Access to Opportunities

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Access to Opportunities (Programs/DEI)

PTA’s mission is to make every child’s potential a reality. As an association dedicated to speaking for every child with one voice, we are deeply committed to furthering diversity, equity and inclusion across America. We believe every child has the right to a high-quality public education.

To achieve this, PTAs across the country are committed building a strong community and providing opportunities for all children to realize their full potential. Through special programs and inclusive, school-wide initiatives, PTAs can make a true impact on every student.

The PTAs featured below are making a difference by offering students access to opportunities to help them grow and thrive.

Access to Opportunities

Lakeshore Elementary School PTA

San Francisco, Calif.

After two years of remote learning due to the pandemic, the Lakeshore Elementary School PTA in San Francisco, Calif., wanted to do something that would help families reconnect to the school community. When they could resume in-person events, they used their grant from National PTA and Bayer Fund to host PTA’s STEM + Families Science Festival, inviting families back to school for a fun night of STEM. Using the supplied program guide, the festival included hands-on learning activities, giving their students an opportunity to form early positive memories tied to STEM. Leading up to the festival, a PTA volunteer gave lessons to fifth grade classes on water and environmental justice work. The students then developed science fair projects to test the school’s water supply for lead. The results of those projects were shared by the students on the night of the festival. The PTA also had Chinese and Spanish interpreters at the festival to reach more of their diverse family population. All of their promotion efforts paid off! Attendance was double of what they had at previous science fairs, with one family saying “we really needed this!” With the school once again filled with families, the festival truly began a healing process for their school community that was deeply meaningful, with many community members meeting for the first time. The event also highlighted the great work PTA does and helped drive attendance at events that were held after the festival. #HowWePTA

Lakeshore Elementary PTA

In their own words:
“Many of our families are from underrepresented groups in STEM, so it was deeply significant to reach these children at such a young age with fun, enticing ways to access STEM learning, showing that the STEM fields are for them.”
—Lakeshore Elementary PTA
In their own words:
“Seeing young students of color not just connecting with science but understanding how science can unlock important social justice questions about access to clean water made this a truly memorable event.”
—Lakeshore Elementary PTA


Highlands Elementary School PTA

Huntsville, Ala.

As a Title 1 school with a student population of over 90% African American and Spanish-speaking ESL students, the PTA at Highlands Elementary School in Huntsville, Ala., understands their students have a disproportionate risk of being behind grade-level in reading. To improve their literacy rate and instill a lifelong love of reading within their students, they offered several literacy-focused activities to their community. The main highlight of the campaign was educating students about the benefits of the public library and showing them how to get their free library cards! They also hosted monthly Story Times—where the school principal read aloud to families—featuring selections from National PTA’s “Family Guide to Selecting Diverse Books” sponsored by Office Depot to ensure their students felt represented in literature. Story Time was a huge hit, with over 70 families attending some months! Through their literacy initiatives and hard work to support the unique needs of their student population, Highlands Elementary School PTA received the 2020-2022 School of Excellence designation from National PTA! #HowWePTA #PTAExcellence

How We PTA Highlands

In their own words:
“The "Story Time” events were a truly impactful way for our principal to interact with students of all ages, modeling the importance of reading and helping them practice and develop their literacy skills.”
—Holly Jones, Highlands Elementary PTA President


Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs

Miami Dade County, Fla.

While the overall vaccination rate in Miami Dade County, Fla. was good, there were pockets of the community where rates were very low. That’s where the Miami Dade Council of PTAs stepped in! Using their grant from National PTA and the Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” campaign, they hosted a community health fair for families from across the county. They partnered with a local hospital to offer vaccines at the fair, and other organizations participated by sharing ways for kids to stay healthy, including the United Way and the local Parks and Recreation department. The Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High Marching Band and a local dance team and color guard provided entertainment, and the event featured food trucks and other fun activities for the kids. The superintendent of schools (who was in his first week on the job), attended the event and shared how impressed he was at just how powerful PTA’s impact can be in supporting community needs. The health fair informed people about the vaccine and other important health topics, and several people received the vaccine that day—truly saving lives! #HowWePTA

In their own words:
“We were so happy to see the entire community come together at the health fair. This event has set the groundwork for similar events we can have in the future!”
—Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs

Miami-Dade County Council of PTAs



Adams Elementary School PTA

Norman, Okla.

Adams Elementary School PTA in Norman, Okla., understood the importance of getting their students, families and members of their community vaccinated against COVID-19. When the vaccine became approved for children aged 5-11, the PTA was thrilled to receive a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ “We Can Do This” campaign to partner with a local lab and hold a vaccine clinic at the school. The clinic was open for four hours on a Saturday afternoon, and families could sign-up online in advance or in-person the day of event. They promoted the clinic through their social media pages. To further incentivize people to attend the event and get vaccinated, they offered a pop-up toy store, snacks and hourly giveaways. They were “truly amazed” at the turn-out and feedback! In all 300 people in their community were vaccinated at the clinic, which truly saved lives! #HowWePTA

Adams Elementary School PTA

In their own words:
“This partnership with Adams Elementary School PTA was more than we ever imagined. Looking back to 2020, this is what we were looking for to reach the community in a more effective way. We now understand the power of PTA.”
—Immy Labs Community Partner


Raymond Park Intermediate and Middle School PTSA

Indianapolis, Ind.

