All are invited to attend - RSVP IS REQURED BY MARCH 9, 2016 -
The B-W Council of PTA sponosrs the Annual PTA Founders' Day Dinner
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Place: South Atrium in Baldwin High School
Time: 5:00pm - doors open
5:30 pm - Dinner
Cost: $20.00 per person
Please print this year's Annual PTA Founders' Day Dinner Invitation
RSVP is required by MARCH 9, 2016 to Jerry Pantone at 163 Sunny Drive, 15236, phone 412-653-6037 or 412-973-0414
If you have further questions you can contact me, Sandy, BHS PTSA President at CstntnDave@aol.com or 412-600-3510.
PTA Founders' Day Dinner
The annual B-W PTA Founders' day dinner is an evening for all to celebrate our working together to bring student success! This is a district wide event.
A Brief History of the PTA Founders -
February 17, 1897
PTA Founders’ Day is February 17th. It is a reminder of the substantial role PTA has played working for all children and families. PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the nation. February 17th is a day to reflect on all the wonderful changes PTA has advocated for on behalf of all children and to renew our commitment to be a powerful voice for ALL children, a relevant resource for parents and a strong advocate for public education.
In the late 1800s women weren't allowed yet to vote in elections, and thus it would seem that they wouldn't be able to wield the political power needed to bring about change. The conventional wisdom of the time was soon to be challenged, however, by two women who first founded National PTA's predecessor, the National Congress of Mothers. On February 17, 1897, the two founders, Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, looked out at the 2,000 people from across the country who gathered for the Mothers Congress' first meeting in Washington, DC, and saw the beginning of the largest (and now oldest) volunteer organization that works exclusively on behalf of children and youth--a group of people who had even fewer rights at the time than women.
Alice McLellan Birney (1858-1907) was a cofounder of the National Congress of Mothers, which later became the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, or National PTA. She was born in Marietta, Georgia, completed high school at 15, and attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. At 18, she married Alonzo J. White, a lawyer from Charleston, South Carolina. He died within the year, leaving her an expectant mother. While rearing her daughter, Mrs. Birney studied medicine. When financial difficulties forced her to abandon this course and earn a living, she entered the advertising business and was an unqualified success. Fourteen years following White’s death, she married Theodore Weld Birney, a lawyer practicing in Washington, D.C. They had two daughters. Mrs. Birney wrote "In the child and in our treatment of him rests the solution of the problems which confront the state and society today." Extremely well-read and sensitive to the needs of the less fortunate, Mrs. Birney first presented her plan at an adult education center in Chautauqua, New York, in 1895. Then, in 1897, she met Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who helped her transform her plan into a reality. It was a success from the start. Mrs. Birney served as president of the new organization until 1902.
Phoebe Apperson Hearst (1842-1919) helped to establish the National Congress of Mothers in 1897, which later became the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, or National PTA. Born to pioneering parents in Franklin County, Missouri, she attended a one-room log cabin school. She completed her education in St. James and became a teacher at the age of 16. In St. James, she met and married George Hearst of San Francisco and moved to California. The fortune Hearst built enabled Mrs. Hearst to transform many of her dreams into realities. Mrs. Hearst was especially concerned about school training for the very young. As a parent of one son and as a teacher, she realized that a child's early education could determine his entire future. In 1883 she founded on of the first free kindergartens, which she supported with her time and money. She formed seven in all - first in San Francisco, and then in Washington, D.C., where the Hearsts later lived. When her husband died and she took control of his empire, education remained her foremost interest, for she believed that only through education could there be a lasting improvement in human welfare.
Selena Sloan Butler -- Founder and first president of the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers (NCCPT) to function in states that legally mandated segregation. In 1970 the congress united with the National PTA. Today, Mrs. Butler is considered a cofounder of the National PTA. Mrs. Butler, mother, teacher and wife of the outstanding physician, Dr. Henry R. Butler of Atlanta, Georgia, was a pioneer in the work of the improvement of racial relations, especially the rights of children. In spite of National Congress of Parents and Teachers mission to protect the rights of all children irrespective of color, Mrs. Butler believed more needed to be done. In 1919, Butler dedicated her life to forming an organization which would have the same objectives as the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. She wrote several letters encouraging parents and teachers of color to form a union with the primary purpose of uniting home and school into a planned program for child welfare. Her letters stimulated interest in the parent-teacher movement and her own state, Georgia, became the first to organize. By 1926, Mrs. Butler aroused sufficient interest and issued the first call for convention. To this call, four states responded and sent delegates. After working 50 years apart, NCCPT and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers united in 1970 to expand their outreach.
Contents of this article; PA PTA A Brief History of the PTA @ www.papta.org.
The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania PTA Page 6
Chapter 9. Honoring the Legacy of our Founders: Committing to Today’s Children
(Chapters 1-8 can be accessed online at http://papta.org/Legacy or in previous issues of PTA in Pennsylvania.)
The National Congress of Mothers was founded on February 17, 1897 in Washington, D.C. by Alice McLellan White Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst. It later became known as the National Congress of Parents and Teachers or the National PTA. With the help of the National PTA, Selena Sloan Butler founded the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers in 1926 which operated where individual state laws segregated schools. In 1970, the two organizations merged, as did their identical mission to improve children's lives and the organization we know as today’ s National PTA. All three women are credited with founding the National PTA.
