Families, educators and researchers know that our kids can not grow, learn and succeed when they are not healthy.
That’s why Massachusetts State PTA members are dedicated to promoting effective health education programs and services in schools and communities in order to offer children, youth and families the skills, tools and abilities they need to make healthy choices.
Through action in the State Capitol, in our schools and in our neighborhoods, concerned Massachusetts parents and community members advocate for statewide health programs, and we actively participate on a wide variety of statewide committees addressing mental, physical and environmental health issues.
Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association believes that All
Massachusetts children and families should be safe and live in an environment that promotes Health, Well-being, Confidence and Security. To this end, the Massachusetts PTA, through the Massachusetts PTA Health, Safety and Wellness Committee (the Health Committee), will explore, promote, and develop
relationships and partnerships to assist with this purpose.
The Committee for Health, Safety and Wellness is a Standing Committee made up of parents, educators and community members and partners from across the state and nation for research, study, strategic planning and action. This Committee is incorporated into Massachusetts PTA Bylaws and Standing Committees.
Download Our Brochure (pdf) Health Tri Fold Brochure
OUR 2020 – 2022 GOALS:
This is what we stand for! This is what we do.
Goal 1- Massachusetts PTA will be involved in the development, and implementation of health, safety and wellness concerns, INCLUDING but not limited to mental health issues, as well as a focus on violence-free environments through education, community, family, and children oriented programs, collaborations and partnerships.
- The Health Committee will be a Standing, sustaining committee set up of parents, teachers, students, and community members from across the Massachusetts PTAs for the purpose of research, study, strategic planning, and implementation. This committee will be incorporated into the Bylaws and Standing Committees. This committee should have a modest budget for meetings, training and education, travel, and materials, as well as support sessions to support students and families during this pandemic period. The Committee should partner with family engagement centers and other aligned partners, to promote assistance with transitions.
- The Health Committee will plan a Fourth Massachusetts PTA IN-person health summit in late 2021. If need be, a virtual health series with content in line with the goals of the In-Person Summit will be planned.
Goal 2 – Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will promote and advocate for all Massachusetts Children and Families to have access to affordable and appropriate health care and knowledge.
- Children and Families in Massachusetts will have knowledge of and access to quality, affordable health care.
- The Massachusetts PTA will continue to educate and communicate with all health access and enrollment resources and organizations. This will be accomplished by such Health Connectors Massachusetts Navigators organizations, community health centers, hospitals, other community agencies, and nonprofits that share these goals as well as the state-wide groups of Health Care for All and the Massachusetts Health Connector. Through this education, direction, and guidance; full knowledge and access as well as enrollment will be available to assist and aid families in the process of attaining quality affordable Health Care. This knowledge and access are especially critical especially now during this COVID Pandemic and the loss of jobs and salaries through 2020 and well into the 2021-2022 years.
- This will be accomplished with continued communications through the website, newsletters, Massachusetts PTA Health Committee meetings, Webinars, and face to face workshop/speakers and the Massachusetts PTA 2021 Health Summit
- Efforts should continue diligently through the next 18 to 24 months to assure that parents have all the resources that are needed in order to connect to their health care access needs.
- The Health Committee will work diligently and supportively with National and State legislatures and legislation that promotes this Goal 2. Furthermore, The Health Committee will support the efforts of the Massachusetts PTA Legislative Committee to ensure that all children and families have access to affordable, appropriate health care, and lifestyles including Vaping, Opiates and Tobacco, and any other health-related issue that aligns with Goal 2.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will be involved in the promotion and implementation of health programs, on Immunization and HPV through education, community, family, and children- oriented programs, collaborations, and partnerships.
Goal 3 – Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will strongly advocate, support, and promote efforts that keep our children and families within our homes, schools, neighborhoods, and communities free of all harm, dangers, and ill-treatment including racist, unjust and biased attitudes and behaviors.
- Children and Families in Massachusetts will be engaged in prevention programs including violence, vaping, opiates and tobacco products and individual and institutional racism in their schools, homes, and communities as well as overall attitudes and practices throughout. The Health Committee in conjunction with Massachusetts Stakeholders will be engaged and partner in programs and education to reduce the use of flavored vaping and smoking including the racist product of menthol materials, and opiates.
- The Health Committee along with Massachusetts PTA will identify and provide additional resources to promote a positive school climate. The Health Committee should identify and include speakers and resources for the 2021 Health Summit. These efforts will become vital during the pandemic and post-pandemic periods.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will research, educate, and elevate awareness regarding substance misuse disorder, to promote positive and safe influences for our youth’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. The Health Committee will promote education pertaining to substance misuse disorder and provide resources to strengthen each student’s strong sense of self-esteem and positive social skills to withstand peer pressure to misuse substances. This will be accomplished through Massachusetts PTA’s Youth Committee and various student health clubs. The Health Committee should consider including speakers and resources, pertinent to this issue, for the 2021 Health Summit
- Children, Youth and Families in Massachusetts will have knowledge about the importance of immunization and vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases. Concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy have resulted in some parents losing confidence in vaccines and opting out of vaccinating their children. Reduction in immunization rates could put children and communities at risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. Restoring confidence in vaccines and immunization is critical, especially as we await a COVID-19 vaccine. To meet this goal:
- MCAAP, MHC, and Massachusetts PTA through The Health Committee will continue to build a strong and productive partnership.
