• How School of Excellence Participants Supported Their Communities During Quarantine
    By enrolling in the School of Excellence program, PTAs make a commitment to transforming family engagement and building meaningful connections in their school communities. National PTA points to our participating School of Excellence participants as true leaders in strengthening family-school partnerships and, as such, these PTAs are often presented exclusive opportunities. As part of our relief efforts, and in partnership with our generous sponsor TikTok, National PTA awarded $5000 in emergency relief grants to 110 PTAs across 28 State PTA Congresses who were actively participating in the 2019-20 School of Excellence program when the pandemic hit. That’s a total ... read more
    Published on 2020-06-26By Amy Weinberg
  • How to Make Joining PTA Easy
    Now more than ever, people want to connect with each other and know what is happening at their child’s school. Your PTA can fulfill the universal need to connect and belong, during this dark time. You should seek to not only renew current members, but to reach out to new audiences, grow your PTA and build an even stronger community. Actions, such as reaching out just to check in on someone’s well-being, build real engagement with current and future PTA members. We need to think about membership differently. Traditionally, many PTAs have membership tables at several school or PTA ... read more
    Published on 2020-06-16By Suzan Yungner
  • The Importance of Daily Recess When Schools Return From COVID-19 Lockdowns
    Over the past few months, parents have been faced with the seemingly impossible tasks of sheltering in place, working from home or at essential jobs, and homeschooling their children; all while managing the emotional, logistical, and financial challenges that have come with the recent global pandemic. As we look forward to the fall, schools are developing plans for how to resume public education while adhering to best practice recommendations from public health officials. Although recess is often elementary students’ favorite time of the school day, currently, there is limited discussion about recess in school re-opening. Recess is more than ... read more
    Published on 2020-06-12By William Massey and Rebecca London
  • Congratulations, 2019-2020 Reflections Outstanding Interpretation Winners!
    On May 1, National PTA announced the 2019-2020 Reflections winners for the student-selected theme Look Within. Over 200 students across 40 State PTA Congresses were recognized for their achievements in Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts. Seven students were named Outstanding Interpretation winners, which is the highest achievement in the Reflections program. We are very proud of these students and would like to share their work, artist statements and creative processes. Makenna Miller – Dance Choreography Makenna is from Missouri and choreographed a dance she calls “Look Within.” In her artist statement, she says, “In ... read more
    Published on 2020-06-04By Hope Cagle
  • Journey to Excellence: How to Become a Nationally-Recognized School of Excellence
    The National PTA School of Excellence recognition program opens the lines of communication and critical thinking within school communities to make data-driven decisions that yield positive, long-term results. By enrolling in this year-long program, your PTA and school administrators are making a joint commitment to identify and implement an action plan for school improvement based off of direct feedback from your school community. Throughout the school year, you will work with a committed team of PTA leaders you choose to strengthen the family-school partnerships in your community. And National PTA will be there every step of the way to offer support and ... read more
    Published on 2020-06-01By Amy Weinberg
  • Managing Your Child’s (and Your Own) Hidden Emotions During COVID-19
    As a primary caregiver for a child, have you had COVID-19 moments when your anxiety got to an uncomfortable level? Have you feared for a child who you knew was not best served by the lack of variety, social freedom and the structure of school, sports or work? I have. Whether during a sleepless night or a quiet moment in my easy chair, I have found it is all too easy to let the reptilian brain imagine unhappy scenarios for my family that I cannot fix. You see, I, like many of you, am the fixer. A staff member ... read more
    Published on 2020-05-22By Nathan R. Monell, CAE
  • Top 10 Ways to Grow School Spirit From Afar
    When my children’s school closed in March, the president and vice president of our parent association were adamant about maintaining a sense of community among students and families while social distancing. They came up with a virtual Spirit Week that they hosted on the parent association’s Facebook page, encouraging families to post pictures of their children participating in the different activities comprising Spirit Week. The idea was fantastic, and it got me thinking about other ways to nurture school spirit virtually.  Here are 10 ideas to consider for your school:  1. Participate in the Boost Educators Challenge Encourage each student’s ... read more
    Published on 2020-05-15By Kim Miller
  • Thank you, 2019-2020 National PTA Reflections Reviewers
