National PTA Honors Outstanding Efforts in Taking Action for Kids

Honorees to be recognized at 2019 National PTA Legislative Conference

 ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 4, 2019)—National PTA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019 Outstanding Advocacy Awards, which honor parents and youth from across the country who have taken action on issues that affect the education, health, safety, well-being and long-term success of America’s children. The honorees will be recognized at the 2019 National PTA Legislative Conference, Wednesday, March 13, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.
This year’s recipients are:

  • Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award—Missouri PTA

Prior to Missouri PTA’s advocacy efforts, Missouri was one of only five states that housed juveniles—some as young as nine—in adult facilities, even prior to their conviction. Missouri PTA worked with a coalition to plan and implement an initiative to support legislation that would make sure juveniles involved in the justice system are housed separately from adults. PTA members met with their local legislators, garnered the support of law enforcement and juvenile justice departments, and implemented a robust media campaign on the issue. Last year, after five years of concerted effort, Missouri PTA’s advocacy efforts saw success when SB 793 “Raise the Age” was signed into law. The new law requires that children be prosecuted in juvenile courts and ensures that no person under the age of 18 may be detained in an adult jail unless the person has been certified as an adult.

  • Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award—Austin Council of PTAs (Texas)

Austin Council of PTAs’ award-winning advocacy campaign began in spring 2018, when the district and the city’s public transportation authority announced a pilot program to make rides for students free for the summer. The PTA raised awareness about the free summer ride program and encouraged families, students, teachers and school staff to write letters to the transportation authority, as well as testify in person about the impact of free rides. Austin Council of PTAs’ advocacy efforts then turned toward support for a vote to make the free ride program permanent, to ensure every child in Austin has reliable access to schools. Members continued to reach out to students, parents, teachers, service providers and others, encouraging them to share their personal stories and to ensure that advocates were speaking loudly and with one voice. With the measure passing unanimously, Austin Council of PTAs successfully advocated making public transportation free for all K-12 students in their district.

  • Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award—Janelle Sperry (Bunker Hill, W.Va.) 

Janelle Sperry’s outstanding advocacy efforts span many roles and issue areas. Sperry has been a PTA member for 11 years and has served on the West Virginia PTA Board of Managers for seven years, including as president from 2015-2017 and currently as marketing chairperson. Among her many advocacy efforts, Sperry was instrumental in the formation of the West Virginia Coalition for Public Education, which is focused on preventing voucher legislation from being enacted in West Virginia. In this effort, Sperry met with the West Virginia state superintendent, associate superintendent of schools and the governor’s office as well as sent out letters to over 80 associations. Most recently, Sperry worked to draft a bill in West Virginia to define and establish the crime of cyberbullying. The bill was signed into law in 2018. Sperry has spent her entire life serving her community and continues to make the mission of PTA her focus by taking action to ensure every child receives a high-quality education.

  • Outstanding Youth Advocate of the Year Award—Chloe Mattes (Racine, Wis.)

As Wisconsin PTA Youth Outreach Chair, Chloe Mattes decided to take action on an issue top of mind for most youth—college and career readiness. Through social media, Mattes reached out to students between the ages of 12-18 and their parents to spread the word about opportunities for students and their families to explore colleges, technical schools and career paths. She also interviewed high school students, teachers and college students about their college and career experiences. Using this footage, Mattes created YouTube videos and wrote articles that were sent to all local PTA leaders and community partners to raise awareness in Wisconsin about what it means to be college and career ready.

“Advocacy is critical to make advances for our nation’s youth and ensure every child has access to a high-quality public education in a learning environment that is healthy, safe and secure,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “We are looking forward to recognizing the best in PTA advocacy and celebrating these awardees’ efforts in taking action for kids at our legislative conference.”

Every year, the National PTA Legislative Conference brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to explore the association’s advocacy priorities and the federal policies that impact kids as well as actively advocate to create a better future for every child.

During the 2019 conference—themed “PTA Takes Action for Kids”—attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops to expand their knowledge of federal law and grow their advocacy skills. Attendees will use this knowledge to amplify their voices by meeting with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 13.