Raymond Park Intermediate and Middle School in Indianapolis, Ind., is comprised of fifth through eighth graders, and per the CDC, Indiana State and Marion County guidelines, the school was challenged with safely reopening under two different guidelines due to the ages of the students. Offering a variety of options created several communication challenges for Raymond Park Intermediate and Middle School’s PTSA. They wanted to continue to be relevant, welcoming and inclusive to all their school’s families, students and staff, so they focused on strengthening their partnerships with families, students and the school in general by creating, executing and hosting educational tools and fun activities to bring the staff, parents and students together during a very isolated year. #HowWePTA #PTAExcellence

SOE-PTA-Raymond-Park



Twin Echo Elementary PTA

Collinsville, Ill.

To keep the Twin Echo Elementary school community in Collinsville, Ill., connected and to give everyone the same opportunity to learn, the PTA used their COVID-19 Relief Grant sponsored by TikTok to purchase the One School, One Book program, which provides books to every student with grade appropriate lessons. Students across the school were reading the same books at the same time! The PTA shared pictures and videos of students and teachers all reading their books, bringing the community together while distance learning. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Twin Echo

TikTok Grant Story - Twin Echo Quote


In their own words:
"Throughout the project, families would share pictures of their children working through the books and packets. We loved seeing the excitement for literacy!"


Allan F Keeth Elementary PTA

Winter Springs, FL.

Program: STEM + Families Propelling Our World
Sponsor: Huntington Ingalls Industries
Program Model: At Home-Self Paced

Last school year, Keeth Elementary PTA wanted to bring their community together during remote learning. They decided to host a National PTA STEM + Families Propelling Our World program, sponsored by Huntington Ingalls Industries, to engage families in hands-on STEM activities. Using the At Home program option, families participated in the activities from the comfort of their home at their own pace. It was a smashing success! The program allowed the PTA to reach over 700 family members, learn about their unique needs and foster a sense of connection to the school. #HowWePTA

PTA Programs at Home

PTA Programs at Home



Kaumana PTA

Hilo, HI.

Program: PTA Connected Smart Talk Conversation
Sponsor: TikTok
Program Model: At Home-Self Paced

With the majority of the students and families at their school regularly engaging in social media and other online activities, Kaumana PTA hosted National PTA’s PTA Connected Smart Talk Conversation program last school year to help get adults and kids on the same page. Using the At Home, At Your Own Pace program option, families participated in the activities from the comfort of their home when it was most convenient for them. The program helped adults realize that they need to be more consciously aware of what their children are doing online and check in with them more often. #HowWePTA

How We PTA


In their own words:
“National PTA offers versatile programming that fits the needs of your school community. Our PTA leaders found the PTA Connected Smart Talk Conversation program easy to run and our families found the program easy to participate in and the content useful, fun and enjoyable.”
—Kaumana PTA


Yorktown Elementary PTA

Bowie, MD.

Program: Healthy Hydration
Sponsor: Nestle Waters
Program Model: At Home, Real-Time

With their school community feeling a bit disconnected with distance learning, Yorktown Elementary PTA hosted National PTA’s Healthy Hydration program last school year to help connect and bring students and families together around something fun and healthy. Using the At Home, Real-Time program option, families participated together in an interactive virtual event from the comfort of their homes. The experience featured fun activities that helped them understand the amount of sugar in different beverages, the importance of drinking water, and how to infuse water with fresh fruit to give it more flavor and get children excited about drinking it. Everyone who participated was very engaged, and families gave feedback on how much they enjoyed the program. #HowWePTA

Yorktown Elementary PTA



Alki Elementary PTA

Seattle, WA.

Program: STEM + Families Science Festival
Sponsor: Bayer Fund
Program Model: At Home, Real-Time, At Your Own Pace and Tech-Free

Last school year, Alki Elementary PTA had to cancel an in-person science fair they had planned to host due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, they pivoted to use the National PTA STEM + Families Science Festival At Home program model, sponsored by Bayer Fund, to engage their families in STEM activities in a new way. The festival gave their community a sense of resilience and accomplishment and provided them a way to stay connected even while not being together in their school building. It also helped shift families’ perceptions about where and how learning takes place and what it looks like. Additionally, it allowed them to see so many of their community’s little faces on screen for the love of science, lots of laughter, lots of discussion and lots of community. #HowWePTA

PTA Programs at Home

PTA Programs at Home



Highlands Elementary PTA

Huntsville, AL.

When Highlands Elementary PTA in Huntsville, Ala., heard that the Alabama Literacy Act had been passed by the state legislature, they immediately wanted to help their students. The Act requires all students to demonstrate grade-level literacy by the end of the third grade to advance to the fourth grade. So, they enrolled in the National PTA School of Excellence program, set a goal of supporting student success, developed a yearlong literacy initiative, and went to work.

Highlands Elementary is a Title 1 school where over 90% of students are African American, and the school has a growing number of Spanish-speaking ESL students. Both groups have a disproportionate risk of failing to pass grade-level literacy tests, so Highlands Elementary PTA designed their initiative to provide families opportunities to practice their literacy skills together—helping them get free public library cards, familiarizing them with the library’s resources, and holding multiple reading events designed to encourage participation in literacy activities. #HowWePTA #PTAExcellence

Highlands SOE Students

Highlands Quote


In their own words:
“As principal, when I think of a School of Excellence designation, I envision a professional learning community that's all-encompassing of diversity and equity in catering to the needs of our stakeholders, both instructionally and socially.”
—Hovet Lee Dixon, Jr., Highlands Elementary PTA Principal


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