Tennessee Parent Teacher Association is promoting a capital campaign to make up for a $35,000 deficit because of revenue loss and declining memberships in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how PTA normally operates, with many volunteers not allowed inside school buildings and fundraisers canceled.
Membership dues pay for vital resources, including programs like literacy, reflection, and family engagement. While PTA has adapted to online learning by providing virtual resources, they are in need of funding to continue providing those assets. Tax-deductible donations of $25, $50, $100, $500, or more can be sent to their office located at 1905 Acklen Ave., Nashville, TN 37212.
Founded in 1897, PTA works to build effective partnerships between parents and education decision-makers to create a voice for children. From their Reflections program, which provides students nationwide the opportunity to be creative in developing artwork in six categories, to their “Advocacy Day on the Hill” that gives students the chance to work with state and federal legislators, the nonprofit strives to improve the quality of education for students, teachers, and parents.
Tennessee PTA President Kim Henderson says not only is membership important to ensure that the needs of all children are represented accurately, but membership also influences legislators and decision-makers at the local, state, and federal levels. “Imagine the difference in impact between 30 members or 300,000 members when asking a legislator to listen to us," said Ms. Henderson.
"Tennessee PTA is a non-profit organization that is not supported by government funds or large corporate donations. All of our board members are volunteers, and membership dues fund the programs, resources, and training provided by Tennessee PTA to local PTAs and individual members. The cost to join PTA is determined by local chapters and is generally less than $10 per year."
Local PTA chapters like the Frayser Community PTSA also report a decline in participation this year, with their President Regenia Dowell saying membership is down drastically. “We are unable to attend conventions and workshops because everything is virtual," said Ms. Dowell. "Attending these events allowed us the opportunity to connect with people in other states, and that allowed us to enlist new members. Our ability to have community events and school open houses has also hampered our ability to get new members."