Families, educators and researchers know that our kids can not grow, learn and succeed when they are not healthy.
TAKING ACTION FOR HEALTHY CHILDREN!
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 2022 – 2024 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 initiatives, including but not limited to addressing mental health issues, and focusing on violence-free environments through education, community, family, and children-oriented programs, collaborations and partnerships.
- The Health Committee will be a Standing, sustaining committee comprised of parents, teachers, students, and community members from across the Massachusetts PTAs for the purpose of research, study, strategic planning, and initiative development 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 activities to support students and families during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee should partner with family engagement centers and other aligned partners, to promote assistance and collaboration of knowledge and information, as well as funding and sponsorships.
- The Health Committee will plan health, safety and wellness activities. Potential activities may include a fifth Massachusetts PTA “Staying Healthy,” Event and/or Massachusetts PTA Health, Safety and Wellness Webinar Series. The Health Committee will plan a fifth Massachusetts PTA “Staying Healthy” Event in 2023/24. The “ Staying Healthy” Event will be planned as a hybrid (in-person, and/ or virtual) event as appropriate and necessary.
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 healthcare knowledge and emotional wellness.
- Children and Families in Massachusetts will have knowledge of and access to quality, affordable healthcare.
- The Massachusetts PTA will continue to educate and communicate with all health access and enrollment resources and organizations. This will be accomplished by Health Connectors Massachusetts Navigators organizations, community health centers, hospitals, other community agencies, and nonprofit organizations 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 critical especially now during the COVID Pandemic and the aftermath, especially with the loss of jobs and salaries through 2022 and well into 2022- 2023.
- This will be accomplished with continued communications through the website, newsletters, Massachusetts PTA Health Committee meetings, Webinars, Hybrid and face-to-face workshops/speakers, and future Massachusetts PTA 2022-2024 Health, Safety, and Wellness programs, partnerships, and community efforts.
- Efforts should continue diligently through the next 18 to 24 months, 2022 through 2024, 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 thoroughly and supportively with National and State legislatures and legislation that promotes 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, Mental health supports systems and awareness, education, and access and any other health-related issues that promotes physical and emotional wellness which aligns with Goal 2.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will be involved in the promotion and implementation of health programs, on Immunization, 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 which address 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 products which target specific age, ethnic or racial groups, such as menthol-based tobacco and vaping products, and opiates.
- The Health Committee, along with Massachusetts PTA, will identify and provide additional resources to promote a positive school environment. The Health Committee should identify and include speakers and resources for a fifth Health event within this period of 2022 to 2024. This major “Staying Healthy” Event and/or educational programs such as webinars. 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 youth’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. The Health Committee will promote education pertaining to substance misuse disorder and will provide resources to strengthen each student’s strong sense of self-esteem, positive social skills and emotional balance and strength to withstand peer pressure to misuse substances.
- It is our goal to really incorporate and accomplish the above objectives 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 fifth “Staying Healthy” Event.
- Massachusetts PTA , through the Health Committee, will bring to the forefront for all parents, caregivers, educators, youth and children information and resources on safety and violence- free environments including homes, schools and communities. This will in particular focus on the health and welfare of children regarding Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Bullying, Cyber Bulling, Homeless and Foster Youth and Gun Violence.
- The Health Committee supports collaborations among parents, schools, communities, institutions, agencies, partners and organizations, which are essential to the health, wellbeing and academic success of Massachusetts children and youth.
- Children, Youth and Families in Massachusetts will have knowledge about the importance of immunization 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.
- Vaccines are one of our most successful tools for protecting our children and communities. Ensuring confidence in vaccines is critical.
▪ The Health Committee will work with the Massachusetts Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP) and partner organizations to optimize confidence not only in COVID-19 vaccines, but also in all routinely recommended childhood vaccines.
- 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.
- Pediatricians who are MCAAP members or pediatric healthcare professionals who MCAAP Immunization Initiative members will be invited to participate in areas of research, advice, and presentations.
- Vaccines are one of our most successful tools for protecting our children and communities. Ensuring confidence in vaccines is critical.
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 in community programs that address the issues of Childhood Obesity, Food Insecurities and eating disorders.
- 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 (different from 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.)
- Massachusetts PTA will continue the relationship Partnership with SWITCH, Project Bread, and other similar programs and partnerships
- 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 and after COVID-19. Mass.gov website on Food and Cash Assistance
- Massachusetts PTA through the Health Committee and Massachusetts communities will research the problems and obstacles to healthy eating, specifically addressing Food Insecurity, eating disorders, 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. Significant efforts and diligence in this area, especially now during this time of the post COVID Pandemic, where so many families are still experiencing lack of employment and wages causing food and essentials to be limited. Through the Health Committee and Massachusetts communities, the efforts of Massachusetts DESE, Office for Food and Nutrition Programs can leverage each other’s strengths to target prevention and efforts more effectively. By being experts in the communities, businesses and partners can be responsive to the unique features of their populations’ health, well-being, gain, and overall quality. These unprecedented response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that more than ever, partnerships between health initiatives, food insecurity, and other essential alliances are necessary for prompt and useful action to information and safeguard persons from preventable disadvantages. We are looking ahead to opportunities for collaborations in which Massachusetts PTA members can continue to build and support partnerships for prevention and response through engaging strategies and tools.
