Founders Day

Founders Day is a perfect time to renew the dedication to the Purposes of the PTA that were defined by PTA’s founders more than a century ago. Each year in February, PTA honors the three founders as well as past and present PTA leaders. Through special programs and events, PTA also attempts to increase the awareness of its members and the community by highlighting achievements, activities, projects and goals.

The Founders Day celebration was created in 1910 by Mrs. David O. Mears, a charter member of the National Congress of Mothers founded by Alice McLellan Birney and Phoebe Apperson Hearst in Washington, D.C., February 17, 1897. The Founders Day observance has continued through the change of organization names in 1925 to the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and the uniting in 1970 with the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers, founded in 1926 by Selena Sloan Butler, to become the National PTA (A Brief History: Working Together for Children Since 1987).

Issues concerning immigrants, homeless children and families, the unemployed and the uneducated, and numerous health and safety concerns still need attention. However, through PTA advocacy to enact and enforce laws, children’s health is better protected and children are better fed, housed and educated, with parents more involved in their upbringing. The vision of PTA’s founders has been realized in many ways, and now it is up to present PTA members to continue the vision.

Founders Day Freewill Offering: “PTA Birthday Gift”

Donations collected during Founders Day observances benefit the entire organization: unit, council, district PTAs, State and National PTA. California State PTA returns one-fourth of its offering to the district PTA and retains one-fourth for its work throughout the state. Half of the offering is sent to National PTA (Unit Remittance Form).

District PTAs use the funds to:

  • Organize new units and councils. Strengthen PTAs and PTSAs. Train leaders through workshops and conferences. Offer leadership training and parliamentary procedure courses. Promote PTA publications and special projects. Plan special contacts with teachers and administrators to increase the value of the PTA to school and community.

California State PTA uses the funds to:

  • Service new units and councils. Strengthen PTAs and PTSAs.
  • Provide special assistance to council and district PTAs through workshops and leadership conferences. Conduct field services in local areas by California State PTA officers and members of commissions. Perform regional extension work throughout the state. Counsel with individuals and groups.

National PTA uses the funds to:

  • Provide requested field services (instructions, guidance and other assistance for California State PTA leaders). Train leaders. Promote contacts with educational groups. Disseminate materials that will further the aims and Purposes of PTA. Hold conferences. Provide extension of parent-teacher services throughout the country.

For details on the responsibilities of Founders Day, see “Job Description for Founders Day.


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