“For over 120 years, National PTA advocates have been at the heart of efforts that have forever changed the lives of our children—including the passage of child labor laws, the start of the school lunch program, improvements to the treatment of children in the justice system, and the implementation of universal kindergarten classes,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA Executive Director. “As throughout our history, we are committed to urging the 116th Congress to take action for kids and enact legislation that makes a difference for every child.”

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.


NEWS: CloroxPro Seeks Nominations for Champions of Clean Contest

CloroxPro Launches Champions of Clean National Contest

Contest celebrates commercial cleaning professionals on the front lines who go above and beyond to help keep facilities clean and healthy.

 PLEASANTON, Calif., Jan. 8, 2019: CloroxPro announces the Champions of Clean contest encouraging facility managers and cleaning professionals to nominate themselves or someone they know who goes above and beyond to create clean and healthy environments that building staff and patrons can trust. The contest will run from January 8 through February 20, 2019, and winners will be notified in early March. CloroxPro will announce the winners this spring.

Cleaning professionals play a critical role in enabling clean and healthy shared spaces, like schools, hospitals and offices and everywhere in between. In places like these where clean means everything, their work means everything.

In recognition of their efforts, two winners – one from a healthcare facility and one from a commercial facility – will receive a three-night vacation for two to New York City, Orlando, Las Vegas or Nashville. The person who nominated each winner will also win a home technologies prize package.

“Cleaning professionals and their teams work hard all year long to keep facilities clean and healthy, facing a lot of pressure to do more with less, but still do the job right,” said Brad Ferris, Brand Engagement Lead – Marketing, CloroxPro. “During cold, flu and norovirus season when they’re faced with more than everyday messes and routine germs, their work takes on even greater urgency. We hope this contest gives facility managers, cleaning professionals and their colleagues a chance to acknowledge this hard work and say thank you for everything they do to help keep us healthy throughout the tough winter illness season and beyond.”

CloroxPro is launching the Champions of Clean contest to celebrate cleaning professionals who are on the front lines of cold, flu and norovirus season, embody the where clean means everything motto and put it all on the line each year to maintain clean and healthy environments.

To nominate an outstanding cleaning professional, view current nominees or find more information on the Champions of Clean contest, visit www.CloroxProChampionsofClean.com and follow @CloroxPro and #ChampionsOfClean on Twitter. For contest details, see the Official Rules.

About CloroxPro
Building on a century-long legacy in cleaning and disinfecting, CloroxPro offers some of the industry’s most recognized and trusted brand names for commercial cleaning, including its Clorox Healthcare products and technologies for healthcare facilities. Whether it is schools, offices, restaurants, hotels, hospitals or other commercial facilities, CloroxPro is committed to meeting the demands of industry professionals. For more information, visit www.CloroxPro.com or follow @CloroxPro on Twitter.


ThinkFun Game Night Blog Post Series

Hey Bloggers!

National PTA is featuring blogs from PTAs who hosted a successful ThinkFun Family Game Night as part of the PTA’s STEM + Families Initiative. The local PTA shares their success stories, lessons learned, and outcomes with other PTAs nationwide. Our hope is that this will be super helpful and motivating to other PTAs nationwide, and also highlight and showcase the local PTA and school, and show the fantastic work they are doing. Maplewood PTA (North Kansas City Council/Pony Express Regions) is scheduled to be featured on Thursday, 12/27!  Sondra Miller, an officer in the local unit participated as a guest author.   You can find this at onevoice.pta.org.


National PTA’s Response to Federal School Safety Commission Report

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (December 18, 2018)— Today, after eight months of public input, commission meetings and field visits across the county, the Federal School Safety Commission released its report on ways to keep students safe at school. The report includes several recommendations aligned with National PTA positions and A Framework for Safe and Successful Schoolsjoint recommendations written and endorsed by our nation’s leading education stakeholders and practitioners – on improved access to school-based mental and behavioral health services, threat assessments protocols, comprehensive school safety plans, and role of school resource officers (SROs).

However, we would have liked to see the Commission include common sense proposals to limit youth access to firearms, strengthen background checks, fund gun violence research efforts, and ban assault weapons. Our association believes any effort to improve the safety of our nation’s youth must be comprehensive and include gun safety and violence prevention measures.

