(Excerpted from National PTA Website, www.PTA.org)
Who We Are–The Parent Teacher Association
Membership is open to anyone who believes in the Mission and Purposes of National Parent Teacher Association. Individual members may belong to any number of PTAs and pay dues in each. Every person who joins a local PTA automatically becomes a member of both the state and National PTAs.
Together we are a powerful voice for children.
With your help, we can continue to work toward PTA’s goal of a quality education and nurturing environment for every child.
The Mission of the Parent Teacher Association
·To support and speak on behalf of children and youth in the schools, in the community, and before governmental bodies and other organizations that make decisions affecting children;
·To assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children;
·To encourage parent and public involvement in the public schools of this nation.
The Purposes of the Parent Teacher Association
·To promote the welfare of the children and youth in home, school, community, and place of worship.
·To raise the standards of home life.
·To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth.
·To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of children and youth.
·To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure for all children and youth the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education.
The Local Parent Teacher Association
The PTA at the local level is linked to the state PTA and National PTA, forming a nationwide network of members working on behalf of all children and youth.
Because of its connections to the state and National PTAs, the local PTA is a valuable resource to its school community with (1) access to programs to benefit children, youth, and their families, and (2) the recognition and size to influence the formulation of laws, policies, and practices—education or legislative.
Early Childhood PTAs
Preschool groups often round up parents from several neighborhoods and various early-childhood programs. They involve child-care providers, grandparents, and others concerned with the education and development of children from birth to age five.
Elementary/Middle School PTAs
PTAs serve as a type of forum where parents, teachers, administrators, and other concerned adults discuss ways to promote quality education, strive to expand the arts, encourage community involvement, and work for a healthy environment and safe neighborhoods.
PTSAs actually provide youth members with the opportunity to make a difference by developing leadership skills, learning about the legislative process, increasing their self-esteem, and contributing to the school. In turn, adult members gain a new perspective for program development, as well as acquire a better understanding of the youth of today.
Special Education PTAs
National PTA believes that all children have the right to a quality public education, which allows each child the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential. Special Education PTAs are designed to help parents advocate for special-needs children.
PTA’s Nonsectarian Policy
PTA welcomes into membership people representing a diversity of cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and political and religious beliefs. The Purposes of the PTA acknowledge the importance of a spiritual life in the development of children and youth. As an association, PTA has the right to offer inspirational messages to open or close its meetings, but such messages by PTA leaders or invited religious leaders should be inspirational rather than sectarian, recognizing that in this pluralistic nation not all members share the same beliefs. Poetry, quotations from great men and women, uplifting anecdotes, and moments of quiet meditation can be used.