Blog

  • Start the School Year Right With Healthy Habits
    (Sponsored Post) Help Protect Your Children From Germs This Back-To-School Season With school bells ringing and teachers diving into their lesson plans, help your children focus on what matters most during the school year – learning! As part of the Healthy Habits Program, Lysol alongside the National Parent Teacher Association hope to spread the word on healthy habits, starting with simple yet effective tips to help keep germs at bay and help prevent your children from getting sick, whether in the classroom or at home! Set your children up for a successful and healthy school year with the following ... read more
    Published on 2017-08-15By Rory Tait
  • Enroll in the 2017-18 School of Excellence Program
    Maybe you are looking to step up your PTA’s involvement in school improvements. Maybe something meaningful is already happening between your PTA and school, and you would like to see that recognized. In either case, National PTA’s School of Excellence program offers customized tools to help you to make a substantial, positive impact on school and student success, and to earn recognition for your PTA and school. By enrolling in this program, your PTA and school administrators are making a year-long commitment to identify and implement an action plan for school improvement based on PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Throughout the ... read more
    Published on 2017-07-28By Amy Weinberg
  • Keeping Healthy Habits Top of Mind this Summer
    Help Protect Your Children from Germs during the Summer Months with Healthy Habits (Sponsored Post) With summer vacation full steam ahead, help your children stay healthy and enjoy all that summer has to offer! Whether your family is soaking up the sun on the beach or running through the sprinklers at home, as part of the Healthy Habits Program, Lysol wants to spread the word on the importance of healthy habits by sharing easy and effective tips to help protect your children from spreading illness during the summer months. Some simple ways to do so include: Wash Up: Getting ... read more
    Published on 2017-07-18By Rory Tait
  • Not Your Momma’s PTA
    This is my first year in any kind of Parent Teacher Association (PTA). In years past I would see the slips come home to sign up for the PTA and they would get tossed in the trash. In my head I had this idea of what the PTA was and I definitely didn’t fit into that mold: I’m not a stay at home mom and able to go to every function. I’m BUSY! As I went to register my son for 3rd grade this year as with the previous years I tried to avoid eye contact with the moms ... read more
    Published on 2017-07-05By Florence Community PTA
  • No “Lazy Days of Summer” for our Youth
    School is out for summer! As an Alaskan, our 24-hour daylight encourages lots of opportunity for kids to stay outdoors and active all summer long. One of our favorite jokes involves parents sending their kids outside to play, and telling them to be home by dark. However, you might be surprised to learn that kids all across the United States, including Alaska, tend to be less active during summer vacation than they are throughout the school year.  This can lead to a decrease in fitness and an increase in weight gain over the long break from school and structured ... read more
    Published on 2017-06-15By Nancy Blake
  • Are You Engaged?
    As PTA members, you know that family engagement is an important part of your child’s successful development and academic outcomes.  You participate on school advisory committees, lead parent advocacy, work with teachers in their classrooms, read all about ESSA and other regulations related to children’s health and education, and inspire your community to support all children.  Family engagement is evolving from “involvement” in the sense of families receiving a one-way stream of information and sponsoring endless fundraisers at school.  Instead, it’s the opportunity to build relationships between two crucial components of a child’s life together–families and school personnel–to further ... read more
    Published on 2017-06-02By Frances Frost
  • ASK (Asking Saves Kids)
    Across the country, children are anxiously waiting for the final bell of the school year to ring in summer break. During this time of year, my two kids were always full of energy and ready for the warm weather and hours spent outside with friends, neighbors and extended family. They’re older now, but in those first few days of playdates, picnics and barbecues there was one thing that was always on my mind: is there a gun where my children are playing? More than 18,000 American children and teens are injured or killed by guns every year, making firearms ... read more
    Published on 2017-06-01By Dan Gross
  • Summer Means Sun, Fun, and … The Smart Talk?
