Parents often decide not to join their local parent teacher association for a couple of reasons. They may feel that their daily schedule simply won't allow them any time to do any extra activities, or they may feel that they simply don't have anything to offer. However, these reasons just aren't accurate, and it is important to understand what a parent teacher association is before you decide whether or not to join.
- Parent teacher associations are the liaisons for the children of that school.
- They give parents an opportunity to voice their opinions concerning their children and their children's education.
- They raise money for extra equipment and school-related supplies that some schools simply cannot afford.
- They give children an opportunity to witness the support that the parents, the school, and the community all have to offer.
- They educate parents and the community on school policies, financial issues, state funding and referendums.
- They enable a network of parents to work together for the good of their children's education.
- Parent teacher associations build a bridge of communication between school administrators, teachers and parents.
Now that you understand what a parent teacher association does, it's time to address the worries you might have about joining one of these organizations. Association members can work as little or as much as they like. If all you can do is attend a monthly meeting, then that will be enough! As in any other organization, there will always be those people who have enough time to be leaders, but not everyone can or should be a leader. Just attending a meeting shows not only your child, but also your child's school and the surrounding community, that you care. Everyone is needed!
How do you join a parent teacher association? There are actually several ways to join, including the following:
- Attend Open House Night. Most schools conduct open houses at the beginning of each school year. During this time, parent teacher association members typically set up tables at the school and invite parents to become new members. If there are any fees, they usually are only a few dollars, if even that much.
- Read Any Newsletters. Be sure you read any newsletters and information sheets that your child brings home. You might receive a newsletter inviting you to sign up for your local parent teacher association.
- Call the School. You should be able to call the school's office and ask for the name and number of the parent teacher association's officers. You can then contact them directly and ask to be included in the association's membership.
- Ask a Teacher. Ask your child's teacher for help in contacting a local parent teacher association member.
- Call the National PTA. The National Parent Teacher Association can put you in touch with your school's local organization. Call the National PTA at 1-800-307-4782.