Blog

  • LifeTouch Memory Mission 2019: A Transformative Experience
    By Ivelisse “Ive” Castro, National PTA NSR (National Service Representative) What an honor and a privilege it was to represent the National PTA staff on the 2019 LifeTouch Memory Mission. I was thrilled to share this experience with Esther Parker (National PTA Elections Committee), Rose Acerra (New Jersey PTA President) and Hoang Bui (Secretary/Treasurer of the Iowa PTA.) This year LifeTouch focused on building hope in the community of Juncos, Puerto Rico by taking a team composed of LifeTouchemployees and members of national education groups such as ASAA, NAESP, NASSP, NSBA, National PTA and others toserve in rebuilding the ... read more
    Published on 2019-05-02By Ivelisse Castro
  • First Time’s the Charm with a STEM + Families Math Night SPOTLIGHT: Riverdale Elementary PTA (Orlando, Fla.)
    This post is part of a series authored by local PTA leaders who received STEM + Families Mathnasium Math Night grants. They share practical advice and lessons learned from planning and hosting their events. When I found out I was in charge of hosting a STEM + Families Math Night I was excited, but also nervous. I had never done something like this before and I wanted it to run smoothly. With planning and community support it did! The key to success for me was starting early. Our Math Night was scheduled for the end of January and I ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-26By Jennifer Sullivan
  • Creating a New Dialogue Around Math with a STEM + Families Math Night SPOTLIGHT: Steven Millard Elementary PTA (Fremont, Calif.)
    This post is part of a series authored by local PTA leaders who received STEM + Families Mathnasium Math Night grants. They share practical advice and lessons learned from planning and hosting their events. We hosted our STEM + Families Math Night Jan. 24 with over 400 attendants. Our school had never done anything like these events prior—which made our high attendance that much more exciting. We anticipated a hesitant reaction from kids and parents, so we started to market the event early in November. The most effective form of marketing was word of mouth. A core group of ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-23By Supriya Desai
  • Families + Math + PTA = Great Fun! With a STEM + Families Math Night SPOTLIGHT: Midvalley PTA (Midvale, Utah)
    This post is part of a series authored by local PTA leaders who received STEM + Families Mathnasium Math Night grants. They share practical advice and lessons learned from planning and hosting their events. Imagine an evening activity at your school—you want to have families attend, you want it to be fun and memorable, you want everyone to be so excited that the “fear of missing out” gets everyone through the door! When you sit down to plan this activity, is your first thought about math? Probably not! But I’m here to tell you that the most exciting activity ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-19By Kirsti Raleigh
  • The Best School for My Daughter with Special Needs
    When our daughter Stacey was diagnosed in third grade with three types of non-convulsive epilepsy and a related learning disability (called dyscalculia), my husband and I were at a loss about the best way to help her academically. This situation became even more complicated, as she concurrently began to struggle with motor skill functions, spatial issues and a lazy eye condition that required eye-patching. Getting Stacey’s medical diagnoses was the easy part. Getting the academic solution was more of a challenge. Where should she attend school? What was the best environment for her to learn and thrive academically? She ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-19By Linda Crandall
  • Math Fun, Rain or Shine! With a STEM + Families Mathnasium Math Night SPOTLIGHT: Friends of Penngrove PTA (Penngrove, Calif.)
    This post is part of a series authored by local PTA leaders who received STEM + Families Mathnasium Math Night grants. They share practical advice and lessons learned from planning and hosting their events. The Penngrove Elementary School community was elated to receive the news that we were awarded a 2018 National PTA STEM + Families Math Night Grant, sponsored by Mathnasium. The Friends of Penngrove PTA executive board enjoyed planning the event and loved seeing all the happy faces of our families during our event Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Despite the huge winter rainstorm that evening, we thankfully ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-15By Melissa Morelli
  • Celebrating our 2018 Mary Lou Anderson Arts Enhancement Grantees
    As we open the 2019 Mary Lou Anderson Arts Enhancement Grant cycle, we are reminded of the many arts education projects that this grant opportunity has funded. Most recently, the Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant honored high quality arts learning programs at Harvest Hill PTA in California and Tiffany Park Elementary PTA in Washington with $1000 in matching grant funds. Harvest Hill PTA hosted a free Family Art Night in collaboration with community partners to kick off their inaugural Reflections program. The Family Art Night invited all families to come in the evening to learn about the ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-09By Ellie Miller
  • Math Success is Attainable! With a STEM + Families Math Night SPOTLIGHT: Royal Ridge PTA (San Antonio, Texas)
    This post is part of a series authored by local PTA leaders who received STEM + Families Mathnasium Math Night grants. They share practical advice and lessons learned from planning and hosting their events. When the National PTA STEM + Families Math Night Grants, sponsored by Mathnasium, were announced, we knew we had to apply. Math Nights provide opportunities for families to experience math as a fun activity together and help students to view math success as attainable. They also expose families and students to math development services that are available in the community. Everyone was so excited when ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-08By Susie Raiford
  • Student Data and Privacy: A California PTA Advocacy Story
    “What is this, it looks bad?” Is never a text you want to receive, no matter what it’s about, but it’s particularly concerning when it’s about something that will impact your children. But a few savvy PTA leaders sent that exact text to me when I was president of California State PTA in February 2016. They had been looking on the California Department of Education website for some information for their local legislation conference when they noticed an obscure button at the top of the website which said, “Objection to Student Disclosure.” After reading it, they immediately called and ... read more
    Published on 2019-04-01By Justine Fischer
  • Super Parents, Super Readers!
