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National PTA to Focus on Parent Involvement, Wellness Initiatives for Children at its 109th Annual Convention and Exhibition


COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 22 -- The 109th Annual National PTA Convention and Exhibition will be held from June 24 -26, 2005 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The event serves to reinforce the need for better connections between parents and schools and to encourage members to seek opportunities to enhance the lives of children in their own communities.

On Friday, June 24, Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Education, will address attendees to share her perceptions of how National PTA is playing a key role in education; urging PTA members to become leaders and reach out to underrepresented communities to help all children. Spellings will also discuss her vision for how the Department of Education will partner with organizations like National PTA to promote parent involvement in education.

Another highlight of this year’s convention will be a programming track encouraging healthy lifestyles at home and at school. Described by NBC Nightly News as “one of the five most inspiring women in America,” Bonnie St. John, author and paralympic medalist, will offer a keynote address on the importance of physical motivation and wellness.

As part of the National PTA commitment to educating families on the importance of wellness and nutrition, Saturday morning activities include the first National PTA Walk for Healthy Kids. The walk will allow convention attendees from across the country to join with citizens of Columbus in celebrating their commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles for all children. More than 1,000 people expected to participate.

Additional noted guest speakers include:

-- Danny Glover - actor, director, producer, and literary advocate

-- Ernest G. Green - member of “Little Rock Nine”

-- Emily Stover DeRocco- assistant secretary for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor

-- Jason Kamras - 2005 National Teacher of the Year

The National PTA Convention also serves as the member organizations’ annual business meeting. In addition to general business and leadership elections, proposed resolutions have been developed on three important topics:

-- Bullying

-- High School Graduation, College Preparation and Access

-- Teacher Quality - Equity and Accountability

The 2005 National PTA Convention is sponsored by Platinum Sponsor XBOX; Silver Sponsors Cartoon Network, Dasani, and Lollytogs, Ltd.; and Bronze Sponsors Nickelodeon, Office Depot, World Education, and the University of California, San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Throughout the convention, more than 200 exhibitors will showcase the latest resources and programs for parents, schools, and communities. Featured convention exhibitors include Alliant Credit Union and Project Love.



Media Registration/Badges:

Members of the media may register in advance by completing the press credentials form online at Press credentials may also be obtained at the Greater Columbus Convention Center (June 23-26) in National PTA’s press room (C111).

Press Room Hours:

Attending media may visit the on-site press office (Room C111) news and information or to arrange interviews. The press room will open at 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 23.


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