Notes from the Backpack

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Notes from the Backpack

A Podcast for Parents, by Parents

PTA is working to ensure our public schools provide a high-quality and equitable education for every child to reach their full potential. Notes from the Backpack is a PTA podcast designed for millions of parents and the decisionmakers they influence.

Through the unique combination of expert, parent and educator guests, each episode features engaging conversations that offer real-life advice and ideas on how to support children’s learning and development—all in parent-friendly language.

Real Experts. Real Parents. Real Conversations.

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Current Episode

Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021

Sheetal Sheth

50 | Our Culture is More than a Holiday 

Sheetal Sheth

From people who mispronounce your child’s name to teachers who expect them to explain your family’s holiday traditions to the class, your child may be struggling with the pressure to represent an entire culture. Actress and author Sheetal Sheth joins the show to discuss how families can help kids embrace their identities and explains how she shared her own identity and experience as a mother in her children’s books Always Anjali and Bravo Anjali

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Recent Episodes

Marley Dias & Dr. Janice Johnson Dias

49 | Raising Children Who Change the World

Marley Dias & Dr. Janice Johnson Dias

Help your child channel their frustrations into social action! This week, our hosts chatted with author and founder of 1000 Black Girl Books, Marley Dias, and her mom, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, who is an educator and author as well. They share how you can help your child develop their entrepreneurial spirit and enhance their problem solving skills—all while making the world a better place!

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Shawn Jones

48 | Supporting Students of Color

Dr. Shawn Jones

How can schools do a better job affirming children’s racial identities? Dr. Shawn Jones, psychologist and professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University, joined the podcast to offer guidance on creating schools that better serve students of color. He shares how families can help by talking openly and honestly about their own experiences with race. He also offers suggestions for how white families can be part of the effort to create more affirming schools for students of color.
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Ep 47 - Dr. Sameer Hinduja

47 | Social Media & Cyberbullying 101

Dr. Sameer Hinduja

From the cyberbullying risks to dangerous social media challenges, many parents feel terrified when their child enters the world of social media. How can families have proactive discussions about navigating the online world responsibly? Dr. Sameer Hinduja, director of the Cyberbullying Research Center joins the show to share practical tips and respond to some of your most commonly asked questions!
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Ep 46 - Karen Van Ausdal

46 | What is Social and Emotional Learning Anyway?

Karen Van Ausdal

What life skills does your child need to thrive? There’s a lot of learning happening in schools that goes beyond academics. Karen Van Ausdal joined our hosts to talk about Social and Emotional Learning. She shares what Social and Emotional Learning looks like, why it’s important and how families can support.
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Ep 45 - Cpt Erin Sauber-Schatz

45 | Back to School with the CDC

Captain Erin Sauber-Schatz

As we enter our second Back-to-School season filled with COVID-19 safety precautions, it’s vital that you stay informed. We invited a special guest, Captain Erin Sauber-Schatz, community guidance subject matter expert for CDC's  COVID-19 Response, to share the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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