The Parent Teacher Association or PTA has been an important part of education since 1897. Many schools encourage PTA membership and participation. Knowing the history of the PTA will help you understand the importance of getting involved.

The Parent Teacher Association or PTA began when two women from Washington, DC decided that the children of America needed a voice. Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst sent out a call to action and anticipated that maybe 200 mothers would respond. However, on February 17, 1897, more than 2000 mothers, fathers, teachers, workers, and politicians gathered for the very first PTA meeting. After setting by-laws and marking out areas that needed to be addressed, the group began its quest for children's safety, health, and productive futures.

By the early 1900's the PTA had grown in numbers and in strength. Their hard-work and perseverance lead to the creation of kindergarten classes, a juvenile justice system, and child labor laws.

Other programs started by the founders of the PTA include:

  • The hot lunch program
  • A public health program
  • Mandatory immunizations for school children
  • Physical education classes in public schools
  • Sex education for pre-teens
  • Increased wages for teachers


Today the PTA continues its fight for children health, safety, and education in our local schools and communities, in the political arena, and throughout the world. PTA members help parents learn the skills they need to raise happy confident children. There are local PTA programs in every level of the public school system; including pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools as well as special education schools and programs.  All of which work tirelessly to bring home and school closer together, so that parents can take an active roll in their children's education and future.

Get Involved

Everyone is encouraged to get involved, not just parents and teachers. To find out more about your local PTA contact any pubic school in your area. Membership in the National PTA cost as little as 3 cents per day. By joining the PTA, you will be involving yourself in one of the greatest child advocacy groups in the world. For more information on the PTA and its current mission, visit