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National PTA President Helps Build School in the Dominican Republic

Media Contact

Heidi May, Media Relations Manager

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 24, 2014) — National PTA President Otha Thornton is participating in a Lifetouch Memory Mission® from Jan. 21 through 28 to build a school in the Dominican Republic for the children in an impoverished, farming community. Lifetouch, the leading national provider of school and family photography, organized the trip and invited school administrators, principals, educators and PTA leaders throughout North America to work alongside Lifetouch volunteers and Dominican nationals to build the school.

Memory Mission volunteers are working on a variety of projects, including block and concrete work, stucco and paint finishing for the classrooms. Participants also are visiting community members and will participate in a day of photography, providing first-ever portraits for many of the children.

During the week-long trip, Memory Mission participants are holding conversations with their home schools or offices using Google Hangout. In addition to hearing their personal experiences, viewers are able to see the surroundings and construction site. Live broadcasts as well as recordings of these conversations can be viewed by visiting and clicking the YouTube logo in the bottom left corner of the page. A conversation featuring President Thornton will be broadcast beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 27.

Since the inception of the Lifetouch Memory Mission in 2000, Lifetouch hands have helped rebuild a village in war-ravaged Kosovo, repair homes in Appalachia, establish a children’s center in Jamaica, and construct a bridge in the land of the Navajo in Arizona. They have built 11 schools across Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Memory Mission volunteers have also provided on-site assistance to victims of natural disasters throughout the United States, including Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, floods in the Dakotas, fires in California, and tornadoes across the Midwest.

Lifetouch is a Proud National Sponsor and the official photographer of National PTA.

To learn more about past and current Lifetouch Memory Missions, visit