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Secretary of Education, NFL Commissioner, and Erin Gruwell Headline 117th Annual National PTA Convention in Cincinnati

Media Contact:
Kevin Chappell
Senior Editorial Manager
(703) 518-1255
kchappell@pta.org

Secretary of Education, NFL Commissioner, and Erin Gruwell
Headline 117th Annual National PTA Convention in Cincinnati

Inaugural Youth Summit focuses on
bullying and leadership training

CINCINNATI (June 20, 2013)—More than 1,000 parents, teachers and students from across the country will gather at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati today to kick off the 117th National PTA Convention and Exhibition, a four-day event featuring more than 200 exhibits, some of the country’s top advocates for children, and several town-hall style meetings focusing on school safety and bullying.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 2013 National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau, and Kari Byron, host of Discovery Channel’s flagship show, “MythBusters,” will address attendees.

The convention also marks the launch of a partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and the National PTA. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will address attendees and kick off a health and safety initiative. It is the first time the National PTA has partnered with a sports organization, and the first time a sports commissioner has addressed PTA constituents at the event.

Erin Gruwell—educator, champion of diversity, and award-winning author—will deliver the keynote address on Friday, June 21st.  Gruwell is the author of the celebrated book “The Freedom Writers Diary,” an inspiring chronicle of her experience with 150 “unteachable” high school students and their transformative journey from poverty and despair to hope and promise. In 2007, Gruwell’s story was told in the film “Freedom Writers” starring actress Hilary Swank.

For the first time at the convention, the National PTA will host a Youth Leadership Summit, interactive leadership and advocacy training that will prepare youth leaders to mobilize their peers around specific issues in their school and community. The Summit includes several workshops, team projects and a breakfast with the National PTA Board of Directors to discuss education issues that are of concern to students.

To recognize the importance of arts in school, there will be a Reflections Arts in Education Luncheon. Seven students will be honored for their outstanding works of art. These students were selected from nearly 300,000 who participated from across the country and in American schools overseas. Since 1969, the National PTA has engaged millions of students through its Reflections program, inspiring them to reflect on a theme and create original artwork.

“This promises to be a tremendous convention,” National PTA President Betsy Landers says. “There will be a wide variety of high-quality workshops with valuable information, ideas and resources. We have great speakers, and informative workshops. It will be an opportunity for our members to network and become re-energized as volunteer advocates for all children.”

During the convention, delegates will witness the installation of the next president, elect members to the National PTA board of directors and debate three new resolutions, which guide the association’s position on current issues affecting children.

Media Credentials Required

National PTA Press Center, Duke Energy Convention Center, Room 234

Representatives of the media will be admitted to meetings upon presentation of press credentials. Reporters with appropriate press passes will be permitted to sit in the nonvoting section at all general meetings to cover the proceedings. All interviews with delegates or individual attendees should be arranged through National PTA’s press office.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.