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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tacoma PTA Celebrates 100 Years of Service

I was a Lowell Leopard, a Mason Mustang, and a Wilson Ram; a born and raised Tacoma Public Schoolsgraduate. Besides my own experiences as a student, I also got a taste of the behind the scenes work that went on through my own mother who served on the Parent Teacher Association (PTA)board. All of the fun events, interesting activities, community projects, and much needed equipment and materials were all generated from the hard work, dedication, and spirit from PTA. As an adult and local parent now, I marvel at how PTA has grown and changed to keep up with changing times and current events. The most important thing I learned is that PTA integrates community and families to take ownership of our public schools and to make them the best they can be for everyone. This is an exciting part of the education and the community building process. Yet, as we move forward with an army of wonderful PTA volunteers that donate their time and talent, it's important to look back on the roots of PTA because the foundations I just described have always been there. It's these roots that give us a rich texture of history, innovation, and experience. Here in Tacoma, our PTA roots are plentiful and deep. So deep, that Tacoma PTA celebrates it's centennial year in February of 201l. 

I marvel to think that PTA has been making its mark on our community for 100 years; what an accomplishment. Think of how many students and their families have been touched by the efforts of PTA whether it's a school carnival, a fund raising events, special school guests, community service projects, or replacing playground equipment, PTA has always been there, working hard to give value to their schools.

Now as we kick off the new year, it is time to celebrate the extraordinary progress of Tacoma PTA. On February 17, 2011 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM at Tacoma's Lincoln High School cafeteria and auditorium located at 701 S. 37th Street, Tacoma PTA is hosting a free event for everyone to partake in. The first hour of the event is a reception followed by a special program for the second hour. Citizens are invited to come see Tacoma history in action through interactive displays, audio visual presentations, and good conversation. What's even better is that local students are a big part of creating this party by using their talents and gifts. Anyone that has been touched by our schools and/or that revel in our city's multi-layered and intricate history, should mark their calendars for one of the most important history events this year.

And speaking of history, some of the treasures you will witness are hand bound ledgers from the early 1900's, historic documents that depict the budgets, events, and interest that captured the spirit of each decade here in Tacoma, media and press clips of the people, places, and ideas that made things happen in our city, and pictures that depict a vast celebration of teacher and students working alongside families to make things extra special. 

Special—that's what we have here in Tacoma in our schools, past, present and future. Despite changes in our community structure, politics, world, national, and local events, mass changes in our society whether they are big or small, the schools have always been there in rough times and in happy times. And when we see the great activities of PTA in conjunction with the students, it feels good. In today's times, amidst all the bad news and strife and the sense of urgency to focus on what doesn't work, we need feel good stories like this that make us smile and remember. We need stories about learning, teaching, dedication, endurance and fun NOW. Tie that in community pride, and you've got a win-win situation for all citizens of this amazing area in which we live in and love. Further, I'll bet you probably didn't know that Tacoma PTA coined some important phrases and processes that still exist today at a national level? You bet! And there's so much more. All the more reason to come join the celebration and revel.

And for this writer, I am reveling in bringing you updates on this event and giving bits and pieces of past eras. It will be a great journey for all of us. 

For additional information, contact School Board Member Kim Golding, chair of the 100-year event committee, at (253) 906-8827 or email her at


JosephMcG said...

Great vision... thanks for affirming folks who continue to reach out in love to all of us

Kim Thompson said...

Thanks Joseph! I think this is a truly exciting story on so many different levels.