsored Post) As a busy working mom of 3 young children, I look forward to spring break. It’s a moment when time slows down and I’m able to disconnect from the daily scramble of balancing work and home life so I can focus on my family. Spending the spring break with my children usually involves tons of crafts, a marathon game of Monopoly, and lots of time outside. Yet I also make time for learning, not only for myself — catching up on the latest research on education technology — but also to better understand how my children are ... read more
    Published on 2018-03-26By Karen Greenleaf
  • Public School Is What You Make of It
    Public Schools Week is March 12-16. Show your support for our nation’s public schools by sharing stories like the one below on how public schools have positively impacted your child’s life using #LovePublicEducation and #PublicSchoolsWeek. On her first day of kindergarten, I dutifully loaded my precious five-year-old Ashley onto a big yellow bus to head to school. She was thrilled, carrying her new lunchbox and proudly showing off a backpack that was bigger than she was! She looked so small, and so brave, waving from the bus window. My eyes welled up with tears on the walk back to ... read more
    Published on 2018-03-12By Lisa-Marie Haygood
  • Parents are Key to Healthy Schools
    When we moved to the Skokie School District, just outside of Chicago, I decided to volunteer at my children’s school, John Middleton Elementary, because I know kids do better in school when their parents are involved.  My three kids, ages 4, 6 and 8, are active in swimming, Tae Kwon Do and baseball, but I know that learning to eat healthy is as important for them as being active. Kids tend to think they are like Superman, but with my family’s history of high cholesterol and heart disease, instilling healthy habits in my children has always been important to ... read more
    Published on 2018-03-09By Minal Desai
  • Grief, Courage, Shame, Pride and Responsibility
    GRIEF. My heart is heavy with GRIEF and anger over the all-too-common school shootings that cause families to experience unbearable loss and tear our communities apart. The recent shooting in our own PTSA school in Parkland, Fla. brought it close to home once again. Seventeen families lost their most precious loved ones on Valentine’s Day. As Florida PTA President Cindy Gerhardt wrote so well, “The heaviness of this horrific act has suffocated us with grief, sadness, hopelessness and hurt.” COURAGE. We ask it of our children as they leave for school each day and participate in active shooter drills. ... read more
    Published on 2018-03-08By Nathan R. Monell, CAE
  • Spring into the New Season with Healthy Habits
    (Sponsored Post) Cabin fever is not the only bug around this time of year! This winter has been one of the most severe flu seasons in recent years with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[1] reporting that flu season can run as late in the year as May. Across the country, families and school communities are dealing with the severity of this season and while it is unpredictable as to when it will end, there are prevention methods to help stay healthy. With spring time approaching, it’s important to leave cold and flu behind in the winter months ... read more
    Published on 2018-03-05By Rory Tait
  • Chrysler Brand and National PTA Collaborate to Support Schools with ‘Cars 4 Classrooms’ Program
    (Sponsored Post) Chrysler minivans have been the go-to vehicle for families with school-aged children for more than 30 years. Families have come to rely on the functionality and versatility offered by Chrysler minivans to transport children safely to and from school along with the available cargo space to haul bulky science projects, sports gear or fundraising items. This relationship between Chrysler and schools in our communities is expanding after the brand became a Proud National Sponsor of National PTA last year. Through this collaboration between Chrysler and National PTA, the brand will support local PTAs across the country in promoting ... read more
    Published on 2018-02-13By admin
  • What Do Successful Schools Look Like?
    As a parent, I have a good idea of how my child’s school is working for her. I talk to her and her friends about what is going on there. I see the work that she is doing. I communicate with her teachers and other school staff. But while I know that my daughter is at a school that’s good for her, it’s harder to figure out whether it’s a successful school overall. Is her school helping each of its students reach their fullest potential? What does such a school look like? The Learning First Alliance, which includes organizations ... read more
    Published on 2018-02-02By Anne O'Brien
  • STEM Nights Bring Families and Experts Together to Learn about Science
    Just like children don’t stop learning when the final bell rings, great teaching doesn’t stop at the end of the school day. Across the country, teachers, parents, and community members are coming together more and more frequently to host STEM nights to get families thinking about science, technology, engineering and math through interactive, hands-on, engaging activities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is proud to support many dedicated teachers who plan and lead STEM nights at their schools. Michelle Estrada, a kindergarten teacher at Desert Hills Elementary in Las Cruses, N.M. has been hosting STEM nights in her community for ... read more
    Published on 2018-01-30By Dr. Nafeesa Owens
  • It Takes a Village: Lessons on Developing the Whole Child
    I know you’ve got a lot more on your plate than your next work deadline. You have to pick your kids up from swim practice; you are worried about that cough your dad had over the holidays; you are daydreaming about writing that novel. The same is true of your children—they also have more to worry about, and way more to contribute, than taking the next test. As adults, we are able (most of the time) to strive for balance in our lives. But our children don’t have enough experience to be able to do that yet. In order ... read more
    Published on 2018-01-18By Van Overton
  • Celebrate Take Your Family to School Week All Week Long
    Take Your Family to School Week (Feb. 11-17) is more than just a one-night event, it is a weeklong celebration of family engagement and the great work PTAs have done to support the school community. This year we came up with an easy way for every family to participate in celebrating PTA—Daily themes! Maker Monday: Celebrate the arts in your school community. Showcase the artwork of your 2018 Reflections participants by creating a display in the school entryway. Share pictures of students, teachers and parents enjoying the display using #PTAProud. Try-It Tuesday: Help create healthy eating habits by ... read more
    Published on 2018-01-11By Alyssa Montchal