Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award Recipients: Stories Celebrating Family-School Partnerships

By Dana Taylor
Mother walking out of school with children

The 2023 National PTA Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award recipients led their School of Excellence programs with the goal of transforming family engagement in their school communities, and that’s exactly what they did! Thanks to the generous support of the Hearst Foundation, the 2023 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Awardee, Bells Ferry Elementary PTA in Georgia, received a $2,000 grant for their school, and the 2023 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Family-School Partnership Merit Awardees, Chaparral Elementary PTA in New Mexico and Twin Echo Elementary PTA in Illinois, received $500 grants for their schools. Check out some of their program highlights below.

Bells Ferry Elementary School PTA

Through their participation in the School of Excellence program, Bells Ferry Elementary PTA focused on three of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships and achieved major accomplishments, including expanding their membership number by 30%, translating over 85% of their documents for families, achieving a 99% open rate for their weekly newsletter and doubling attendance at program events.

Chaparral Elementary School PTA

Thanks to Chaparral Elementary PTA’s participation in the School of Excellence program, families at the school went from being involved to being engaged. Using three of National PTA’s Four ‘I’s of Family Engagement, they optimized their families’ experiences at the school, implemented several strategies to support student success both at school and at home focusing on the whole child, built intentional relationships with families so that they felt welcomed and provided multiple ways to get involved in the school community.

Twin Echo Elementary School PTA

For their School of Excellence program, Twin Echo Elementary PTA successfully secured partnerships with over 30 local businesses and organizations and integrated community resources that led to the strengthening of their school programs and family support. In addition, their efforts improved student academic achievement over the course of the school year.

The Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award for innovation in family engagement is named after National PTA co-founder Phoebe Apperson Hearst and recognizes and celebrates achievements in building effective family-school partnerships.

The awards are presented to PTAs that have earned top rank with their National PTA School of Excellence designation by demonstrating outstanding achievement engaging families in student success and school improvements. The awards are the highest honor National PTA presents to effective family engagement.

Dana Taylor is Manager of Programs and Strategic Initiatives for National PTA

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