PTA Take Your Family to School Week Brings Families into Classrooms Nationwide

PTAs and schools across the country host family-focused events Feb. 13-17

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 15, 2017)—National PTA has designated Feb. 13-17 PTA Take Your Family to School Week to encourage families to visit their child’s school and strengthen partnerships between parents, teachers and administrators. PTAs and schools nationwide are hosting a variety of events and activities to promote family engagement in education. The timing of the week honors the day PTA was founded, Feb. 17, 1897.

 

“For 120 years, National PTA has encouraged families to get more involved in their child’s education, as it is proven to have a positive impact on student success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “PTA Take Your Family to School Week shines a light on the significance of family engagement and provides families with an opportunity to visit their child’s school, meet school staff and inspire them to stay involved in their child’s education.”

 

Studies demonstrate that students with involved families attend school more often, earn higher grades, have higher graduation rates, have better social skills and show improved behavior. Family engagement also helps children navigate the challenges of growing up, such as bullying and online safety and responsibility.

 

This year, PTA Take Your Family to School Week incorporates the theme, “Celebrating the Changing Faces of Families” to honor the diversity of families and students across the country.

 

“Our nation’s children and families have many different talents, backgrounds, opportunities and challenges. It is critical that we recognize and celebrate the diversity of our school communities and ensure all families feel welcomed and supported,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “PTA is committed to helping school communities embrace diversity and inclusion, making sure the perspectives and needs of all families and students are represented, and empowering all families to support their children’s success.”

 

For more information on PTA Take Your Family to School Week, visit PTA.org/TYFTSW.

 

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.

 

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242


National PTA Honors Excellence in Building Family-School Partnerships

173 schools and PTAs designated as 2016-2018 National PTA Schools of Excellence

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 1, 2016)—National PTA is pleased to recognize 173 schools and PTAs from across the country as 2016-2018 National PTA Schools of Excellence for their leadership and accomplishments nationwide in building strong, effective family-school partnerships. The schools and PTAs represent 31 states and one Department of Defense school in Germany.

 

“Strong family-school partnerships are proven to advance children’s learning and growth, increase student achievement and positively impact school improvement efforts,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We are pleased to designate these schools and PTAs as 2016-2018 National PTA Schools of Excellence for their commitment to partnering to support student success and continuous school improvement.”

 

Through the National PTA School of Excellence program, PTAs partner with their schools to examine how families feel the school measures up to the research-based indicators of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. PTAs and schools then work together to address barriers and create new ways for families to support student success. The National PTA School of Excellence designation is awarded when a PTA and school have achieved a high level of family engagement or when a PTA and school have made substantive, positive improvement in families’ perceptions by the end of the school year.

 

“It is essential that families feel welcomed and valued in their children’s school and are active participants in their education. It is also critical that families and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA Schools of Excellence have put strong practices into place that involve families in the life of the school and are true examples of what can be accomplished when schools and families work together.”

 

In addition to receiving the 2016-2018 National PTA School of Excellence designation, National PTA will also recognize three of these schools and PTAs with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards for Innovation in Family Engagement—the highest honor presented by the association.

 

Join National PTA Friday, Sept. 9 at noon EDT on Facebook for a special live announcement of the 2016 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award recipients and National PTA School of Excellence program results.

 

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.

 

Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA

hmay@pta.org, (703) 518-1242


Thank You, Teachers Project

TWHFP-Official
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Thank You, Teachers Project, 240-604-7384 Megan Scribner, tyteachersproject@gmail.com

NEW THANK YOU, TEACHERS PROJECT LAUNCHES WAVE OF
GRATITUDE FOR NATION’S TEACHERS

A heart-filled project to lift up teachers, one thank you letter at a time

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2016 — Every day in classrooms across the country, dedicated professionals put in long hours educating students, preparing lessons, grading homework, engaging with families, collaborating with colleagues, and overcoming obstacles. Their work is vital to children, parents, communities, and our future, yet rarely do teachers receive the thanks they deserve. The new Thank You, Teachers Project wants to change that by sending a wave of gratitude to teachers across the country, one thank you letter at a time.

