Today, National PTA is celebrating 125 years of advocacy, legacy and impact. The association was founded on Feb. 17, 1897, “to make the nation recognize the importance of every child.” This mission continues today through the association’s steadfast commitment to being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and a strong advocate for public education.
“125 years ago, our founders saw beyond the status quo of their day, recognized the value of the parent perspective, and took action to change the world for all children,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “Today, we carry on their legacy and take their dreams into the future by uplifting the voices of all families, supporting our nation’s teachers and schools, and ensuring every child has everything they need to make their potential a reality.”
“Since our founding in 1897, PTA members and leaders have taken direct action every day to improve the education, health, safety and well-being of every child and give our children, families and school communities what they need to thrive. PTA has changed the course of our nation’s history. We are proud of our accomplishments and will use this milestone anniversary to rededicate ourselves to our work—which is more important than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the gun and school safety epidemic, and the fight for racial justice and equity in our country,” King added.
National PTA played a vital role in historic achievements, including the establishment of public-school kindergarten, child labor laws, the federal school lunch program and more. Today, the association is fighting for safe, supportive, equitable and inclusive practices in schools for all students; solutions to gun violence; and an end to systemic racism in America, among many other issues. PTA also remains focused on empowering families with knowledge, tools and resources; encouraging families to actively engage in their children’s education; connecting and strengthening partnerships between families, teachers and schools; and helping families, schools and communities navigate challenges.
National PTA is kicking off celebrations of its 125th anniversary on Founders’ Day, in conjunction with Take Your Family to School Week. The week will mark the launch of a PTA Day of Service initiative designed to forward the association’s mission, give back to communities across the country and increase awareness of the work PTAs do every day. The association will also be celebrating its anniversary at the National PTA 125th Anniversary Convention, which will be held June 14-19 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
“Our 125th anniversary is a special opportunity to reflect on the importance of our association’s mission, and to invite everyone to join PTA in our efforts to ensure all perspectives are heard and considered. There’s still so much work to do to make sure the needs of every child are met,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA Executive Director. “As we have since 1897, PTA will continue to be a thought leader on critical issues impacting our nation’s families, including diversity, equity and inclusion for justice; culture and communication for a new era; and transformative family-school partnerships. We are stronger together, and together, we can build a better future.”
Registration is now open for the National PTA 125th Anniversary Convention. All PTAs are also encouraged to register, plan and host a Day of Service event anytime between Feb. 17 and June 30 in celebration of the association’s milestone anniversary. The Day of Service initiative is supported by Proud National PTA Sponsors The Allstate Foundation and BAND.