The holiday season is a time of hustle and bustle – bargain hunting, shopping for the perfect gifts and spending hours cooking, decorating and preparing for guests. The season also is a time of thanksgiving and for giving back. We’re all familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but have you heard of #GivingTuesday? December 2, the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, has been designated #GivingTuesday – a day set aside to remind us of the spirit of the season and encourage us to give back to the organizations in our communities working to make a difference and effect positive change.
All children deserve a high-quality education and access to services that will enable them to reach their full potential. But across the country, schools and communities are facing challenges and budget shortfalls, and as a result, important lessons and opportunities are being left out.
Nationwide, PTAs are working hard to fill in the gaps. From supplementing classroom lessons with activities that make learning fun and making sure all children have access to the arts, to teaching kids how to make healthy and safe decisions every day – PTAs are helping schools improve; communities grow and prosper; and making a difference for the education, health and welfare of all children.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I’m asking for your support of PTAs across the country and the important work they are doing by donating this #GivingTuesday to National PTA. National PTA develops programs and resources that PTAs rely on to effect change and fill in the gaps in their schools and communities. The association also empowers parents to speak up and advocate for their and all children – before their school boards, local and state government, and in Washington DC.
National PTA is the conscience of the country for children issues. Through advocacy and family and community education, National PTA has established programs and called for legislation in areas including:
- Early childhood education
- Health and wellness programs
- Family engagement
- School safety
- Juvenile justice
- Arts in education
And because of the work of National PTA, our nation has child labor laws to protect against unsafe working practices and conditions, kindergarten is a part of our public school system, hot lunches are served every day to millions of children in schools, and a separate juvenile justice system exists so that children are not tried and incarcerated as adults.
As the leader of National PTA, I have seen firsthand the positive impact of PTAs across the country on families, schools and communities. With your support, National PTA and PTAs nationwide will continue and build upon programs and efforts that are improving the lives and futures of our nation’s children.
The overall purpose of PTA is to make every child’s dream a reality. Together, we can make this happen.
Thank you for your support of PTA on #GivingTuesday and all year round.
Otha Thornton is president of National PTA.