Non-Traditional PTAs

Saturday, December 9, 2017

One of the exciting strategies in the Tennessee PTA five-year strategic plan increases support for creating non-traditional PTAs. 

Non-traditional PTA? What’s that? 

Non-traditional, or community PTAs, are created where PTAs are not, perhaps a neighborhood that surrounds a school that has an unaffiliated parent group inside the school. 

Or a community PTA to increase family involvement within schools near each other that historically could not keep an organized group from year to year. 

Or a group of people who want to push a single topic or single issue that has something to do with education either in school or in the community; or helps support health or safety of children and youth; or advocates for adequate laws; or supports spiritual or family education.  I think this type of non-traditional PTA provides unique possibilities for community PTAs in Tennessee. 

Think of the possibilities of community PTAs, all with a 501(c)3 charter through PTA, that could be traditional face to face groups, or even virtual cybergroups, with a single topic/issue. Here is a small, but certainly not exhaustive, list of community PTSA ideas that I could think of: 

Data Privacy Community PTSA 

Widows and Children Community PTSA 

St. Luke UMC (or any church) Community PTSA 

Pre-K Community PTSA 

Bullying Prevention Community PTSA 

Healthy Children Community PTSA 

UTC or Chatt State Community PTSA 

Arts in Education Community PTSA 

Testing & Common-Sense Community PTSA 

Children in Transition Community PTSA 

Nutrition or Farm to School or Family Gardening Community PTSA 

English-Learner Students Community PTSA 

The ideas for non-traditional PTAs have a broad inclusion: allows for thinking outside of traditional school PTAs. 

Some current non-traditional PTAs include: 

Hamilton County Teacher Supply Depot Community PTSA, 

Knox County Teacher Supply Depot PTA, and 

Knox County Clothing Store PTA 

Obviously, traditional school PTAs are the backbone of Tennessee PTA. But PTA can have much more reach as an advocacy organization with the growth of non-traditional PTAs.  

You may hear myself or other Tennessee PTA members talk about non-traditional or community PTAs. Think outside of the norm and consider starting a non-traditional PTA. 

Dwight Hunter

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