Growing up in India, I was never left in any doubt about the importance of education. Belief in the power of education cuts across all socio-economic lines and parents make it a priority in the lives of children.
In a country, where there isn’t an adequate public education system, parents still do their very best to provide their children with a quality education. Perhaps this is why I am so passionate about fighting for high quality public schools for all children and continue to be in awe of the concept of a free and equal system of education.
As an education major, moving to Florida from Wisconsin, I was worried about the quality of the public schools. My professors advised me to get involved in the school and volunteer. And did I ever, literally jumping in with both feet. When I registered my son for kindergarten, I signed up for the PTA and checked off so many committees that when I arrived at Open House, I was startled when I was told that the first VP of the PTA wanted to see me. Why? My first teachable PTA moment. Always welcome eager new volunteers and give them an assignment to do. It sure got me moving.
I got involved in PTA as so many of us do for our own children, but involvement in PTA opens up a vista of information, education and training, which in very short order turns you into a lifelong advocate for all children. The experience and opportunities that you can access as a PTA member, equips you to become a successful presenter, trainer and leader, not only in your PTA, but in any setting, be it corporate, volunteer or even political office. That same Vice President that met me at Open House, went on to become the mayor of our city– that is what PTA can do for you.
My own PTA journey began 35 years ago and led me to become President of the Florida PTA and a member of the National PTA Board of Directors. My active involvement has continued well past my son’s school days and will always be a part of my life. Advocacy on behalf of children is a high calling and is always in need of voices that can speak up for children. As America changes, it will take many diverse voices to move the agenda forward for children and public education. I continue to enjoy spreading the PTA vision and message to new members. I hope to see many more of our diverse community get involved and active in speaking up for children, who are yet to find their voices.
Latha Krishnaiyer – Masters in Exceptional Student Education, former classroom teacher, Past President of Florida PTA, former member of National PTA Board of Directors, currently serving on National PTA’s Organizational Effectiveness Committee, UFEN Team Lead, Broward County, Florida.