We Advocate To
Provide and connect students with necessary behavioral and mental health resources at school and in their community
Improve access to and funding for qualified school-based health and wellness practitioners, such as school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists and school social workers
Encourage schools to use positive school discipline policies and behavioral interventions and supports that are effective, fair and consistently implemented.
Promote social-emotional learning, including resources for families to support this critical practice at home.
Every year in the United States, up to 20% of children and youth experience a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder 
Positive school climate has been linked to several important outcomes including increased student self-esteem and self-concept, decreased absenteeism, enhanced risk prevention, reduced behavioral problems and disciplinary actions (in-school detention and out-of-school suspension), and increased school completion 
The better-developed student social and emotional competencies are, the better students do in school and life. This holds for students from different economic backgrounds, races/ethnicities and genders 
71% of principals report that they have partly or systematically implemented social-emotional learning programs 
 Cohen, J., McCabe, E., Michelli, N., & Pickeral, T. (2009). School climate: Research, policy, practice and teacher education. Teachers College Record, 111, 180-213.
Conley, D. T. (2010). College and career ready: Helping all students succeed beyond high school. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Voice From the Field
Schools are places where much more than academic skills are acquired. Delaware PTA began advocating for
elementary school wellness centers when their former Attorney General Matt Denn proposed a set of initiatives
and funding to help students in high-poverty elementary schools. Elementary school-based wellness centers
provide not only wellness services but immunizations, dental exams, eye exams and sick visits. They also provide
critical wrap around services, along with mental health counseling and trauma-informed healthcare. To promote
the creation and funding of these centers in high-poverty elementary schools, Delaware PTA mobilized its
membership statewide to contact legislators and testify at Legislative Hall in their state capitol. Delaware PTA
engaged in coalition building with the Colonial School District, and two legislative champions emerged: Rep.
Kim Williams and Rep. Val Longhurst. Legislation passed the Delaware House and Senate and was signed by the
Governor, eventually funding two elementary school wellness centers for one year. There are now seven wellness
centers in elementary school settings that are state recognized school-based health service provider sites. Delaware
PTA remains vigilant in its advocacy as funding for these wellness centers continues to be of concern and the
benefits of these centers are worth fighting for.