“Teachers have one of the most challenging and important jobs in our country; they give their all but receive little recognition” said Thank You, Teachers Project Founder Megan Scribner. “The Thank You, Teachers Project offers a space anchored in gratitude, where individuals can take a moment to reflect upon and share the profound impact teachers have had on their lives, and where teachers, in turn, can be strengthened with pride, recognition and well-deserved kindness.”

The Thank You, Teachers Project provides an online space where individuals of all ages can post thank you letters to the beloved teachers in their lives (past and present). Participants are invited to remember the special teachers who mentored them from kindergarten through college….in the classroom, on the field, in the art studio, on stage, in the library, or even in the principal’s office. Parents are encouraged to help their children participate.

To send a letter to a teacher, visit the Thank You, Teachers Project online and fill out the Thank You, Teachers form. Letters will be posted on the Thank You Letters Gallery and on the Teaching with Heart, Fire & Poetry Pinterest site.

Visitors are encouraged to read the thank you letters posted on The Gallery and Pinterest pages. Participants can also follow the progress of the project via the Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry website, Facebook page and on twitter @poetry4teachers. Posts should include the hashtag #tyteachers.

On June 30th, the name of one lucky teacher will be drawn from the submitted thank you letters for a free gift copy of Teaching with Heart – a best-selling poetry anthology in which teachers reflect on their favorite poems and how these poems help them sustain their energy and passion for teaching.

All visitors to the Thank You, Teachers Project will have the additional opportunity to thank their admired teachers with the choice of two special gift packages. With the Thank You Letter Package, teachers will be mailed a printed copy of the thank you letter, fit for framing. A copy of the letter will also be sent to the teacher’s principal or supervisor to help the teacher receive proper recognition on the job. The cost for this gift package is $10.00, which covers the cost of formatting and posting the letters, shipping and handling – and helps to support this effort.

The Thank You Letter & Book Package includes all of the above plus an autographed copy of Teaching with Heart. The cost for this gift package is $30.00. These letters and gifts offer a heartwarming means of recognizing and thanking teachers at the end of the school year.

In conceptualizing this special gratitude project, Scribner drew on her experience as co-editor of Teaching with Heart, as moderator of the Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry website, and as an active leader in her community schools. Through all these efforts, she has worked to give voice to teachers’ hopes and fears, courage and heart – and, in turn, to help renew and inspire teachers.

“Teachers sustain our society by developing the next generation of citizens, thinkers, artists, professionals and parents,” Scribner said. “Yet, the demands and pressures can be overwhelming, and the burn-out rate is climbing. We want to give something back to them.”

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Thank You, Teachers Project:

The Thank You, Teachers Project provides an online space where people can post thank you letters to the special teachers in their life. By publicly thanking these teachers – recognizing the exceptional and difficult work they do each and every day – we honor and celebrate all teachers!

Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry:

Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry is an online community blog for teachers to share about their work and life. The online community was inspired by Teaching with Heart and Teaching with Fire, best-selling poetry anthologies where teachers reflect on their favorite poems and speak about who they are, why they do what they do, and how they keep their heart and commitment alive in their teaching.

Megan Scribner has three decades of experience as an editor, including co-editing three poetry anthologies: Teaching with Heart, Teaching with Fire and Leading from Within. She designed and moderates the Teaching with Heart, Fire and Poetry website and blog. A recognized community leader, she has held many leadership roles in local PTAs and, in 2012, received the Takoma Park Azalea Award for School Activist. She continues as an active volunteer in her community and committed to honoring and supporting teachers.


Student Artists Honored Nationally for Letting Their Imaginations Fly in 2015-2016 Reflections Program

Students to be recognized at 2016 National PTA Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 11, 2016) — National PTA is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015-2016 Reflections® arts in education program. Seven students from across the country have been honored with the Outstanding Interpretation Award, and nearly 200 students have been recognized with Awards of Excellence and Merit. The awards honor creative interpretations of the theme “Let Your Imagination Fly” in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

“Participation in the arts inspires creativity and self-expression while building children’s confidence and sense of accomplishment. Involvement in the arts is also closely associated with students’ academic achievement, social and emotional development and civic engagement,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We applaud all of the students who participated in the 2015-2016 Reflections program, and we are thrilled to recognize the award winners for their talent and artistic ingenuity.”

