What follows is the letter I sent to the PTA membership shortly after I got back from DC.
The PTA's mission is to be a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child. This mission has never been more clear to me than it was at the National PTA Federal Legislative Conference held in Washington, DC last week. As a representative of the Massachusetts PTA Delegation (which also included President Mary Ann Stewart and President-Elect, Erik Champy) I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with PTA leaders from all over the country and Europe. This experience gave me an inspired and new perspective on how far reaching and influential the PTA can truly be. The PTA is not just about fundraising. It's about parents taking action, creating community partnerships, and empowering parents to become engaged and involved.
While in DC, I was able to participate in various trainings which were informative and interesting. I learned an incredible amount of information that I look forward to applying to my "job" as President of the Middleborough Elementary PTA.
Perhaps the most exciting and empowering part of my experience took place when the PTA "stormed" Capitol Hill. On Thursday, March 10th conference attendees from all over the country met with their states Congressmen and Senators, sharing the PTA message, "Every Child, One Voice." The Massachusetts PTA met directly with Congressman Barney Frank and with the offices of Congressman Ed Markey, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, and Senators Kerry and Brown. Though he did not meet directly with us, Senator Brown stopped by to say hello. During our meetings we discussed the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act-No Child Left Behind, the importance of family engagement in education and the current budget crisis. We were well received and could tell that our representatives and senators truly appreciate hearing from their constituents. Below is a picture of the Massachusetts PTA with Congressman Barney Frank.
I have always been passionate about the PTA and advocating on behalf of children. This experience allowed me the opportunity to develop that passion even further. It truly was an inspiring and exciting event.