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Education

AMERICAN GRADUATE: The Power Of The PTA

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Gretchen Lynch is president of the Duval County Council of PTAs, she spoke with WJCT's Cyd Hoskinson."Here in Duval we’ve got over 125 PTA’s that are all active in their schools, and so when they need help about how can we more effectively reach our parents, we provide all those resources to them."

"We’ve got some bang-up PTA’s right now. We’ve got one high school that found there were some health issues that they thought were really important to educate their kids about skin care."

"Also, teen suicide.  They’d had a child that had committed suicide in their school, so during the lunch time hours they created a wonderful health resource fair. I thought that was a wonderful way for a high school PTA to address an issue."

"And that’s what we do in PTA. We educate our community, our parents about things facing students so they can make good decisions and help be a part of their child’s educational life." 

Studies have shown that just walking into that child’s school — I know that’s hard to believe — just walking in, the child seeing you at the school, if it’s just at a meeting about how to fill out a FAFSA form or coming for orientation, that has great value. It is not something to be discounted, even if you just are in the school for fifteen or twenty minutes."

"It really is our job as PTA to teach parents how to use their voice, and that’s one of the powers of having 30,000 members. I tell people, why do you join? I can be a mom upset about school safety or whatever the issue is. I can talk and talk and talk but when I have 30,000 members saying, 'we value healthy school lunches,' that gets somewhere."

"That, in our country, is how we have kindergarten and school lunches, started by the PTA."

89.9 WJCT is participating in the American Graduate project supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  The goal of American Graduate is to reverse the national drop out crisis by identifying and then addressing the factors that cause students to leave school early.

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.