“Parent involvement in education is like the frosting on a cupcake,
it makes it complete and oh so sweet.”
Almost every school has some sort of parent organization, whether big or small. It is a group of teachers and the parents working together towards improving the school and the benefiting the students at the school or local level. Parent organizations may be either an informal group of involved parents or a formally established group. There are different names to the formal ones like Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Either way it can be a priceless avenue of information and support. So, you might be asking what are the differences, if any.
Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO): PTO is a generic term. They represent thousands of groups that choose to remain independent and not be affiliated with a syndicated group. These groups are restricted to their particular school, operating under their own by-laws. Their goals, similar to other associations, are to foster a healthy, nurturing school environment for children, encourage parental and community involvement as well as build partnership between teachers and parents.
Parent Teacher Association (PTA): This is probably the most popular name heard. Founded in 1897, the local PTAs affiliate with the national PTA. Which means, that the state PTAs pay their dues to the national PTA and in return they get member benefits. At the national level, PTA speaks to schools and government on behalf of children. The PTA website has loads of valuable information for parents on topics ranging from health and wellness to technology. www.pta.org
We are members of the PTA at our school and to be honest, I take great pride in saying that because we have a wonderful group of involved parents and teachers that want to see the children and the school to succeed. What better way to show your child that you care about their education. Your involvement doesn’t only have an impact at the local level but can have a far-reaching impact.
Parents on a Mission:
In Charlotte, a local school PTA has adopted another school where the parents aren’t really able to organize a PTA and support their children and school. They raise funds for their sister school, go in and read books to children, organize events for the teachers and students and much more.
Feel free to share your experiences with the PTA in the comments below…