Happy National Volunteer Week!

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Our PTA leaders have always been the backbones of their communities, working to make every child’s potential a reality. In moments of crisis, our PTA mission becomes that much more important. Our PTA family members across the country have answered the call, going above and beyond to meet the educational and social and emotional needs of all students, educators and families during the pandemic.

This National Volunteer Week, we want to take the opportunity to recognize a few of the leaders who make us so #PTAProud.

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Reaching Out to Families

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean total disconnection! Clara B. Worth PTA in New Jersey is tackling this problem head on with a hefty dose of school spirit. Their school mascot is the “Bees”, so students woke up this weekend with a sign in their front yard saying “YOU’VE BEEN BUZZED! #WEBEELIEVE, with love from the CBW PTA.” What an un-bee-lievably cute way to spread joy. Check out the news article on their efforts.

Partnering with Schools

Family engagement is truly the key to school success, and Beacon Hill PTA in Seattle is a fantastic model of what that can look like in action! This PTA has become a vital go-between for their school and community, hosting weekly virtual meetings with the principal, school staff and other school parents to see how PTA can help support our families. Together, they’ve created a Right Now Needs Fund to help families meet urgent basic needs including food, household supplies and bills. Explore more of the great work they’re doing!

Continuing Initiatives

PTA has long believed that the arts are essential to a well-rounded education—our beloved Reflections program just celebrated 50 years of helping children develop artistic literacy, increase their confidence and explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas. Blue Grass Elementary PTA member (and K-5 Art teacher) Nikki Gillette is supporting that idea by using her own talents! She has created a new YouTube channel, uploading easy at-home art lessons twice a week to support her students and her community during the pandemic. Watch her awesome videos!

Hosting Virtual Events

Books can help us think more deeply about our lives and the changing world we live in, but they can also provide an escape from everyday stress, which is particularly important for children. Alki Elementary PTA hosted a virtual Scholastic book fair to promote literacy in their school community. All orders will ship to students’ houses, and they have an option for families to pledge money that their principal will match with vouchers that families can use to shop. See how they did it!

Speaking Up for Students

At the end of the day, PTA is all about engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. The Fairfax County Special Education PTA is hard at work getting answers from their school district regarding special education questions to pass them on to their members. As a special education PTA, it’s critical for them to gather information for students with disabilities on how to accommodate their needs during this time. Way to go!

Tackling COVID-19 Together

This is just a very small sample of the amazing things our PTAs are doing to support their communities during the COVID-19 health crisis. To help ease the emerging challenges this pandemic presents, National PTA has compiled resources, tools and information to support our families and teachers who are navigating working, teaching and learning at home. You can access those at PTA.org/COVID-19.

Is your PTA doing something great? Tell us about it! Visit PTA.org/PTAProud.

Corinne Canning is the associate manager of editorial and marketing at National PTA.