Blog

  • PTA Leader Helps School Step Outside Comfort Zone and Into Progress
    Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Daphne Callender, Fitness Instructor by day and PTA champion of Springfield Estates Elementary School (SEES) PTA in Springfield, VA, and her extraordinary school community in celebration of their 2019-2021 National PTA School of Excellence designation. The warm celebration with parents, staff and administrators included a delicious dinner, a decorated cake and the unveiling of their School of Excellence banner. As one of 19 PTAs in Virginia to earn the School of Excellence designation this year, Springfield Estates Elementary PTA had a great deal to be proud of. Through their year-long School ... read more
    Published on 2019-11-11By Amy Weinberg
  • 4 Key Facts on Meningococcal Disease that Parents Should Know During the Back-to-School Season
    It’s the beginning of the school year and while students are settling into the classroom, many parents are working to keep their children on top of everything they need to be successful. With so much to do, it’s no wonder it can be overwhelming. Whether it’s high school or college, parents are trying to help get their teen prepared by purchasing pens and notebooks, bookbags and accessories, and even SAT guides and index cards. And, while those things are important, parents may not be aware two particularly crucial items for their school year—two separate vaccines to help protect adolescents ... read more
    Published on 2019-11-06By Meet Meningitis
  • Did You Know It Takes Two?
    With teenagers, there are certain things that come in non-negotiable pairs: a new driver’s license and extra insurance, a cell phone and social media, or headphones and music. And, while those things are important, parents may not be aware of one particularly crucial “pair”—two separate vaccines to help protect adolescents and teens against meningococcal disease more commonly referred to as meningitis. Teens and adolescents are one of the more at-risk populations given their phase of life. Because they can carry these bacteria in the back of the throat, innocent and typical behavior for teens such as sharing a drink ... read more
    Published on 2019-11-01By Meet Meningitis
  • 5 Back-in-School Tips for Over-Stressed, Over-Stretched Sports Parents
    There are many reasons to celebrate moms and dads this back-to-school season, not the least of which is their selfless commitment to contributing so much of their precious time and hard-earned money to their children’s after-school and weekend youth sports activities. And let’s face it, parents of kids involved in sports have A LOT on their plate during the busy fall season. Driving to practices after school and games on Saturdays, washing seemingly endless amounts of dirty laundry, planning for the entire season calendar (sometimes for multiple kids of different ages across multiple sports), packing snacks and meal prepping. ... read more
    Published on 2019-10-14By FlipGive
  • Element of a Confident Parent – Looking for the Good
    Originally posted on Confident Parents Confident Kids Though the sunshine sparkles through the yellow leaves during these beautiful Fall days, there is less light in the morning and evening. And we’ve been doing this school thing for a few months now. We’ve poured it on and now we are slowing down a bit – tired. My husband and I noticed that some of the routines that used to run smoothly are in need of an update. In particular, we’ve noticed that our son leaves his dishes behind for someone else to take care of, whether it’s breakfast or dinner. ... read more
    Published on 2019-10-10By Jennifer Miller
  • Student to Select National Art Program’s Theme
    Every year, National PTA hosts an annual nationwide search for a new Reflections program theme! Students from across the country and in U.S. schools overseas are invited to submit their ideas for a new Reflections theme to their state PTA. State PTAs can then submit up to five finalists to National PTA. A panel of National PTA volunteer leaders is responsible for selecting one child’s theme search submission to become the official Reflections program year theme, inspiring the creativity and imagination of thousands of students. In acknowledgement of their theme being selected, our student winners receive national recognition, as ... read more
    Published on 2019-10-03By Ellie Miller
  • Excellence in Action: 2019’s Top 3 National PTA Schools of Excellence
    Each year, the top three National PTA Schools of Excellence are selected to receive the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards for demonstrating outstanding success in engaging families in student success and school improvements. These awards are selected by a team of Past National PTA Presidents and are the highest honor National PTA offers for success in family engagement. The 2019 National PTA Phoebe Apperson Hearst recipients are: Mark Twain Elementary PTA (California) who received the top Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award, Norman Rockwell PTA (Washington) who received a Phoebe Apperson Hearst Family-School Partnership Award of Merit and Jane S. ... read more
    Published on 2019-09-27By Ellie Miller
  • How Boosterthon Turned This Skeptical Dad into a Fan
    I hate school fundraisers with a passion. You see, I have three kids in school, from seventh grade all the way down to third grade. We’ve reluctantly participated in our share of school fundraisers over the years and will likely face many more in the next decade or so to come. Each time we’ve done so, I’ve cringed. While I understand that fundraisers are a necessary evil for many public schools, I’d much rather cut a check at the beginning of the school year and never have someone tell my kids that if they’ll only sell X amount of ... read more
    Published on 2019-09-26By Joey Mills
  • Why Should You Listen to the New PTA Podcast?