- The Massachusetts Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP) will provide resources and support as appropriate for Massachusetts PTA immunization communication and educational activities.
- The Massachusetts Health Council (MHC) will initiate a vaccine equity project focused on building vaccine confidence, especially in communities of color in cooperation with the Health Committee as well as other concerned groups.
- MHC will develop a presentation that can be utilized in educational outreach to Massachusetts PTA members.
- Pediatricians from the Massachusetts Chapter, Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP) will be invited to participate in areas of research, advice, and presentations.
- MHC and MCAAP will work diligently to provide funding for the presentations.
- Parent advocates from Massachusetts PTA units will be invited to participate by inclusion in the presentations.
- The educational materials will be posted on www.protectedtogether.org as well as on all Massachusetts PTA Communications and Publications and Social Media.
- MHC will initiate a project focused on assisting high schools in creating Student Health Clubs.
- MHC will develop a packet that can be used by the Student Health Clubs who could serve as mentors and Vaccine Ambassadors for middle school/high school health clubs.
- MHC will explore possible funding to support the Student Health Club project. The Project of Student Health Clubs could be incorporated into Massachusetts PTA Youth Groups under the supervision of the President-Elect, incorporated into the Health Committee.
Goal 4 – Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will encourage and support all efforts to ensure that all Massachusetts Children and Families have the healthiest nutrition and healthy eating education in their schools, in their homes and community programs that address the issues of Childhood Obesity and Food Insecurities.
- Children and Families in Massachusetts will be engaged in Good Nutritional programs, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and education in their schools, homes, and communities.
- Promoting SNAP as the number one best way to fight food insecurity in a household and also promoting how SNAP eligibility opens up all sorts of other benefits (free school meals, district assistance for other school-related costs such as athletics, AP exam fees, transportation fees, etc.
- The importance of school meals, both in a hybrid and/or fully remote settings, particularly breakfast for “fuel” to help students learn.
- Destigmatizing school meals and showing how nutritious and delicious they are (not the same as when you went to school) to help boost participation and support the sustainability of the programs
- The Health Committee and Massachusetts DESE, Office for Food and Nutrition Programs in partnership will raise awareness that school meal programs will change this school year (e.g. possibly no longer universally free of charge, meals will have to be picked up or can be delivered to homes for remote learners, etc.)
- The Health Committee and all current and future partners should continue their efforts diligently through the next 18 to 24 months to assure that parents and families have all the resources that are needed to find food options during COVID-19. https://www.mass.gov/decision-tree/find-food-assistance.
- Massachusetts PTA through the Health Committee and Massachusetts communities will research the problems and obstacles in healthy eating, specifically addressing Food Insecurities and Childhood Obesity.
- Massachusetts PTA and Massachusetts DESE, Office for Food and Nutrition Programs will continue to build partnerships and educational environments towards this goal of Healthy Eating. Great efforts and diligence in this area, especially now during this time of the COVID Pandemic where so many families are out of work and loss of salaries causing food and essentials to be limited.
➢ Massachusetts PTA will collaborate with the National PTA in this effort of Food Insecurities, Hunger to all of our families and communities, in particular among our poorest of communities and families. https://www.pta.org/home/programs/Healthy-Lifestyles/HealthySchool-Meals/Advocate-for-the-Food-Service-Team and https://www.pta.org/home/familyresources/health/Hunger
- This will be accomplished in a respectful and responsible manner with continued communications through the social media, website, newsletters, the Health Committee meetings, Webinars, and face to face workshops/speakers, conferences for information, education and nutrition access to these necessities.
Goal 5 – Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will promote, encourage, and assist Healthy Exercise and Fitness within the home, the schools, and communities. Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, researches and provides best practices in guidelines on how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle during Covid-19 Pandemic. This will be accomplished with continued communications through the website, newsletters, the Health Committee meetings, Webinars, and face to face workshop/speakers for information, education, and nutrition access of these necessities in a respectful and responsible manner.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will research and provide best practices in guidelines and guidelines on how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Health and Fitness shall encompass not only physical, but also emotional and mental health. Massachusetts PTA, through its Health Committee, researches and provides best practice guidelines on how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle during the Covid-19 Pandemic, and beyond.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will provide newsletters for at-home fitness activities and programs.
- Children and Families in Massachusetts will be engaged in Healthy Exercise and Fitness programs and education in their schools, homes, and communities.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, Massachusetts Public Schools and Massachusetts communities will research Healthy Exercise and Fitness and encourage this to help decrease childhood obesity as well as student and children injuries.
- Massachusetts PTA through the Health Committee and Massachusetts Public Schools continues to build partnerships and educational environments towards this goal of Healthy Exercise and Fitness.
- A Tool Kit should be developed from the Health Committee findings, as well as from the assistance, research, and findings of National and other states’ research.