    [Sponsored Post] As kids eagerly anticipate the start of summer break with relaxed schedules and no homework, parents face the decision whether or not to relax rules around screen time and digital devices. To deal with this transition from school to summer, one PTA dad has decided it’s time for his family to have ‘The Smart Talk’ … again. When Alvin Gainey’s oldest daughter—who is now 16—started first grade, she got a cell phone. “She was in aftercare and this was a way to communicate in the event of an emergency or if we were running late,” recalls Gainey. “Of ... read more
    Published on 2017-06-01By The Smart Talk
  • Top things to do in Las Vegas | #PTACon17
    I have lived in Las Vegas for over 20 years with my husband and four children.  I am very excited to have the 2017 National PTA Convention & Expo in my home town this year and to share a few ideas for things to do while you are here! Las Vegas is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week town.  There is something for everyone at all hours of the day and night.  Whether you are coming into town early before Convention, have a few spare hours in the evenings or staying a few extra days after, ... read more
    Published on 2017-05-31By Linda Johnson
  • Trump Budget: A Bad Deal for Kids
    On May 24, 2017, President Donald Trump released his budget proposal for the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 which included a proposed cut of $9.2 billion to the U.S. Department of Education from last year’s funding level. This proposed cut to education programs comes on the heels of Congress cutting federal education programs by $1 billion in FY 2017. The President’s budget would maintain the same level of funding from FY 2017 for Title I, which aids schools with high percentages of children from low-income families, special education grants through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ... read more
    Published on 2017-05-26By Joshua Westfall
  • The Power and Peril of Myth for Today’s College Students
    Originally published on GatesFoundation.org.  We are now entering what is perhaps my favorite time of the year: graduation season. As a veteran faculty member and administrator, I have fond memories of commencement ceremonies, seeing the joy and pride in the faces of graduates and their families and knowing many of the stories behind those smiles. While graduation season is filled with inspiring stories of persistence, sacrifice, and accomplishment, it also gives rise to some lingering myths about our students and what it takes for them to get to graduation. These myths hurt students because they help preserve a status quo ... read more
    Published on 2017-05-23By Dan Greenstein
  • Does Your Child Have Recess Daily?
    The natural inclination of children is to explore their world through movement. When I visit my grandchildren, I wake up to an explosion of physical activity, rolling down the couch cushions, jumping off the toy box, or chasing games around the kitchen island. My oldest grandchild is now in all-day kindergarten. I can’t imagine him not having the opportunity to engage in both free and structured play throughout his school day. Research supports the notion that physical activity is associated with learning readiness and cognitive function (Hillman, Erickson, & Hatfield, 2017). Within the school environment, recess is the vehicle ... read more
    Published on 2017-05-15By Fran Cleland
  • 10 Ways to Supply and Support Teachers in 2017
    This post was originally featured in Mediaplanet Teachers deliver so much to our nation’s children — inspiration, motivation and, ultimately, their futures. Among the many ways teachers go the extra mile, they often spend their own money to ensure students have access to supplies and resources that will enable them to receive the best possible education. To help empower teachers and ensure a successful school year, it is vital to be a partner in children’s learning and give back whenever possible. Here are 10 ways families can partner with and support teachers: 1. Get to know one another Develop a ... read more
    Published on 2017-05-11By Laura Bay
  • Dear Extraordinary Teacher
    Dear Extraordinary Teacher, On behalf of America’s students and families, we would like to take a moment during Teacher Appreciation Week to thank you for your work and impact that extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Look up “teacher” in the dictionary and you will likely find this definition: one who instructs. But there are a few adjectives missing from this definition … patient, knowledgeable, dedicated, compassionate, inspirational … the list goes on. As a caring professional who connects with students—and strives to discover what they’re passionate about to unlock their potential—you do so much more than ... read more
    Published on 2017-05-09By Laura Bay
  • Fundraising for This Year and Next
    (Sponsored Post) At this point in the school year, PTA groups often experience turnover with members moving on and new members coming on board.  It’s a time of transition that does not always go as smoothly as planned.  The last thing PTA groups want is their support of the school to pause as a result of such transition.  After all, the reason we get involved in PTA is to give back to the kids. Whether or not your PTA group is in a time of transition, it can be difficult maintain your fundraising efforts from year to year to ... read more
    Published on 2017-05-04By Robb Kaufenberg