CHICAGO (June 22, 2010) – During its national convention last week in Memphis, Tenn., National PTA inducted the Puerto Rico PTA as the 55th Congress of the association—the first Spanish-language Congress in the association’s history.
The announcement and ceremony was made after several visits by National PTA leadership to the island of Puerto Rico earlier this year. During their visits, they observed educational challenges and met with important stakeholders, including the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Lucé Vela, who incidentally served as a local PTA leader in Virginia. During the most recent visit to the island, Puerto Rican child advocates voted to establish a congress in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“This is a transformative milestone for PTA, which must resemble what our families and communities look like today and what they will look like in the future,” said Charles J. “Chuck” Saylors, National PTA President. “With that in mind, we know how PTA and parent involvement can help every child in Puerto Rico see a brighter, happier future.”
Founding members of Puerto Rico PTA attended the national convention, including Irlanda Ruiz Aguirre, attorney and mother of a child with learning disabilities; Dr. Darold Footé Sykes, professor and religious leader in the area of Mayagüez; along with Wanda Santos, who serves as the director for Puerto Rico PIRC as well.
Next steps for Puerto Rico PTA include:
- Leadership election meeting in October of 2010
- Establishing the first local units in Puerto Rico
- Leadership development for Puerto Rico state and local unit PTA leaders
- A special celebration of Family Involvement month in October of 2010 in partnership with the Senate Commission on Education and Family Affairs, and other local agencies and groups
- Outreach and coordination with potential partner organizations within the public and private sectors
More Information about the new charter may be found online here: http://www.pta.org/4224.htm
About National PTA
National 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 association 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.