Goal 6 – Massachusetts PTA and Massachusetts Health Committee/Chair will be involved in the development, and implementation of health, safety, and wellness as well as violence-free environment legislation through working collaboratively and cooperatively with the Massachusetts PTA Advocacy and Legislative Chair/Committee.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will support the efforts of the Massachusetts PTA Legislative Chair/Committee to ensure that all children and families have a full and rich complement of advocates working on their behalf in all areas of education, community, family and children oriented programs, collaborations, and partnerships.
- The Health Committee and the Massachusetts Legislative/Advocacy Committee will help promote new legislation that speaks to the needs of our children and families to be in a safe environment, including homes, schools, and communities.
- The Health Committee, along with Massachusetts PTA Advocacy Committee will work diligently to keep Safe Schools for children and youth by utilizing cooperative and collaborative efforts with Legislators and community partners.
- The Health Committee will collaborate and work with the Legislative Committee/chair to ensure that our schools and communities promote Social and Emotional Learning to support our mental health initiatives to ensure that our schools and communities are gun-free, substance- free (tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc.), bully-free (in person and online) and are all around emotionally healthy environments.
- The Health Committee Chair will collaborate and work with the Advocacy & Legislative Committee / Chair to advocate for more earmarked funding to support health and wellness initiatives in schools.
Goal 7 – Massachusetts PTA will continually explore, promote, develop relationships and partners to assist with the Health, Safety and Wellness Mission, Goals, Objectives, and Action implementations.
- Work with Massachusetts and National PTA models and programs to help Massachusetts PTA to be actively involved and leading in these areas. This will include collaborating on a partnership matrix with Massachusetts PTA.
- Strengthen partnership collaboration with National PTA to support and help sustain the work of the Health Committee.
- Begin finding and applying for grants to support the hiring of a grant writer on a project-need basis and build capacity within the Health Committee and Massachusetts PTA.
Action Implementation of Health, Safety and Wellness Mission and Goals for 2020-2022:
- The Health Committee will be a Standing, sustaining committee set up of parents, educators, and community members from across the state PTAs for the purpose of research, study, strategic planning, and implementation. This should be incorporated into Bylaws and Standing Committees. This committee should have a modest budget for meetings, travel, and materials.
- Work with State and National models and programs to help Massachusetts PTAs to be actively involved and leading in these areas.
- There should be educational conferences, programs, and training across the state that parents and PTA local units would have access to. We should collaborate with other groups for this purpose. All themes of these conferences, workshops, programs, and training should always have the Health, Safety, and Wellness of our children and families as the motivational drive as well as all our Goals. To this end, Health Summits should be a signature piece under our Goal 3. National should be encouraged to support and help sustain the work.
- This should be established as a Campaign promoting all of this in a manner that initiates, encourages, promotes involvement in a deep and wide commitment and secures maintaining throughout the life of Massachusetts PTA. Essential for the health and safety of Local PTAs with the assistance and guidance of National PTA, Massachusetts PTA and the Health Committee, should be establishing and /or reinforcing the inclusion of a Local PTA Health Committee.
- A Tool Kit Should be developed from this groups’ findings and the help, research and findings of National PTA and other states’ research. This tool kit should include information that could assist local units’ Health Committees and will include information such as articles, webinars and/ or seminars. This Tool Kit should be designed in such a manner that both the Massachusetts PTA Health Committee will be able to utilize it as well as Local PTA units in Massachusetts especially for supporting, establishing and reinforcing the local Massachusetts PTAs’ Health Committees.
- All Communications for the Massachusetts PTA Health, Safety and Wellness Committee’s Mission, Goals and Objectives should be accomplished through the collaborations of the Massachusetts PTA, as well as the Massachusetts Health Committee. This should include all social media, websites, and newsletters.
Procedure Implementation of Health, Safety and Wellness Mission and Goals for 20202022:
- Develop a Partnership Matrix pertaining to Health, Safety and Wellness Committee mission, goals, and actions only.
- A Point of Contact (POC) shall be developed on the committee for the full committee and/or each event/ activity etc.
- Sponsorship/ Partnerships’ benefits should be bi-directional.
- All of this should be accomplished so that assistance and support will be available to the local PTA Health Committees.
Parents are not alone in making child safety a priority. Many school officials and community members are working with families to create a safe environment where children can flourish and grow, free from violence, drugs, gangs, and other threats. With the necessary resources, support, and guidance, all of us can make a difference in our homes, schools, and communities … National PTA
Join us in our Massachusetts PTA Health Mission, Initiatives and Committee.
Massachusetts PTA Health, Safety and Wellness Committee
Everyone is welcome! You can become a PTA member by joining the Massachusetts Cranberry PTA unit or by joining a local PTA in your area.
They Depend on us
- To keep them Healthy
- To keep them Safe
- To keep them Well
It’s up to all of us to bring committed people, agencies and organizations together to act on the health needs, safety and well-being of all of Massachusetts’s children.
Communities, Schools, Families and Parents build
Healthy Children, Youth and Students