The National PTA, founded in 1897, comprises 6.5 million members in the 50 States, Washington, DC, the European Congress, and Pacific Congress (serving the Department of Defense schools oversees). There are 26,000 local units. With a goal of bettering the life of children, the PTA serves as an advocate for children, educates parents, and provides services for children, families, and schools. Major health-related activities of the National PTA include, a school bus safety program, an Environmental Action Awareness project, the family and Community Critical Viewing Project, HIV prevention and education project, a violence prevention initiative, and a technology/internet safety program. Extensive materials generated by these projects are made available to the public through the National PTA Web site, Children First, http://www.pta.org.
The National PTA provides educational information directly to members through special mailings and its Web site. Most of the resources from the past, including brochures, pamphlets, booklets, program planning kits, and audiovisual aids such as posters and films can be downloaded for free or purchased at low costs. Materials cover drug abuse, children in self-care (latchkey), TV violence, HIV education, and drug & alcohol awareness. All pamphlets are written for parents and teachers. Some materials are available in Spanish. Serial publications: Our Children (journal), nine issues per uear--news of research and development in education, health, safety, and other child related topics as well as PTA organizational news; What's Happening in Washington (newsletter), irregular--reports on Federal legislation relating to PTA priorities.
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