    From PTA flyers and permission slips to handwritten updates from your child’s teacher, every day your child comes home with notes in their backpack. How do you keep track of everything that’s going on? With limited time, it can be difficult to figure out where to invest your energy, when it comes to engaging your child’s school. That’s why we launched Notes from the Backpack: A PTA Podcast! Each 30-minute episode offers frank advice and ideas from researchers, parents, educators and other experts. Guiding these conversations are our hosts, LaWanda Toney, Director of Communications, and Helen Westmoreland, Director of ... read more
    Published on 2019-09-24By Rebecca Bauer
  • Step Up Your Family Engagement
    Dance can be a powerful way to foster Social Emotional Learning (SEL), celebrate cultural diversity and promote parent involvement. Many parents are reluctant to participate in school activities, possibly due to feeling intimidated by the school building or not feeling they have enough spare time to attend. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find a parent whose heart doesn’t melt the day their own child invites them to dance as their partner. As a PTA leader, offering programs that promote community engagement through healthy, culturally-enriching events should be one of your primary goals. Though it’s often overlooked, dance has the ... read more
    Published on 2019-09-16By Madeleine Levin
  • My Name is Meningitis
    Hi, my name is meningitis and it’s nice to meet you. I think it’s time that I introduce myself, especially if you are the parent of an adolescent or teen. I am also known by other names such as MenB and meningococcal disease. Let me tell you a little bit about myself and what I’ve been busy doing the past several years… What am I? I am an infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. There are five common types of bacteria—groups A, B, C, W, and Y—that can cause the majority of this potentially deadly disease and for ... read more
    Published on 2019-09-10By Meet Meningitis
  • Attention PTA Leaders and Members: Nominate Deserving Teachers to Win $500 WE Teachers Awards
    In today’s day and age, teachers are much more than educators. They serve as mentors, counselors, cheerleaders, protectors, and they spend an average of $500 of their own money each year to purchase classroom supplies that benefit their students. Starting July 21, customers can visit their local Walgreens stores to learn how to nominate a special teacher in their community for a WE Teachers Award. A minimum of 500 deserving educators will each receive $500 Walgreens gift cards to purchase classroom supplies – the average amount of a teacher’s annual out-of-pocket expenses. Teachers can also apply directly. To learn ... read more
    Published on 2019-08-30By Walgreens
  • How You Can Help Teachers Tackle Tough Topics
    Today’s classrooms are heavily influenced by the communities in which they are located. In addition to teaching, educators often have to address challenging social ills such as bullying, youth violence and mental health issues—which impact students’ learning potential and can have long-term impacts on their well-being. According to the 2018 “Voices from the Classroom” survey of America’s educators, teachers are concerned about school safety and want more training on how best to address school violence and improve student behavior using non-punitive strategies. How can you as a PTA leader help educators with these issues? WE Teachers Resource To address ... read more
    Published on 2019-08-23By Walgreens
  • Excellence in 3 Ways
    We are so pleased to announce our newest class of National PTA Schools of Excellence. The amazing 2019-2021 designees consist of 326 amazing PTA leaders—a whopping 17% increase from last year! The two-year School of Excellence designation celebrates PTA leadership and accomplishments in building strong, effective family-school partnerships! Through the year-long program process, each PTA examines how their community feels the school measures up to the research-based indicators of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Then the PTA members work in partnership with their school community and administrators to address areas for growth and create new ways for families to support ... read more
    Published on 2019-08-22By Ellie Miller
  • By The Numbers: A PTA Connected Event
    At Middlebrook PTA, we realize that technology and social media are a part of our lives. As parents and educators, we have a responsibility to ensure our children know how to use these tools safely and respectfully. We had: 4 teacher volunteers join other parent volunteers in leading 6 sessions for our Kindergarten-5th grade school. 1 critical partnership in our Technology Integration Specialist to get her support and ask her colleagues to join her in leading a breakout session. 1 Director of Digital Learning to lead the first session with all who attended that night. Having the “agree/disagree” cards ... read more
    Published on 2019-08-22By Ruth Fontilla