    Every year, PTAs across the nation host Take Your Family to School Week events to celebrate National PTA’s Founder’s Day. This year, with the support of Office Depot OfficeMax, National PTA awarded $1,000 to 15 local PTAs to host a National PTA program during Take Your Family to School Week, Feb. 10-17. Congratulations to the 2019 Take Your Family to School Week Grant Recipients who hosted a variety of successful events. One of the great events held during this year’s Take Your Family to School Week is Stringtown Elementary PTA’s superhero-themed reading night, “Super Family Literacy Night.” This event offered ... read more
    Published on 2019-03-30By Rachel Fishman
  • Then & Now: 50 Years of Reflections Award Winners
      I had the recent pleasure of exhibiting at the National Art Education Association (NAEA) National Convention in beautiful Boston, Mass., to promote the National PTA Reflections program to over 5,700 arts professionals across the country. At the booth I was greeted by art educators who have led the Reflections program at their school, partnered with PTA on Reflections and those that have served as Reflections judges over the rich 50-year course of the program. I was also able to share the beautiful artwork of Massachusetts PTA Reflections artists which drew future Reflections partners in to learn more about Reflections ... read more
    Published on 2019-03-29By Amy Weinberg
  • A Public Investment in An Average Kid
    I consider myself a lucky person. I tend to win stuff: a trip to an exotic island, an ocean cruise, a skype dinner with Anderson Cooper (when he had his talk show years ago) and even an opportunity to meet a sitting President, but with the celebration of Public Schools Week, I consider myself lucky to have had the public education I received growing up in my hometown in Cincinnati, Ohio. Was it really luck, though? I attended public schools my entire life—Houston Elementary School, then Colerain Jr. High and graduated from Colerain High School (during the “big hair” ... read more
    Published on 2019-03-27By Barb Anness
  • Record Turnout with a STEM + Families Game Night!
      This post is part of a series co-authored by local PTA leaders who have hosted a STEM + Families ThinkFun Game Night. They share practical advice and lessons learned from planning and hosting their events. Mount Vernon Community School in Alexandria, Va. was not a winner of a STEM + Families ThinkFun Family Game Night grant, but the event just looked too fun to miss out on entirely! The Math Dice game was such a hit with their students, and they wanted to create a creative concept around this popular game. Their PTA reached out to ThinkFun to ... read more
    Published on 2019-03-27By Mount Vernon PTA
  • Public Schools Are the True Land of Opportunity
    Did you know that nine out of every 10 children in the United States attend a public school? Or that there are almost 51 million students in those public schools, being taught by just 3.2 million full-time teachers? It’s hard to grapple with numbers that massive. How is it possible that our public schools offer so many different opportunities for so many different children, all with their own hopes, dreams and goals? I look back on my own public-school education with these numbers in mind and I am amazed at the education I received. I grew up in South ... read more
    Published on 2019-03-22By Marques Ivey
  • Why I’m #PublicSchoolProud
    My youngest son is truly my special gift. Tyler is a bright light, who makes our family and our world complete. He is smart, funny, warm, kind-hearted and autistic. He is enthusiastic about learning new things and inspires all who know him every single day. But he was also non-verbal until the age of six. I see the amazing person he is today and often wonder if Tyler would have made the same great strides without a quality public education. What if his public school didn’t offer an outstanding program for students with special needs? Would he still be ... read more
    Published on 2019-03-21By Dana Platin