My involvement with PTA is driven by mutual goals and the possibility of a partnership that furthers our goals, where they overlap. With PTA, I do see some light on the horizon because on-the-ground projects are showing possibilities :
A new Community PTA might be started by ARISE, an independent community organization in South Texas, conducting its business in Spanish, located in a poor unincorporated community (Colonia) and very importantly, using ARISE’s principles and processes to organize and carry out this ‘new kind of PTA’. We’re setting up a process for documenting this effort as a means to inform the larger organization about a viable alternative way to organize new PTAs.
Possibilities Through Partnership An IDRA dynamite partnership would bring together two different but laudable movements : Time Bank and PTA could join us in a powerful institutional base for parent leadership in education. This is tantalizing for several critical reasons: IDRA Parent leadership for education, when persistent and nurtured, can accelerate the transformation of our schools. Time Banks, a system of reciprocal local exchange of assets and resources can build an internal base of economic and social support from within the neighborhoods that are labeled as ‘the neediest’. PTA brings an established on-campus presence, and would benefit greatly at a time it is attempting to gain new membership and is not a strong presence in the 'poor' Title 1 schools. PTA is combatting myths and stereotypic ideas of being a cheap labor pool for the local schools and renewing its local, state and national presence as a pro-active and premier voice for the families whose children attend public schools. Time Bank is exploding as a global presence and contineus to exist in many USA communities and would benefit from a strong PTA partnership. Time Banks in turn can give the local PTA, especially in urban and poverty neighborhoods, a means of identifying, documenting and managing the exchange of services centered at school and benefiting school and families. The only money needed by these new PTA/Time Banks projects would be the annual dues: the rest would be Time Bank exchanges. The IDRA Parent Leadership in Education process would be the engine to support emerging parent/family leadership, keep a focus on the neighborhood public schools and catalyze taking action in support of the academic success of the children.
Although the IDRA circle is my central & fundamental arena, I also share in the PTA & Time Banks circles.