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National PTA Honors Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Representative Jahana Hayes with Congressional Voice for Children Award

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Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 1, 2024)—National PTA is pleased to honor Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05) with its 2024 Congressional Voice for Children Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership and commitment to advancing issues impacting children and youth. National PTA will acknowledge Senator Capito and Representative Hayes during the association’s 2024 Legislative Conference, Wednesday, March 6.

“Senator Capito and Representative Hayes have been staunch advocates for issues critical to the safety, well-being and success of our nation’s children,” said Yvonne Johnson, president of National PTA. “From fighting for an equitable education for all students, safe and supportive school communities, and policies that support meaningful family engagement and family-school partnerships, we thank and commend them for being true voices on Capitol Hill for all children and families. We are thrilled to honor them with our 2024 Congressional Voice for Children Award.”

As ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Senator Capito has played an important role in supporting education institutions across the country. Senator Capito has been a lead sponsor on the Resilience Investment, Support and Expansion, or RISE from Trauma Act, which would strengthen school and community efforts to support children and families who have experienced or may be exposed to trauma. Senator Capito, a former educator, has also fought to secure funding for federal programs like Head Start, understands the importance of out-of-school learning opportunities and non-traditional educational paths, and helped launch the Senate’s first Women in STEM Caucus.

“I am incredibly grateful to National PTA for this award and look forward to our continued partnership. We need every child to have a chance to thrive in the classroom, which is why I am proud to work with our local and national partners at PTA to better serve students,” Senator Capito, Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS), said. “It is critical to give kids as many opportunities as possible to learn and reach their full potential, especially at school.”

As a member of the House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee, Representative Hayes has supported a multitude of education bills and proposals that would make classrooms safer and more equitable for all students, including the Bill of Rights for Students and Parents Resolution. The Congresswoman has also fought for significant increases to federal education funding to reverse the decades of chronic disinvestment in public education, introduced bills that would invest in supports for educators, and been a strong proponent of commonsense gun laws that will help keep communities safe. Before coming to Congress, Representative Hayes was a history teacher for 15 years, and she earned the distinction of National Teacher of the Year in 2016.

“A strong parent-teacher partnership is incredibly important to student success, and National PTA plays a critical role in strengthening that dynamic. I deeply appreciate this recognition of my work to promote swift and comprehensive action on the many issues school children and families face,” said Representative Hayes. “Together, parents, teachers and legislators can work to address the gaps so that our children have a community of support to help them thrive on their academic journey.”

Senator Capito and Representative Hayes will be recognized during an awards celebration as part of the National PTA’s 2024 Legislative Conference. Every year, National PTA’s Legislative Conference or LegCon brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to take action on the association’s advocacy priorities. During the conference, attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops to get an update on issues impacting children, families and schools and grow their advocacy skills. Attendees will also amplify their voices by meeting with their members of Congress, Wednesday, March 6. The theme for this year’s conference is Share Power for Every Child.

“Raising our voices and ensuring power is shared—among families, educators, administrators, policymakers—is so important to helping every child reach their full potential,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “At PTA, we remain steadfast in our mission to make every child’s potential a reality, and we will never stop speaking loudly and demanding more to ensure all children have the support they need to thrive.”

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 family engagement 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. For more information, visit