If you think PTA moms and dads just organize car pools and school Halloween carnivals, you might want to attend your area’s next meeting (most occur once a month). The Parent Teacher Association can be your best link to teachers and is one of the easiest ways to become involved with your child’s school.
What do PTA organizations do?
They support and speak on behalf of children in the schools, in the community, and before government groups and other organizations that make decisions affecting children. They help parents develop the skills they need to raise and protect their children. And they encourage parent and public involvement in public schools across the country.
What will I get out of joining the PTA?
- Regular updates on school activities and policies
- Access to teachers and administrators at your child’s school
- Access to parents of other children at the school
- A forum to discuss concerns and problems at school. If the problem needs attention from the state or national government, any local, district, or state PTA can bring the issue to the attention of the National PTA.
- Access to resources on parenting, education, and more from the National PTA
- Appreciation from teachers for all your help
- Education about school policies, state funding, and other issues concerning your school
- A discount subscription to the National PTA publication Our Children, which covers family, health and safety issues, legislative briefings, and nationwide highlights of the PTA’s work and activities
As a PTA member what would I be expected to do?
Your level of involvement is up to you, but here are some of the main things the PTA will expect from you:
- Help with fundraisers: Many PTAs raise money throughout the year for projects and improvements at the school. A local PTA might throw a bake sale or car wash to raise money for art supplies, scholarships, computers, or field trips. A group might raise money to put a soda machine in the teachers’ lounge or bring a guest speaker to the school. You will likely be called on to help out or contribute.
- Your opinions: Your voice is important to help shape the goals of your local PTA. Feel free to address any concerns you have at meetings.
- Commitment: You’ll get the most out of your PTA membership by staying involved. Meetings are usually scheduled in the evenings. If you can’t make the meetings, see about getting minutes and try to make it to fundraisers and other PTA events.
The first step to getting involved in PTA is to become a member! There are three basic avenues for personal membership in PTA.
- Join a Local PTA unit – Contact the Missouri PTA state office to find a PTA in your area.
- Join the Show Me State PTA unit
- Organize a New PTA
Once you are a member, the opportunities for involvement are limitless. There is a place for everyone in PTA! Everyone must have the same goal – collaborating together to make decisions affecting children the best they can possibly be.
For more information on great ways to make a difference in your child’s life through Parent Involvement, click on the following links:
Be sure to also explore programs and other information for being an informed parent.
PARENTS – Parent involvement is critical to student success. When parents are involved
- Higher grades and test scores are the result
- Better attendance by students with involved parents
- More consistently completed homework
- Higher graduation rates, and greater enrollment in post secondary education
SCHOOL COMMUNITY – Administrators, faculty, and school boards are key to establishing and maintaining the environment for successful parent involvement programs. Communication and a willingness to listen are paramount to fostering mutual respect, support, and trust between the school community and parents. When the school community involves parents in collaborative efforts
- Site-based management teams are encouraged
- Parents attend meetings more often, and feel they have a voice in decision-making
- Policies affecting children are made at the local and district level by committees working together
- Communication and greater understanding is enhanced between the school community and parents
COMMUNITY AT LARGE – Groups in the community, not limited to the following, social service, city, and county agencies, religious and civic organizations, university and/or college service learning, corporations and businesses are all starting points for involvement. Remember, student’s of today become tomorrow’s employees and community members! When the community is involved
- Students gain skills and talents from surroundings and feel a sense of value to their community ;
- Develop positive relationships with adults other than parents and teachers;
- Parents develop connections with other families and community resources
- Gain awareness of the contributions from the community to the school;
- Communities form connections between businesses and future employees;
- Gain a greater sense of purpose by contributing their wisdom to students.