PTA Victories in Advocacy
Today, PTA continues a long tradition of speaking up for all children by engaging legislators and leaders and by educating and alerting PTA membership about how they can make a difference in federal policy. Joining the PTA Takes Action Network will provide you with the latest information on children's issues and opportunities to help pass critical laws for kids.
Since 1897, PTA members just like you have been instrumental in creating:
- publicly funded kindergarten,
- the Salk vaccine for polio,
- the United Nations,
- child labor laws,
- federally funded hot-lunch programs, and
- a separate juvenile justice system.
You can make an indelible impact on the lives of millions of children. Reach out and introduce yourself to your incoming members of Congress, especially newly elected ones. Congratulate them on their victories and start building the relationships that will help you influence future policies. When you join the PTA Takes Action Network, PTA will provide you with information on what to ask your members of Congress when the new legislative session begins. Join today!
History: PTA National Timeline
For more than 100 years, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has provided support, information and resources to families focused on the health and education of children. The organization was founded in 1897 in Washington, D.C. as the National Congress of Mothers by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. If not for these women and their vision and determination, there would not be a PTA—an organization that has been woven into the very fabric of American life.
By whatever name it has been known, National PTA was created to meet a profound challenge: to better the lives of children. And today, it continues to flourish because PTA has never lost sight of its goal: to change the lives of children across our great nation for the better.
Our Founders' Vision
Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst founded an organization—a nationwide movement—in a time when social activism was scorned and women did not have the vote. Believing that there is no stronger bond than that between mother and child, they felt it was up to mothers of this country to eliminate threats that endangered children. In 1897, they called for action and more than 2,000 people responded—many were mothers, but fathers, teachers, laborers, and legislators also responded. Support grew from that first meeting in Washington DC. Problems were identified and strategies devised. Through consistent hard work, sometimes after years of perseverance, the dreams became reality with many programs accepted as national norms. Between 1897 and 1919, 37 state-level congresses were chartered to help carry out the work of the organization.