National PTA announced today that $1.5m in grants will be awarded to PTAs across the country to help meet critical needs of students, families, teachers and schools due to COVID-19. The funding is made possible by PTA Proud National Sponsors TikTok, Google, Bayer Fund, Mathnasium and Life360.
“COVID-19 has presented many challenges for families and schools. Now more than ever, PTAs nationwide are working hard to ensure our students, families and educators are safe, healthy and have what they need—focusing on social and emotional well-being, resources for distance teaching and learning, bridging the digital divide and addressing food insecurity,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA.
When most U.S. schools closed due to the pandemic, over 70 PTA grant recipients were scheduled to host sponsored family night programs, ranging from science festivals and math nights to Be Internet Awesome events.
“All of our sponsors impacted by this situation agreed to allow the grant money to be repurposed to meet immediate needs created by COVID-19. These companies really stepped up, and with this money, these PTAs will be able to make even more of a difference for their school communities during this time,” added Boggs.
Collectively between TikTok, Google, Bayer Fund, Mathnasium and Life360, over $160,000 in sponsored program grants is being redirected immediately to address critical community needs.
Google, a founding sponsor of National PTA’s PTA Connected initiative, was the first to agree to this pivot and also had the largest amount of grants pending in the field.
In addition to the grant money, TikTok has named National PTA as a beneficiary of its Community Relief Fund, donating $2M to the association. A significant portion of this funding will be granted in phases to district, council, region and local PTAs, with an application opening June 1.
“We understand the importance of continuing educational success for students who are physically away from the classroom and have been inspired to see students and teachers connecting on TikTok. We are grateful to our educators and the PTA for supporting critical K-12 programs for distance learning as well as addressing food insecurity, and hope our donation towards these needs will provide some relief to the families impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Eric Ebenstein, director of public policy at TikTok.
As another part of TikTok’s Community Relief Fund effort, May 5—which coincides with Teacher Appreciation Week and the global #GivingTuesdayNow campaign—TikTok will be celebrating the critical work of educators and PTAs, including hosting livestreams with TikTok creators and encouraging donations by TikTok users to National PTA. The company has pledged to match up to $10M in donations by TikTok users to National PTA and a handful of other chosen beneficiaries through May 27.
National PTA has also kicked off a “family video challenge” on the TikTok app to encourage families to show how they are learning during this time of school closures using the hashtag #AlwaysLearning and apply TikTok’s new Donation Sticker to their videos to allow viewers to make donations to the association within the TikTok app.
In addition to providing the funding to PTAs and school communities, National PTA launched a comprehensive webpage at PTA.org/COVID-19 with resources, tools and information to support families and educators amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The association has also focused several episodes of its Notes from the Backpack podcast on topics of concern for families due to COVID-19. Further, National PTA has been advocating for access and support for families and schools for online learning, access to school meals, funding for family engagement, and fiscal and policy relief for state and local education agencies.
“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on families and our nation’s education system,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA and PTAs across the country remain committed to supporting and advocating for students, families, schools and communities in this time of crisis.”