The passing of time may cause us to forget the incredible leaders who came before us. But only if we allow that to happen. This series of articles on the founding of the National PTA showed us that passionate women were able to make seismic shifts in the landscape of children’s lives. Their will was toughened by almost insurmountable challenges, but they continued to push the boundaries and make sure American’s children were priorities in a country that was changing faster than one could imagine. The terrific trio—who we often call Alice, Phoebe, and Selena—are never to be forgotten, but rather, to be the inspiration for
challenges undertaken by today’s PTA leaders.
In 1910, Mary Grinnell Mears, a charter member and board member of the National Congress of Mothers, presented a motion in Denver that Founders’ Day be observed on February 17th of each year. The action took two years to be ratified and the name Founders’ Day became
interchangeable with Child Welfare Day for many years. February 17 is an important day on the calendar for all PTA members and should be observed by every local unit, council, and state in the country. It continues to show us that the PTA is a powerful voice for children,
resource for parents, and advocate for public education. During my PTA tenure, Founders’ Day was an exciting time for PTAs where banquets were held, skits were performed, leaders were honored, PTA pins were proudly worn, and the story of the dream for children was told over and over again. Is that still happening in your PTA? If not, what better way to commit to today’s children than by reintroducing the observance of Founders’ Day this year?
Magnificent national memorials have been dedicated to the PTA Founders,
a few are outlined below.
There are numerous public facilities named specifically for Phoebe Apperson Hearst, from a library in South Dakota to an elementary school in Louisiana. Mrs. Hearst was the first woman appointed to the University of California Board of Regents and supported the university over the years. The Hearst Gymnasium was built by her son as a memorial to her. The Hearst Museum of Anthropology is likewise her namesake, honoring her commitment to the many programs of the university. (Source: The Berkeley Daily Planet, April 20, 2011)
A magnificent stained glass window is dedicated to Alice McLellan Birney and is located in the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Among the hundreds of windows there, her window shows a sun shining over what resembles a schoolhouse, alphabet letters, and children stationed below. (Source: District of Columbia PTA photo gallery)
On September 27, 1942, a memorial was dedicated by family members and PTA officers at the place of Alice McLellan Birney’s birth in Marietta, GA. Present were National PTA leaders, Alice’s
oldest daughter, granddaughter, great-grand daughter, and sister. The memorial was constructed on the site of Marietta High School. A sundial sits in the center of a courtyard paved with marble slabs, each carrying the name of the state congress by which it was contributed. An inscription on the sundial reads, “This sun court is dedicated to a great woman who made a great dream come true: Alice Birney, founder of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. From the seed of faith she planted has come the flowering of a new era of hope and promise for America’s children.” In 1963, a new rose garden was added by the Marietta Men’s Garden Club which assumed responsibility for planting and upkeep of the memorial. The Plaza of States remains central, composed of the stone slabs contributed by the state congresses as of 1942. (Source: Founders Day, February 17, 1964, National Congress of Parents and Teachers)
In recognition of Selena Sloan Butler’s lifelong work in education, in 1976 the Georgia Department of Education commissioned a portrait of Butler to hang in the state capitol. In 1995, she was inducted into the Georgia Women of Achievement. (Source: Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Selena Sloan Butler papers)
These memorials were tremendous undertakings that beg for a family road trip. However, the Founders’ work can be put to this test. Has it been worthwhile? From the day Alice Birney shopped around her dream, she opened doors for children that beg to be opened even wider. That’s where our commitment to the legacy is challenged.
What will your PTA do to
celebrate Founders’ Day on February 17?
This series of articles is intended to reflect on the rich history of the PTA and focus on its importance and relevance for today’s leaders. All historical facts are documented in The PTA Story: A Century of Commitment to Children, published by the National PTA in 1997.
The author of this series is a Past President of the Pennsylvania PTA (1992-1994) and served in a variety of elected and appointed roles with the National PTA, including as a Region Director on the National Board of Directors during the National PTA’s 100th Anniversary.
The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania PTA Page 7
Reflecting on the PTA Legacy
Follow link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX34jVbms6w\ to view the video PTA: Legacy of Advocacy.
What can our PTSA do to celebrate Founders' Day on February 17? Some ideas are as follows from the PA PTA...
Tell the story as inspiration for young leaders who don’t know about the history of the PTA. Publish it in your newsletter, integrate it at your next PTA meeting, or plan a skit with children in your school. The story is documented in these articles online for easy reference.
Invite all past PTA presidents to attend a special meeting and reminisce about the most exciting thing to happen with the PTA during their tenure.
Challenge students to create a school display, mural, or posters. PTA Historical Milestones are printed online and would be a great basis for the artwork. Work with a creative teacher to integrate it in the curriculum.
Ask local merchants to include PTA Founders’ Day messages in their bags—then get them designed and printed for distribution!
Celebrate diversity by revisiting the merger of the National PTA after the courts called for the desegregation of schools.
Celebrate the history of your own PTA with displays and a birthday cake.
Honor a special PTA member who has gone “above and beyond” with a Pennsylvania PTA Honorary Life Membership Award. Contact the state PTA office for details.
Recommit to greater advocacy efforts by signing up members for Action Alerts or visiting with a local legislator to discuss education and child-related issues.
Create service awards as an incentive for increased volunteerism in your school and launch them on Founders’ Day.
There are many simple ways we can carry on the spirit of the founders whose relentless will can only be matched by current leaders if they are willing to examine what is really at risk for today’s children. There are many pages missing in this chronicle of the PTA’s glorious history. Those pages are left blank for you—today’s leaders who know what’s missing for kids. Let’s celebrate in some small way this Founders’ Day and embody the commitment and legacy
bequeathed to each of us.