The PTA offers and provides numerous and various programs for its members focused on creating meaningful engagement of families in student success and school improvement. Each and every program helps accomplish PTA’s mission to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.
National PTA School of Excellence is a recognition program that supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.
What Does it Take to Become a National PTA School of Excellence?
By enrolling in this program, your PTA and school administrators are making a year-long commitment in identifying and implementing an action plan for school improvement based on PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Those that exhibit improvement are honored as National PTA Schools of Excellence, a distinction that spans two years. Honorees receive celebration tools and automatic consideration for the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award and a $2,000 grant for their school. PTAs are encouraged to renew their designation each year, or every other year, to continue to build on their momentum. Your School of Excellence designation will help attract new, action-oriented PTA members who want to focus on the issues that affect our children the most. And being a National PTA School of Excellence will open the door to other honors and opportunities for your school.
National Reflections Arts Program – The Reflections Program is our nation’s largest and oldest arts education program of its kind. The program was developed in 1969 by Colorado’s PTA President Mary Lou Anderson to encourage students to explore their talents and express themselves. Since then, the Reflections Program has inspired millions of students to reflect on a specific theme and create original artwork. The program encourages and celebrates student participation in arts education opportunities and provokes students to reflect on a theme and use art to express their thoughts. The initiative also includes grants for local PTAs focused on enhancing arts education in their school or community.
Each year hundreds of thousands of students in preschool through grade 12 create and submit original works in the areas of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Students may participate in the national awards program through their school’s PTA.
It doesn’t have to be National Reading Month to host a PTA Family Reading Experience. Check out our NEW, interactive approach that engages the whole family in reading activities! Parents take part in the fun with their kids and leave the event with a deeper understanding of the simple ways they can support literacy. National PTA has partnered with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to provide literacy expertise and activities to host an engaging and effective Family Reading Experience.
National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative increases access to STEM education and careers, especially among under-represented youth, by developing, evaluating and sharing effective ways to engage families in STEM experiences, while working with partners to improve access to STEM school and community learning environments. PTA’s vision is that all students have the family and community support needed to access and pursue STEM opportunities and careers.
Research shows that one of the most effective ways to prevent bullying behavior is to create a positive school climate. School climate encompasses everything that contributes to a student’s experience with a school—from the physical building to policies, staff and peer culture. Use the Connect for Respect (C4R) Toolkit to guide your PTA/PTSA in engaging students in improving the school climate and reducing bullying.
The Healthy Lifestyles Initiative provides PTAs with education and tools to partner with schools and advocate for healthy changes in nutrition and physical activity. In a healthy school:
- All foods, beverages and snacks sold or served meet National School Nutrition Standards.
- All students have opportunities to be physically active on a regular basis.
- All students have access to regular physical education.
- District wide wellness policies are developed, implemented and evaluated with input from students, parents, staff and interested community members.
What PTAs Can Do
- Support Healthy School Meals
- Advocate for more physical activity and physical education in schools
- Establish School Wellness Policies
- Model positive health behaviors at your PTA meetings and fundraisers
- Participate in National PTA’s Healthy Lifestyles Month
The NOVA District PTA and the Virginia PTA are committed to promoting a sense of citizenship and responsibility in the lives of our children – tomorrow’s leaders. To demonstrate the value that NOVA District PTA and Virginia PTA places on good citizenship, we are proud to sponsor, support, and encourage Virginia students to write an essay for the annual Citizenship Essay Contest.