1897 Founding of the National Congress of Mothers to act on behalf of children in the home, at school, and in the world.
1898-99 The Congress promotes cooperation between parents and teachers; advocates for sex education; and lobbies for a national health bureau.
1900s Fathers urged to join; PTA already voicing public concern for juvenile justice issues and the need for child labor laws, as well as federal aid to schools.
1910s PTA urges that kindergarten be part of education system; asks parents to supervise their children’s attendance at moving pictures; local PTAs serve hot lunches to children.
1920s The Georgia Colored Congress of Parents and Teachers is formed to serve children in segregated states; PTA begins a nationwide children’s health project; and is involved in the first university courses in school-home relations.
1930s A special nutrition project and emergency services prevent children from suffering during the Great Depression; PTA studies automobile and school bus safety as they relate to children.
1940s PTA launches nationwide school lunch program; becomes one of the first non-governmental organizations to support the establishment of the United Nations; creates new university project to teach teachers home-school relations; wartime activities include the weekly radio series, “The Family in War”, featuring the Baxter family and a panel of experts discussing the episode.
1950s PTA calls a national conference to address narcotics and drug addiction in youth; helps field-test and win support for the Salk Polio Vaccine; and promotes health supervision of children from early childhood through high school.
1960s PTA creates public message about the dangerous effects of smoking; helps enact child protection and toy safety legislation; promotes art education via a nationwide cultural arts program; and creates a new focus on home-school relations in low-income areas.
1970s Georgia Colored Congress of Parents and Teachers and National Congress of Parents and Teachers unite to become one organization; PTA expands outreach to combat alcohol abuse; calls for parents to share in decision making in schools; begins project to oppose violence on television; opens Office of Governmental Relations in Washington, DC; and invites students to sit on the National PTA Board of Directors.
1980s PTA fights for automobile safety belt and child restraint legislation; creates a drug/alcohol abuse prevention project; focuses more attention on children and families in the inner cities; and creates national HIV/AIDS education program for parents.
1990s PTA convenes national summit on parental involvement; becomes major force in adding parental involvement to National Education Goals; develops National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs in cooperation with education and parent involvement professionals; initiates nationwide campaign to protect children from violence; forges partnerships with other national groups to promote parent involvement in early childhood education and teacher education; celebrates 100th anniversary.
1997 The Postal Service released a 32 cent stamp to honor the 100th Anniversary of the National PTA.
2000’s National PTA publishes the book, Building Successful Partnerships: A Guide to Parent and Family Involvement Programs . National PTA launches new image campaign, everychild. onevoice. Launches How to Help Your Child Succeed national workshop series and online resource. Responds to national tragedy by launching “Helping Children Cope With Tragedy” website within 24 hours of 9-11-01 events. Issues The Resiliency of the Human Spirit resource booklet to all PTAs in October 2001. Instrumental in strengthening the parent involvement provisions in the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, renamed the No Child Left Behind Act. Premieres the Hispanic Outreach Initiative to increase Hispanic parents’ involvement in schools and PTA. Introduces a Web-based training program (e-learning) in which members can access relevant learning and leadership development training via National PTA’s website. Strengthens resolve to oppose private school vouchers following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision declaring the voucher program in the state of Ohio constitutional. Participated in the Five Cents Makes Sense for Education campaign, calling on lawmakers to earmark at least five cents of every current federal budget dollar for elementary and secondary education. Debuted Doors Open After School in fall 2003, promoting the benefits of school-based after-school programs.