    As we begin to celebrate the talented young winners of the 2019-2020 Reflections program who responded to the student-selected theme “Look Within,” we’d like to give a special round of applause to all of our national round reviewers! The national round judges review the top student submissions from every state. Our judges look at each student’s entry and artist statement in the six Reflections categories of Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts, as well as our Special Artist Division. This year, our national round reviewers saw almost 1,000 submissions from 47 State PTAs and ... read more
    Published on 2020-05-08By Hope Cagle
  • Join Us in Celebrating this Year’s Graduates on Facebook
    This is a bittersweet time for the Class of 2020. As students head toward graduation, it’s not the day they might have imagined — no processions, no diploma handoffs, no parties. They are commencing at a time of great uncertainty. But graduating is a tremendous achievement, and worth pausing to celebrate even in these circumstances. So, May 15 at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST, Facebook will broadcast a National Graduation Celebration called #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020. During this live broadcast, a commencement address will be given by Oprah Winfrey. The ceremony will acknowledge high ... read more
    Published on 2020-04-30By Alyssa Montchal
  • Ways to Make Your PTA Virtual
    With so many schools closed through the end of the school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, how are PTA/PTSAs keeping in touch with their school communities? They are going virtual! National PTA surveyed local leaders from across America and heard about the many amazing things they are doing to be relevant to their members, students, families and communities together during this health crisis, with stay-at-home orders and social distancing in place. Your PTA serves a vital role in supporting your community, and that role has only become more important during COVID-19. Try some of these creative ideas to ... read more
    Published on 2020-04-29By Suzan Yungner
  • Happy National Volunteer Week!
    Our PTA leaders have always been the backbones of their communities, working to make every child’s potential a reality. In moments of crisis, our PTA mission becomes that much more important. Our PTA family members across the country have answered the call, going above and beyond to meet the educational and social and emotional needs of all students, educators and families during the pandemic. This National Volunteer Week, we want to take the opportunity to recognize a few of the leaders who make us so #PTAProud. Reaching Out to Families Social distancing doesn’t have to mean total disconnection! ... read more
    Published on 2020-04-21By Corinne Canning
  • Use Healthy Habits All Year Long!
    Remind kids to continue using healthy habits during the spread of COVID-19 No matter the time of year, everyday preventative hygiene habits should be taught to children to help curb the spread of germs. Especially in our current public health climate, it’s more important than ever to teach healthy habits to your children. Lysol and National PTA endorse following the following six steps that are recommended by the CDC to help stop the spread of COVID-19:[1] Wash Your Hands: The number one thing you should be doing is washing your hands often with soap and water for at least ... read more
    Published on 2020-04-15By Ferran Rousaud
  • Advocacy Spotlight: Gun Violence Prevention
    Gun violence is such an overwhelming issue in our nation, it can be paralyzing to think about. How can you as one parent, or even as one PTA unit, make a difference? Thankfully, there are PTAs who have been paving the way, and we had the chance to talk with three representatives from Mercer Island PTA Council, Lori Cohen-Sanford, Erin Gurney, and Gwen Loosmore. Mercer Island PTA Council has been advocating for gun violence prevention since 2018. They shared with us their lessons learned and advice for like-minded groups. What do families need to know about gun violence and ... read more
    Published on 2020-04-10By admin
  • From One Parent to Another: How to Support Your Kids’ Learning at Home
    Last week was tough. It was Week One of our new normal. For me, that means I was at home trying to juggle my job and my children. As I’m sitting here writing this, my 13-year-old is texting me to get his younger brother to quiet down so he can do his virtual math. I agree with my teen: I also need quiet so that I can work. And yet younger brothers need to be free to make some age-appropriate noise. None of us are experiencing much peace and quiet in our household. On the contrary, there’s a ton ... read more
    Published on 2020-04-03By admin
  • 6 Things Parents Need to Know About E-Cigarettes
    Many parents have high school memories of classmates sneaking cigarettes and of the Marlboro man, Joe Camel, and Virginia Slims ad campaigns that made cigarettes seem ubiquitous and cool. Over time, public health education campaigns and effective public health policies have driven smoking rates to record lows, and made smoking more like the exception than the rule. But now there is a new threat to our kids’ health in the form of e-cigarettes –nicotine-loaded products about which many parents have little knowledge, and to which tweens and teens have flocked as a result of appealing flavors, deceptive marketing, and ... read more
    Published on 2020-04-02By Jessica Cohen