During the 2015-2016 school year, nearly 300,000 students from more than 8,000 schools nationwide and in U.S. schools overseas submitted original works to be considered for PTA’s highest honors in the arts. Outstanding Interpretation Award recipients will receive an $800 scholarship to further their artistic talents. An additional $200 will be awarded to each Outstanding Interpretation Award recipient’s local PTA to support arts and cultural exploration in their community. Award of Excellence recipients will receive a $200 scholarship. All award recipients receive a medallion and certificate.

The following students have been recognized with the Outstanding Interpretation Award:

Micah Diana Williams
Old Town Elementary School, Round Rock, Texas
Special Artist: “No Limits With Imagination”

Effie Tutko
Sammamish High School, Bellevue, Wash.
Dance Choreography: “Everybody Rules Their World”

McKyna Woerner
Corner Canyon High School, Draper, Utah
Film Production: “Kou’s Crane”

Christian Foggie
Oakview Elementary School, Fountain Inn, S.C.
Literature: “Dan’s Adventure”

Camilo Gonzalez-Sol
Richard Montgomery High School, Takoma Park, Md.
Music Composition: “Study in Magenta: Songs for a Sunday Dream”

Roshan Muthugomu
Chamblee Middle School, Chamblee, Ga.
Photography: “Unleashing the Creative Side”

Mackenzie Smith
duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Ky.
Visual Arts: “When an Artist Imagines”

These students will present their works on stage at the 2016 National PTA Convention & Expo, Saturday, July 2 during an awards celebration. In addition to being recognized at the 2016 National PTA Convention & Expo, the 2015-2016 Reflections award recipients will also be honored in a ceremony on Jan. 10, 2017 at the U.S. Department of Education’s LBJ Building in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will open an exhibit of their artwork, which will be displayed in the building through the end of February 2017.

Each year, the National PTA Reflections program encourages students of all ages to explore and be involved in the arts in an educational way. Through the program, National PTA and PTAs across the country urge students in preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice—dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts—that reflect on the annual theme. There also is a special artist division to provide all students the opportunity to participate in the program. Submissions are reviewed by visual, literary and performing art experts, and students are recognized for their artistic ingenuity in bringing the theme to life.

“The National PTA Reflections program has inspired millions of students to explore their talents and be involved in the arts for nearly 50 years,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA remains committed to ensuring all students have the opportunity to experience the arts, as it is essential to helping them reach their full potential and preparing them for long-term success.”

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.


National PTA Applauds 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes

 

Hayes and other educators from across the country honored at the White House

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 4, 2016) — Last evening, President Barack Obama honored Jahana Hayes as the 2016 National Teacher of the Year in a special ceremony at the White House. Hayes teaches history at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn. She was selected to receive the honor for her commitment to the importance of service-learning and ensuring students are prepared to achieve success in life. In addition to Hayes, other educators from across the country were also selected for personal recognition by President Obama, including Jennifer Doll-Fowler, a second-grade teacher in Omaha, Neb. and president of Nebraska PTA.

“Jahana, Jennifer and teachers like them across the country have an immense impact on the lives and futures of our nation’s children,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA congratulates Jahana on her recognition as the 2016 National Teacher of the Year and applauds her, Jennifer and all teachers for the hours they spend and efforts they make to ensure every child reaches his/her full potential and is prepared for long-term success.”

Hayes strives to send students into the world not just academically prepared but as conscientious and productive members of society. Connecting lessons learned in school to real life is an integral part of her instruction. As the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Hayes is committed to engaging people who have not traditionally been part of the conversation to join in the effort to prepare well-rounded students for success—in school and beyond.

The National Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the State Teachers of the Year by a national selection committee representing leading education organizations, including National PTA. The National Teacher of the Year program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

In addition to being a part of the National Teacher of the Year program, National PTA designates the first week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week to thank, support and elevate these real life superheroes for their important contributions and the difference they make for children nationwide.

“Our teachers give so much,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “It is vital that teachers have our support and that we honor and thank them during Teacher Appreciation Week and all year round for going above and beyond for our kids.”

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.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@pta.org(703) 518-1242