What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is sharing a story or experience that your child, school or community is dealing with and turning it into an action item - or a request - for a new policy, protocol, change in funding formula or improved training opportunity.
By working together to research issues and exchange knowledge, our PTA members have been sparking change in programs and policies that benefit children for over 120 years.
Equity and inclusion are at the core of our work, as the PTA is a non-profit, non-commercial, non-sectarian and non-partisan organization whose volunteer leaders and members speak out on behalf of children’s rights to secure adequate laws for the care and protection of all children and youth.
As a parent or caregiver, as soon as you speak to a teacher or administrator about a concern, you have become an advocate for your student! Sharing your story and asking for change at the county, state, or national level makes you one of more than 4 million parents or caregivers that are members of the PTA and who volunteer their time, energy and talents to address issues and create opportunities to support the educational experience of students.
We drive change by educating families and building community awarenesss about our core priorities, participating in coalitions that align with our mission and by speaking directly with school administration and elected officials at every level of government.
10 Ways to Get Started:
- Bring your PTA back to our core mission by appointing an advocacy chair to be a member of your Executive Board.
- Pick one core priority that your PTA wants to work on over the current school year.
- Sharing relevant news, research, policies and webinars in your newsletters and on social media.
- Develop a community event that raises awareness about a core advocacy priority.
- Attend School Board meetings. Follow the policy discussion in their committees and share updates with families.
- Engage with your elected representives!
- Follow them on social media.
- Write letters and speak at School Board meetings to share PTA positions and resolutions.
- Attend town halls
- Invite elected representatives to attend a PTA meeting to hear parent and teacher concerns.
- Attend your local Special Education, Minority Student or Gifted Advisory Committee meetings.
- Share Virginia PTA and National PTA news, social media posts and advocacy webinars to inform your parents about state and national concerns.
- Attend Virginia PTA's Annual State Capitol Day or Federal Hill day to elevate your advocacy work
- Participate in Virginia PTA virtual rallies for start a rally for your loca PTA's priority to #TakeAction4Kids
Need Some Support?
The Virginia PTA Advocacy Committee is comprised of the advocacy chairs from each of our districts along with PTA leaders who are subject matter experts on key advocacy priorities. Reach out to your District Advocacy chair or Council Advocacy chair to ask how you can support advocacy work happening in your community or send an email to Virginia PTA's Vice President of Advocacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.