By Membership Services Commission
Adding student members to your association and having students serve on your executive board is great for them and great for your PTA.
PTA was established to be a powerful voice for all children. Having student and youth involvement in your PTA, or on your PTA board, brings an important and different perspective to your organization. It also helps students learn to speak for themselves in a safe, supportive environment. Who better to speak for students than students?
Can students become PTA members? Yes!
Per the California State PTA Toolkit, “Any individual who subscribes to the purposes and basic policies of PTA becomes a member upon payment of dues.” This includes students. Many of our units decide to become PTSAs to stress this focus on students.
Go to the Involving Students section of the PTA toolkit for more tips on how to successfully engage students as active PTA members and leaders.
Student leaders suggest points to share
The student representatives on our California State PTA Board of Managers tell their fellow students about these advantages to joining PTA:
- Gain leadership experience you’ll use for the rest of your life
- You have a voice in how your school can serve and affect you
- Receive access to scholarships
- Enjoy lots of member benefits and discounts
- Share your ideas and let your voice be heard
- Positively impact your community through service (most schools require community service hours in order to graduate)
- Make a difference for your generation and the generations to come
When reaching out to students, be sure to stress the ways PTA membership helps students. This website section has more ideas for what to say.
By the Membership Services Commission
In the PTA universe, we know how important our teachers are! Having the teachers and administrators at your school join your PTA and participate in your programs is a great way to encourage children and families to join as well. A collaborative partnership among all the adults at the school is one of the best ways to strengthen communication between families and schools.
So as you plan and promote your PTA membership campaign this back-to-school season, encouraging teachers to join PTA should be one of the focal points. (And don’t forget other school staff as well.)
We’ve put together a list of ideas and some helpful tools to help you get teachers on board.
- TALK with teachers about the value of PTA. Provide breakfast or a snack for teachers and use the opportunity to discuss the value of PTA at your school. Back-to-School night can also be a good opportunity to speak with both teachers and parents about supporting PTA.
- SHARE information about PTA’s Continuing Education Scholarships. PTA offers scholarships to teachers, school nurses, counselors and volunteers to continue their education.
- REMIND teachers and staff about PTA’s advocacy work. PTA is much more than a local fundraising group for your school – we are an advocacy organization focused on student success!
- ENLIST the support of your principal. A principal’s encouragement for teachers to join PTA can go a long way.
- OFFER incentives to join. Award teachers and staff with a lunch or celebration when 100 percent teacher membership is reached, or offer teachers who join reimbursements for classroom supplies.
Questions about running your PTA membership campaign? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Back in late July and early August we held a few Membership Idea Exchange Zoom calls. We were so excited to be joined by PTA leaders across the state — sharing their ideas and some of their struggles.
We took notes from each of the calls and here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Building a Better Community
- Stronger Together
- I Matter Because (tie in to Reflections)
- Set Sail with the PTA- Pirate themed with bandanas or masks as membership incentives
- Include a PTA membership as part of a spirit pack
- Have the school mascot or a cool animal (like a llama) attend the Zoom meeting of the class who gets the most memberships.
- Look at your membership list from last year and make sure you are asking those families to join again this year.
- Every person who purchases a membership gets a coupon for a discount on spirit wear or other school event.
- Share the why– make sure you are letting families know all that your PTA does for the school and community.
- Ask your principal to include PTA membership on their weekly calls and/or their newsletter.
- Have a contest to see who can get a member from furthest away– this is much easier if you are using Totem!
- Remind families that everyone can join– grandparents, siblings, friends, neighbors. To that end, add lines onto your membership forms with those titles so they don’t forget.
- Use your social media to advertise your membership drive.
- Ask school board members, superintendents, and other school district personnel to join the PTA.
- Create a “Join PTA” slide that the teachers can use when they are doing parent presentations.
- Remind families that membership doesn’t necessarily equal volunteering, but it does equal supporting our kids!
Farragut Drive Elementary School created a really fun video to encourage their parents to be in the Zoom Where It Happens. Check it out here:
Finally we want to leave you with a quote from one of the leaders who was on this call: When you have nothing but uncertainty, you have nothing but possibility!
We hope you will use these tips to have an amazing membership drive.
As always if you need us, we are an email away– email@example.com.
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