• Making Drinking Water Fun! With a Healthy Hydration Event
    SPOTLIGHT: Pope PTA (Puyallup, Wash.) This blog post is part of a series authored by local PTA leaders who received a Healthy Hydration Grant, sponsored by Nestlé Waters North America. They share practical advice and lessons learned from planning and hosting their events. “Try new things ‘cuz they might taste good!” was the jingle I sang from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood as the masses of students taking their water breaks approached the water coolers. The signs on the water coolers piqued their interest as they realized they had a decision to make: Which flavored water recipe would they try first? ... read more
    Published on 2020-02-19By Victoria Treffry
  • Healthy Habits to Carry your Family Through the End of Cold and Flu Season
    Practice healthy habits throughout cold and flu season to make it to the finish line! We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The end of winter is within sight, and with it – we hope – is the end of cold and flu season. Even with spring just around the corner, however, it is important to remember that we are still in the midst of peak cold and flu. Practicing healthy habits is just as important now as ever, to help get you and your loved ones through the end of the season in good ... read more
    Published on 2020-02-18By Ferran Rousaud
  • Mid-year Classroom Supply List
    Mid-year reminder to replenish school supplies and finish the school year strong The midpoint of the school year is finally here! Now that most schools are at the halfway mark, it’s time to make sure classrooms are stocked for the remainder of the year. The National Parent Teacher Association and Lysol® want to remind schools and encourage parents to help refresh supplies in classroom to end the year strong by providing a quick checklist of essentials that sometimes aren’t top-of-mind. We are still in the thick of cold and flu season, so consider sending in the following items to help ... read more
    Published on 2020-02-03By Ferran Rousaud
  • The 2020 Census: What Does it Mean for Children and Families?
    Think counting every person in the United States is impossible? Think again. In fact, the very first U.S. census was all the way back in 1790! Every 10 years, every person in the United States (including adults, children, babies, citizens and immigrants) is counted through the census. This isn’t just so we know the population makeup. Census data is used to determine representation in Congress, state legislatures and school boards, and—critically—it’s also used to determine how much federal funding should flow to children’s programs in states and communities. Programs such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ... read more
    Published on 2020-01-31By Cyrus Huncharek
  • Enhancing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Your PTA
    How do you improve your PTA’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in a meaningful way? Roger Minott Sherman Elementary PTA, in Fairfield, Conn., has a few valuable tips—they received a 2019 Jan Harp Domene Award for implementing several strategies to help their community embrace and value diverse perspectives. Discover a few of their keys to success below to get started in your community! Make It Easier for Families to Be Involved PTAs can diversify their membership by removing some of the barriers that prevent families from engaging. All families care about their child’s education, but some have more time ... read more
    Published on 2020-01-23By Rebecca Bauer
  • New Year’s Resolutions to Help Keep Your Family Feeling Happy and Healthy
    Practice healthy habits in the New Year to make 2020 the best year yet! The time has come again for New Year’s resolutions. We often promise to lead healthier lives in the New Year, whether by eating clean or hitting the gym – but healthy habits include so much more! This year resolve to keep your family healthy by teaching and practicing healthy habits so you and your loved ones can spend less time recovering from illness, and more time enjoying what 2020 has to offer. The National Parent Teacher Association and Lysol® want to ensure children and families stay ... read more
    Published on 2020-01-17By Ferran Rousaud
  • Back the Future: a New Dedication to a Continued Mission
    The PTA mission statement: It’s all about the kids, right? Well yes, and so much more. The PTA mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. Now, if you’re not heavily involved in our association, this might not be the first thing you think of when someone mentions PTA. People sometimes praise us for the fundraising that we do for schools, but you’ll notice that our mission doesn’t say anything about fundraising. Of course we do raise funds, but we should spend those funds in ways that ... read more
    Published on 2020-01-13By Julie Kluthe
  • Clermont PTA: A Journey to Excellence
    Clermont Elementary School PTA’s School of Excellence Celebration was a perfect example of a party at an elementary school—filled with the joyful laughter of children and based on values that bring communities together. I had the pleasure of attending the event, and it was wonderful to see firsthand exactly why they deserved to be designated a 2019-2021 National PTA School of Excellence. The National PTA School of Excellence designation is awarded to PTAs that commit to and prove success in building effective family-school partnerships at their school. Clermont Elementary School PTA is one of just 326 PTAs nationwide to earn ... read more
    Published on 2020-01-06By Amy Weinberg
  • Navigating Special Education: A Comprehensive Online Training for Families, Educators and Advocates
    The services, supports and the quality of education available to students with disabilities have continuously improved since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) first required schools to educate all students with disabilities back in 1975. However, the process of identifying which students should receive special education services and what services they should receive can be complicated, for both schools and families. The Arc@School’s new, online Advocacy Curriculum provides parents, educators and non-attorney advocates the basic information they need to navigate the special education system. What Is Special Education Advocacy and Why Do We Need It? First, you need to know ... read more
    Published on 2020-01-03By The Arc@School
  • Stay Healthy and Happy During the Holiday Season
    Cold and flu season is once again upon us, as is the time of year when family gatherings and holiday celebrations are plentiful. This holiday season, make sure that illness doesn’t keep you and your family from enjoying your celebrations to the fullest. The National Parent Teacher Association and Lysol want to ensure children and families have a fun, safe and healthy holiday season by providing easy and effective tips to help curb the spread of cold and flu. Get vaccinated: Getting your flu shot every year is the first and most important step to help prevent the flu. ... read more
    Published on 2019-12-20By Ferran Rousaud
  • Northern Virginia Students with Special Needs And Their Families Get Exposed to STEAM
    The Northern Virginia District PTA partnered with the Arlington County Special Education PTA and the Fairfax County Special Education PTA to host an iSTEAM Expo for Northern Virginia students with special needs and their families. This first-of-its-kind event, held at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, featured various stations for students and their families to conduct science experiments, ask questions about STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), learn about music and art, as well as engage with exhibitors about potential STEAM opportunities at and for their schools and within their communities. Exhibitors that participated during the event included Mathnasium of ... read more
    Published on 2019-12-16By Debbie Kilpatrick
  • What Parents Really Want: Strategies for Family-School Communication
    Communication between teachers and families varies in frequency and method, from emails, texts and apps to old-fashioned notes. It can be hard to keep track of everything! Even when effective systems of communication are in place, sometimes they only include feedback about children’s academic performance and neglect to address students’ life skills. We set out to find out how families are collaborating with teachers to help children thrive socially, emotionally and academically. Getting an inside look Earlier this year we launched the Transformative Family Engagement & Whole Child Learning grant* and partnered with Austin Council of PTAs, Lake ... read more
    Published on 2019-12-06By Rebecca Bauer
  • Save the Date! Get Ready for LegCon 2020
    I can hardly believe that the 2020 National PTA Legislative Conference (LegCon) is just a few months away. It has always been my favorite event because it is PTAs’ opportunity to use our voices to improve the lives of children and families. Advocacy is at the core of our association’s mission and vision. Our legacy in advocacy started over 120 years ago when our founders organized over 2000 parents to speak on behalf of children and continued to lead the way in improving their lives. Through our members’ persistent commitment to advocacy, National PTA has played an integral role ... read more
    Published on 2019-11-21By Yvonne Johnson
  • 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