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Volunteering
Volunteering
  1. United States Peace Corps
  2. United States Peace Corps
  3. Food Banks
  4. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  5. Recycling
  6. Parent Teacher Associations
  7. Non-Profit Organizations
  8. Neighborhood Watch
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PTA mother standing at table with children sitting
A PTA mother distributes milk to students at lunchtime in a photo from the 1950s.
Photo courtesy of the National Parent Teacher Association.
Parent Teacher Associations
Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are found in schools across the nation. PTAs consist of parents and teachers who seek to improve the education and well-being of America’s students. A national PTA sets the standards and mission for state and local PTAs. State and local PTAs organize school and community activities based on local needs and interests. Many PTAs also try to influence legislation and policies that affect education in America. Different kinds of PTAs exist in different schools and states. Preschool PTAs support children from birth to age 5. Middle school PTAs may focus on arts programs or self-esteem improvement, while Special Education PTAs concentrate on the needs of special education students. Some schools have Parent-Teacher-Student Associations (PTSAs) instead of traditional PTAs. PTSAs allow students to participate in the decision-making process along with adult members. PTAs assist schools in countless ways. The national PTA holds a yearly arts program that encourages students to demonstrate their artistic and musical skills. Teacher Appreciation week is also common throughout the country and is often sponsored by a PTA. PTAs may also provide school supplies and equipment if needed. For example, the PTA at University Elementary School in Shreveport, Louisiana provides computers, cameras, and physical education equipment for its students. All of these items cost money of course, so PTAs usually hold fundraising events, such as carnivals, spaghetti suppers, talent shows, car-washes, or t-shirt sales.
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