SOURCE: National PTA

National PTA

September 16, 2015 13:24 ET

PTAs in California and Georgia Spotlighted Nationally for Commitment to Educational Excellence for Hispanics

California State PTA, California Ninth District PTA and Georgia Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA Recognized by the White House as Bright Spots in Hispanic Education

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwired - September 16, 2015) - National PTA® is pleased to announce that California State PTA; Ninth District PTA, serving San Diego and Imperial counties in California; and Georgia Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA have been recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as Bright Spots in Hispanic Education.

The Bright Spots in Hispanic Education designation honors accomplishments and a strong commitment to improving the educational attainment of Hispanics from cradle-to-career. As Bright Spots, California State PTA, Ninth District PTA and Georgia Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA are featured in a national online catalog. The catalog was released on Sept. 15 in conjunction with the kick-off of Hispanic Heritage Month and in honor of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics' 25th anniversary.

"Latino children and youth are the fastest-growing population in America, and 25% of students today are Hispanic. To support their learning and development and ensure they have the opportunity to achieve their dreams, it is essential that families are engaged at all levels of education," said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. "The efforts of California State PTA, Ninth District PTA and Georgia Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA to strengthen engagement of Hispanic families are making a substantial, positive impact on student success."

"Recognizing their leadership and commitment to educational excellence for Hispanic children and youth, National PTA nominated California State PTA, Ninth District PTA and Georgia Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA for the Bright Spots designation," added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. "We applaud these PTAs for their hard work, achievements and well-deserved honor by the White House."

California State PTA has been recognized as a Bright Spot for its School Smarts Parent Engagement Program. School Smarts is an inclusive parent engagement program that brings parents together in support of their common interest: helping their children and schools succeed. The program is available throughout California in six different languages and helps families from all backgrounds understand the education system and become advocates for issues that are most important for their children.

The Georgia Hispanic/Latino Statewide Community PTA is a collaborative effort within Georgia PTA and is the first of its kind in the nation. The PTA works to bring together the needs of schools and the Hispanic/Latino communities across the state to improve the educational outcomes of students. It is also committed to expanding the road of opportunity for all Hispanic/Latino families to become more engaged advocates for their children.

Because nearly half of the population it serves is Hispanic, addressing the achievement gap for Hispanic students and ensuring their academic success is at the forefront of Ninth District PTA's mission. Committed to the importance of family engagement, the PTA showed an increase of more than 2,740 members from 2013 to 2014. The association also organized seven new units -- five in Title I schools -- and provided training to hundreds of PTA leaders throughout the year.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was established in 1990 to address the educational disparities faced by the Hispanic community. Through the Bright Spots recognition and national online catalog, the Initiative seeks to encourage collaboration between stakeholders in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of Hispanic students.

"There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and it is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, programs and organizations working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential," said Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and as part of its Every Child in Focus campaign to help school communities understand and address the unique needs of every child, National PTA has developed resources on the challenges Hispanic families face and ways school communities can better support student success in the classroom and beyond.

For more information about the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and to view the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education national online catalog, visit www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative.

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.

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