2013 Advocacy Awards
National PTA Advocacy Awards
National PTA is pleased to recognize outstanding advocacy on behalf of every child at the National PTA Legislative Conference. PTA Advocacy Awards highlight advocacy work of an individual (Shirley Igo Award), local/district/regional unit (Local Outstanding Advocacy Award) and state unit (State Outstanding Advocacy Award). For the first time – in 2013 National PTA also honored an outstanding Youth Advocate.
2013 Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award
The 2013 Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year award will be presented to an individual PTA member, who through their leadership and advocacy efforts, affected federal policy priorities within PTA's annual Public Policy Agenda. Shirley was a model of public service and volunteerism throughout her life. She was an impassioned and compassionate leader, dedicated to moving PTA forward and committed to ensuring that others would follow.
Winner: Justin Raber, West Virginia PTA
Justin Raber from West Virginia is being honored for his commitment to West Virginia’s state and federal advocacy efforts. Serving as West Virginia PTA’s President-elect and Federal Legislative Chair, he spearheaded efforts in the last Congress to encourage the West Virginia delegation to cosponsor the Family Engagement in Education Act. Additionally, Raber authored numerous op-eds related to the devastating impact of sequestration on education programs and the importance of nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program. Raber also increased awareness of PTA’s legislative priorities by organizing workshops on federal advocacy and training West Virginia PTA members on how to be effective advocates at the local, state and federal levels.
Local/District/Regional PTA Outstanding Advocacy Award
The 2013 Outstanding Advocacy Award will be presented to a local, district, council or regional PTA that, through their dedication, leadership and efforts positively affected legislative and/or regulatory policy compatible with PTA's mission and goals. These efforts must include an education/learning component for PTA members and the community-at-large. Working with multiple organizations or coalitions through grassroots collaboration is preferred.
Winner: 15th District PTA (Kentucky)
The 15th District PTA in Kentucky is being honored for their efforts to educate parents on the Common Core State Standards in their state. More than 11,000 parents received training and resources on how the standards will impact their children. In an effort to reach as many parents as possible, the 15th District PTA worked with community partners to ensure that families from various ethnic backgrounds received the information in their native language and used social media effectively to reach additional families and community members.
State PTA Outstanding Advocacy Award
The 2013 Outstanding Advocacy Award will be presented to a State PTA that, through their dedication, leadership and efforts positively affected legislative and/or regulatory policy compatible with PTA's mission and goals. These efforts must be based on a statewide issue, involve working with multiple organizations or coalitions through grassroots collaboration, and contain a public awareness/advocacy training component for PTA members and the community at large.
Winner: Florida PTA
The Florida PTA is being honored for their comprehensive advocacy campaign related to Florida’s Parent Empowerment Bill. Florida PTA’s success was rooted in the concept of educating as many of their members about the bill as possible. Advocacy efforts included regular legislative updates to County Councils and local units, and grassroots activation which encouraged members to send action alerts, e-mail campaigns and participate in phone-a-thons. Additionally, Florida PTA actively engaged the media and created forward-thinking advocacy tools, including a legislative blog and legislative plan of work that is open to anyone through calling a conference call line.
Outstanding Youth Advocacy Award
The inaugural Outstanding Youth Advocacy Award will be presented to a young person – who – through his or her creativity, leadership, and dedication, has positively affected policy or change in his or her school or community in a way that aligns with PTA's mission and goals.
Winner: Meagan Gardner, Missouri PTA
Megan Gardner – a member of South Valley Junior High PTSA in Liberty Missouri - is being honored for her outstanding display of advocacy related to the issue of distracted driving. As a student representative for her local PTA unit, she worked with other student representatives in Missouri to draft a resolution on distracted driving that was passed by both Missouri PTA and National PTA. Gardner spoke at both Missouri State PTA and National PTA conventions to urge delegates to support the resolutions. Additionally, she mobilized members by hosting a booth at the Missouri PTA Legislative Forum for attendees to sign a pledge to avoid distracted driving and is now working with students across Missouri to create a PSA on the issue of distracted driving.