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?
- Share 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.
- “Involvement: You will get the most our of your PTA membership by taking some time to get involved. Every person’s level of involvement will look different based on many outside factors. Plan on attending some or all of the PTA meetings your unit holds. Along with learning valuable information, you often have a chance to meet teachers and hear from administration. Attend some events that your PTA unit is hosting and take that time to meet other parents, familiarize yourself with the school, and offer to volunteer when you can.
- “Engagement: Learn more about your child’s school and how it stacks up to others in the area. Get to know your child’s teacher(s) and understand his/her expectations in the classroom. Read about the issues that affect the health, education and safety of our children, under the Advocacy tab of this website. Offer to take the lead in organizing an event, or offer to be a chairperson to a committee that still needs one. Read the minutes of any meetings you have missed, so you are ‘in the know’ with your PTA.
The first step to getting involved in PTA is to become a member! There are three basic avenues for personal membership in 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.