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February 3 , 2009

*****EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9th, 12:01 a.m. *****

Olympic Medalist Champions for Children
Dara Torres Joins Team PTA

CHICAGO (February 3, 2009) – The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is making a splash with Olympic gold medalist and mother, Dara Torres, who will be announced as its newest National Ambassador.  The five-time Olympic swimmer will help boost parent involvement by talking to families and educators about the importance of being engaged in the lives of children.

“My mom has always been an active advocate for children and continues to be very involved. As a busy parent myself, I know how difficult it may be for parents across the country to be engaged in their child’s life and education,” said Torres. “That’s why I’m proud to support PTA’s mission as they create innovative ways for today’s parents to be involved through technology and helpful resources.”

Torres, who has won 12 Olympic medals, is committed to helping parents be involved and she leads by example.  As adamantly as she trains, she is equally steadfast in her vital role as a mother to her two-year-old.   

“I also believe that now more than ever it’s important that parents take action and advocate for all children to have the same opportunity to succeed. Whether it’s simply being a PTA member, donating to the cause or getting engaged with advocacy efforts, everyone who cares about children and education has a stake in the future of our country,” said Torres.

In her new role as a PTA Ambassador, Torres will join millions of parents and educators to work toward improving the lives of children, as well as urging parents and other family members and caregivers to be more involved.  Torres follows in the footsteps of dozens of community leaders, celebrities, legislators, and U.S. Presidents, all of whom have lent their voices and support to National PTA to make a difference in the lives of children.  Torres, who has millions of fans around the globe, will also lend her support at PTA events by speaking directly with kids, working with National PTA to provide relevant information to parents, and being a strong advocate for education. 

“National PTA is thrilled to add Dara Torres as the anchor on our Ambassador team,” said National PTA President Jan Harp Domene. “Dara serves as an excellent example. She trains vigorously and fulfills her commitments, yet with such a busy schedule she dedicates quality time with her daughter. She’s dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth—and that’s what PTA is all about.” 

About National PTA

PTA comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education health, and welfare of children and youth.

About Dara Torres
Dara Torres is a 5-time Olympic swimmer, mother, model, TV personality, and motivational speaker. She is the first swimmer from the United States to compete in five Olympics: 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008. She competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in the 50 meter freestyle, 4×100 medley relay, and 4×100 freestyle relay and won the silver medal in all three of these events. Torres has won twelve Olympic medals (four gold, four silver, four bronze), five of which she won in the Sydney Olympics in 2000.  She has also won at least one medal in each of the five Olympics in which she has competed, making her one of only a handful of Olympians to earn medals in five different Games. Outside of swimming, Dara has made a name for herself as a TV commentator and a print model and was the first athlete to appear in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in 1994.


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