- Massachusetts PTA will collaborate with the National PTA in this effort to address Food Insecurity, and Hunger in all of our families and communities, in particular among our most-affected communities and families. We can further support the improvement of prevention and practices in health initiatives and food insecurity through partnership coordination efforts through sharing prevention and guidance with health institutions. Building focus on improving prevention and efforts and inviting partners to the table, such as National PTA’s Healthy Lifestyles Advocate for the Food Services Team and Building Healthy Minds and Bodies. Encouraging coordination between federal, state, and local agencies, and surveyors to identify experiencing challenges and to focus on helping to construct sounder plans and management.
- This will be accomplished in a respectful and responsible manner with continued communications through the social media, website, newsletters, the Health Committee meetings, Webinars, hybrid workshops/speakers, and 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 post COVID-19 Pandemic. This will be accomplished with continued communications through the website, newsletters, the Health Committee meetings, partners, 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 and guidelines on how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle given the COVID-19 pandemic or endemic. Health and Fitness shall encompass not only physical, but also emotional and mental health.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, will provide tools such as newsletters with resources for fitness activities and educational programs to engage children and families in their schools, homes, and communities.
- Massachusetts PTA, through the Health Committee, Massachusetts Public Schools and Massachusetts communities will continue to build partnerships and educational environments as well as research Healthy Exercise and Fitness and encourage this to help decrease childhood obesity as well as student and children’s injuries.
- Begin to develop a virtual A Healthy Lifestyles Tool Kit from the Health Committee’s findings, as well as from the assistance, research, and findings of National PTA 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 member(s) as appropriate.
- The MA PTA Health Committee, along with MA 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 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 advocates for more earmarked funding to support health and wellness initiatives in schools and speaks to the needs of our children and families to be in a safe environment, including homes, schools, and communities.
- The Health Committee will collaborate and work with the Advocacy Committee 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.
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.
- Continue finding and applying for grants on a project-need basis building capacity within the Health Committee and Massachusetts PTA. This should be developed, implemented and incorporated into planned Goals as well as projects and programs for each year. The number of projects/programs will be determined by measuring need, interest, capacity and scheduling /time frames.
Action Implementation of Health, Safety and Wellness Mission and Goals for 2022-2024:
- The Health Committee will be a Standing, sustaining committee comprised 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 PTA local units to be actively involved and leading in these areas.
- There should be educational conferences, programs, and training across the state to which parents and PTA local units would have access. To this end, the Health Committee will conduct surveys, focus groups, discussion/decision groups made up of Massachusetts PTA Health Committee members, PTA local unit members, parents, educators, partners, community members, medical and others to collaborate for the purpose of identifying needs, determining programs, implementation and evaluations. All themes of these conferences, workshops, programs, and training, etc. should always have the Health, Safety, and Wellness of our children and families as the motivational driver as well as our Goals. To this end, a Health Event or facsimile should be a signature piece under our Goal 3. National PTA 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 maintenance throughout the life of Massachusetts PTA. Essential for the health and safety of Local PTAs with the assistance and guidance of the 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 group’s findings and the help, research, and findings of the 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. This Tool Kit will include “how to” in building partnerships, communications and media ideas, Advocacy strategies, collaborations, implementation and evaluation.
- All Communications for the Massachusetts PTA Health, Safety, and Wellness Committee’s Mission, Goals, and Objectives should be accomplished through the collaboration of the Massachusetts PTA, and the Massachusetts Health Committee. This should include social media, websites, and newsletters.
Procedure Implementation of Health, Safety, and Wellness Mission and Goals for 2022- 2024:
- Develop a Partnership Matrix pertaining to Health, Safety, and Wellness Committee’s 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.
History and Development
The following Missions, Goals, and Objectives for developing, planning, and implementing of Massachusetts PTA, based on National PTA, goals were initially accepted by the Massachusetts PTA Board of Directors on Nov. 17, 2012. They have been reviewed, revised, and voted upon on March 15, 2014, by the Massachusetts PTA Board of Directors. Again, the revised document was submitted to the Massachusetts PTA Board of Directors on March 13, 2016, to be voted on for the 2016-2018 years. Voted and Approved by the Massachusetts Board of Directors at the March 2016 Board meeting. The 2018-2020 revisions and updates were submitted to the Massachusetts PTA Board of Directors in March of 2018 for approval for 2018-2020. They were approved for implementation in March 2018. Once again, the 2020-2022 revisions and updates were submitted to the Massachusetts PTA Board of Directors in 2020 for approval for 2020-2022. They were approved for implementation in June 2020.
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