National PTA supports positive school discipline policies that include a strong family engagement component and keep children in school and learning over exclusionary discipline. We are disappointed to see the report recommends the rescission of the 2014 school discipline guidance from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. Without this guidance, we are concerned that students of color and students with special needs will face even more disparate levels of discipline compared to their white peers.

Our association also believes that to promote positive school climates that encourage nurturing relationships, connectedness and mutual trust and respect among students, staff and families, there must be people and practices within the school building to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment. While the report focuses on the need for increased use of evidence-based frameworks to support and implement behavioral, health and mental health services, the report does not include a recommendation to increase the staffing ratios of school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses who can provide those supports.

“While the Commission’s report does not explicitly recommend arming educators, National PTA believes the most effective day-to-day school climate is a gun-free campus—which includes not arming teachers and administrators. Teachers and administrators should be able to focus on their primary responsibility, which is to educate our children,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “Our association opposes any attempt to use federal funds to arm or provide firearm training for educators. National PTA recognizes that school safety is a multi-faceted issue with no one clear solution for every community. We believe any effort to address school safety must involve all stakeholders who should consider a variety of factors, including the physical and psychological safety of students.”

“All of us share the responsibility to create and ensure safe, supportive and welcoming learning environments. We look forward to working with the Commission, the administration, Congress, and state and local policy makers to shape policies based on evidenced-based best practices in school safety and climate, discipline, student mental health, instructional leadership, teaching and learning” said Nathan Monell, executive director of National PTA.

 

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

 

Jacki Ball | Director, Government Affairs
National PTA®
1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

P: (703) 518-1243 | C: (703) 405-5206

jball@pta.org | www.pta.org | @balljacki


National PTA and Alaska PTA Supports Disaster Relief Funding for Families and Schools Impacted by Earthquake

ALEXANDRIA, VA, (Dec. 6, 2018)—National PTA President Jim Accomando and Alaska PTA President Candy Jo Bracken issued the following statement regarding the Nov. 30 earthquake and ongoing aftershocks:

“National PTA and Alaska PTA our deeply concerned for all communities affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Southcentral Alaska. Many families and schools have been impacted by this devastation and we empathize with those who are experiencing loss of property, safety, and routines. School officials discovered collapsed ceilings, dangling vents and water damage in some schools. Every school was affected in some way, with some schools sustaining major damage.”

“As the nation’s and state’s oldest and largest child advocacy association, it is our duty to support families and school communities as they rebuild and recover. We remain committed to doing everything we can to assist in the restoration of learning environments and emotional support for students and families.”

“National PTA offers resources to help families and educators have conversations with children to help them deal with the fear, confusion, sadness and anger they may feel after incidents like the earthquake in Alaska. These resources and other tips are available at PTA.org.”

“The Disaster Relief Fund was established by National PTA to help with disaster assistance and respond to tragedies that grievously disrupt a school or education system. We encourage PTAs and schools impacted by this massive earthquake to apply for support from the fund. We also urge everyone to donate to the fund to help support PTAs and schools deemed not safe because of the damage.”

“In addition to National PTA’s Disaster Relief Fund, several community and charitable organizations are assisting those in need. Alaska PTA encourages those who can to join or donate to the Alaska VIP unit  to help classrooms recover from their losses.   The Red Cross is managing emergency shelters for those displaced by the earthquake is accepting financial donations for those people in need. We also encourage our members to support the Salvation Army, who is providing food for people sheltering at various centers and other organizations. “

“PTA members work hard every day to give our children, families and school communities what they need to thrive. Following this type of tragedy, our mission becomes that much more important. We know we can count on our PTA members across the country to help meet the needs caused by the Southcentral Alaska earthquake.”

 About Alaska PTA

 Alaska PTA is a collection of valued individuals across the state who serve as volunteers on the Board of Managers and on Standing and Special Committees to support local PTA units, advocate for improved education in Alaska and the U.S., and who speak together with one voice for the children and youth of Alaska.

 About National PTA 
PTA® comprises of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.

LaWanda Toney
Director of Strategic Communications
ltoney@pta.org
703-518-1237