What comes to mind when you think about the PTA - bake sales and school fairs? Local PTAs are often involved in such activities.
But did you know that the National PTA is also the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the country? Working in cooperation with many national education, health, safety and child advocacy groups and federal agencies, the group provides parents and families with a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child.
Betsy Landers was installed as President of the National PTA in June 2011, and has served on both state and local PTAs as well. She recently took the time to tell us more about the group, its advocacy efforts and where she hopes to focus during her tenure as President.
Public School Insights: You served as both a local PTA president and as Tennessee PTA president before coming to the National PTA. How have your experiences on those levels impacted the role you see for the National PTA?
Landers: It has afforded me invaluable grassroots experience. Having served at the various levels of our PTA governance structure (from the local unit level to the state level) has helped me to experience National PTA's impact at each of these levels. It has also given me valuable insight into the needs of our leadership and membership at those levels. Our members at the grassroots level are the heartbeat of this association. This is where the true impact of our work is done.
Public School Insights: How has the role of the PTA shifted during your involvement with the organization, at both the local and the federal level? What sorts of challenges are unique to the current context?
Landers: Our advocacy efforts, whether on Capitol Hill or at the local board of education level, remains the hallmark of our impact on behalf of ...