Friday, January 12, 2018

Celebrate Take Your Family to School Week All Week Long

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog




Take Your Family to School Week (Feb. 11-17) is more than just a one-night event, it is a weeklong celebration of family engagement and the great work PTAs have done to support the school community.
This year we came up with an easy way for every family to participate in celebrating PTA—Daily themes!
Maker Monday: Celebrate the arts in your school community.
  • Showcase the artwork of your 2018 Reflections participants by creating a display in the school entryway. Share pictures of students, teachers, and parents enjoying the display using #PTAProud.
Try-it Tuesday: Help create healthy eating habits by encouraging families to try a new food or recipe.
  • Pick a fruit or vegetable to be an honored guest! Set-up tasting stations throughout the cafeteria where students can try your featured ingredient prepared in different ways. Share the recipes that you used with your school community.
Writer Crush Wednesday: Share your love of reading!
  • Set up an area before or after school for students to read classic love poems and to write their own. There is no better valentine then one that comes directly from the heart! Check out this list for some school appropriate poems.
Techie Thursday: Use this day to highlight the “T” in Stem
  • Share an interview with the school technology administrator or robotics coach and ask them what things they wish the greater school community new about the technology opportunities within your school. Even better, set-up an online chat where parents or families can ask the questions live!
Family Celebration Friday: Celebrate all the families in your school community!
  • Use this day to take the time to thank everyone for celebrating with us this year!
With these themes, every PTA member and school can participate in Take Your Family to School Week. We cannot wait to celebrate the founding of National PTA with you all week long! Remember to use #PTAProud to show how you are celebrating Take Your Family to School Week on social media! And, Make sure to share your events with us!
Alyssa Montchal is a Programs & Partnerships Program Manager at National PTA.




Thursday, January 11, 2018

4 Reasons to Attend the 2018 Legislative Conference

Source: National PTA One Voice Blog

By Marques Ivey, Vice President of Advocacy
At our core, National PTA is an advocacy association working to improve the lives of children and families. Attending the National PTA Legislative Conference (LegCon) March 13-15 is a great way to enhance your advocacy skills to be more effective in your community. I have attended LegCon before, and each year I still find myself learning something new, or hearing a perspective I never would have encountered otherwise.
This year’s theme is “Get in the Game” to celebrate the Olympic spirit. We are excited to showcase how you can incorporate the spirit of sports, teamwork, and sense of accomplishment into your advocacy work during this year’s conference.
LegCon will be bigger than ever this year! There are the top four reasons you should attend:
  1. Workshops that will help you influence education policy
At LegCon, participants will get a chance to learn from PTA leaders and experts who have used advocacy skills to improve public education in their communities, states and at the federal level. Participants will engage in interactive skills-building workshops to improve their own advocacy abilities and will go home with best practices to share within their PTA network.
  1. Discussions and networking to better understand how PTA advocates shape public policy
At last year’s LegCon, I was able to network with a lot of great PTA advocates from around the country from Alaska to Puerto Rico and even some from Europe who work with our military families. It was interesting to hear from them about their challenges in their communities and share ideas on how to improve our kids’ education. This year will be no different. I am excited to join other PTA members and learn how we can advocate more effectively in our school districts and states.
  1. Meetings on Capitol Hill with your Senators and Members of Congress
My favorite part of each LegCon is the opportunity to speak with federal policymakers about issues facing our schools and families during National PTA’s Capitol Hill Day. I was very excited to discuss these issues with members of Congress and their staff and to have them hear from us—America’s parents, teachers and community leaders—about ways to improve education. They want to hear directly from people like you who know their schools and communities best.
  1. Improved Capitol Hill Day Schedule
This year, Capitol Hill Day will be on Wednesday instead of Thursday. This new schedule will allow us to debrief and have follow-up workshops with each other on Thursday morning. The goal is for PTA advocates to walk away with even more skills and understanding on how to impact policies in their communities.
I can’t wait to “Get in the Game” and continue PTA’s legacy of advocating for every child to have the opportunity to reach their full potential. I hope you will join me and hundreds of other PTA advocates and me at this year’s LegCon.
Register here to attend the National PTA Legislative Conference.
Marques Ivey is the Vice President of Advocacy, Chair of the Legislation Committee, and member of the board of directors for the National PTA. He is married to Stacey, an educator for almost 19 years and together have three children.