First Lady to Speak to Parents, Child Advocates During National PTA Legislative Conference, March 9-11

PTA Takes to Capitol Hill, Builds Momentum Around Child Advocacy Issues-Education; Health and Wellness

Wilmette, Illinois, UNITED STATES

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - March 8, 2010) - First Lady Michelle Obama will speak to parents and child advocates this week Wednesday, March 10, at 12:30 p.m. during the National PTA® Legislative Conference (March 9 - 11). The event will take place at the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City - National Airport (300 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA 22202, 703-416-4100).

The First Lady is slated to speak about her national campaign, "Let's Move" -- a movement pertinent to the National PTA's efforts toward fighting childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles.

"We commend First Lady Michelle Obama as she continues to champion for children's health and wellness with her new 'Let's Move' initiative to fight childhood obesity," said Charles "Chuck" J. Saylors, National PTA President.

"We are honored to have the First Lady speak to parents and child advocates at our National Legislative Conference as she is truly an inspiration and serves as a great role model through her tireless efforts in child health and wellness, an area of public policy in which PTA has been instrumental since our inception in 1897. PTA looks forward to working alongside the First Lady as we continue to seek improvements in federal child nutrition programs, including specific ways to improve the content and implementation of local wellness policies, increase access to healthy foods and beverages, limit access to the least healthy offerings in schools, and provide the supports needed for those implementing child nutrition programs to improve outcomes."

The three-day conference is designed to motivate 'grasstop' leaders from across the country and provide an in-depth look at the latest PTA Public Policy Agenda through a series of workshops, skill building trainings, panel discussions, and guest speakers. The conference will culminate with Capitol Hill visits with congressional leaders that will focus on 2010 public policy priorities: effective family engagement in education, equity and opportunity in education for children, and children's overall health and wellness.

As part of National PTA priorities, the association released a first-of-its-kind "State Law on Family Engagement in Education Reference Guide." In addition, National PTA late last year received a $1 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to educate and mobilize parents to adopt the Common Core State Standards -- an initiative supported by PTA to help ensure that all students become college and career-ready upon graduation.

Following the First Lady's remarks, the event will feature a panel discussion led by nationally recognized leaders who are key players in the common core state standards initiative. The panel will include:

  • Dr. Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, Assistant Secretary for Elementary Education and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education;
  • Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers;
  • Dane Linn, Director of the Education Division, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices; and
  • Sandra Boyd, Vice President for Strategic Communications and Outreach, Achieve.

Highlights of the event on Wednesday, March 10th include:

  • Workshops:
    • Motivating Parents Around the Common Core State Standards Initiative
      9:00 am - 10:30 am
    • Launching Effective State Advocacy Campaigns: Innovative Strategies from the Common Core State Standards Initiative
      10:45 am - 12:15 pm
  • Panel discussions:

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

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Contact Information:

James Martinez
Office: (312) 670-6782 Ext. 325
Cell: (773) 339-4533