show episodes
 
Sometimes, your child forgets to share the notes from their backpack that tell you everything that’s happening at their school. On Notes from the Backpack: A PTA Podcast, we give you the inside scoop on how to help your child succeed—in school and at home. We discuss real issues with parents and experts—from handling homework to school discipline—to support you every step of the way! Join the conversation using #BackpackNotes and learn more at PTA.org/BackpackNotes.
 
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show series
 
From people who mispronounce your child’s name to teachers who expect them to explain your family’s holiday traditions to the class, your child may be struggling with the pressure to represent an entire culture. Actress and author Sheetal Sheth joins the show to discuss how families can help kids embrace their identities and explains how she shared…
 
Help your child channel their frustrations into social action! This week, our hosts chatted with author and founder of 1000 Black Girl Books, Marley Dias, and her mom, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, who is an educator and author as well. They share how you can help your child develop their entrepreneurial spirit and enhance their problem solving skills—a…
 
How can schools do a better job affirming children’s racial identities? Dr. Shawn Jones, psychologist and professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University, joined the podcast to offer guidance on creating schools that better serve students of color. He shares how families can help by talking openly and honestly about their own experiences with rac…
 
From the cyberbullying risks to dangerous social media challenges, many parents feel terrified when their child enters the world of social media. How can families have proactive discussions about navigating the online world responsibly? Dr. Sameer Hinduja, director of the Cyberbullying Research Center joins the show to share practical tips and resp…
 
What life skills does your child need to thrive? There’s a lot of learning happening in schools that goes beyond academics. Karen Van Ausdal joined our hosts to talk about Social and Emotional Learning. She shares what Social and Emotional Learning looks like, why it’s important and how families can support. Resources: Explore CASEL’s helpful tools…
 
As we enter our second Back-to-School season filled with COVID-19 safety precautions, it’s vital that you stay informed. We invited a special guest, Captain Erin Sauber-Schatz, community guidance subject matter expert for CDC's COVID-19 Response, to share the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Resources: Watch National PTA’s Back to Class…
 
Did your last power struggle with your child leave you feeling burnt out? What if we shifted our mindset around parenting, and stopped trying to make our kids happy all the time? Dr. Shefali, a clinical psychologist and author, whose work has been endorsed by Oprah, joins our hosts to discuss parent self-care. She shares her own parenting experienc…
 
Let’s start talking about mental health! For too long, we’ve stigmatized mental health issues and it’s time to have open conversations with our friends and family. We talked to mental health advocate, Allison Raskin, about her personal journey and work to destigmatize these topics. She offers advice for normalizing discussions of mental health in y…
 
Is your teenager so stressed you worry they’re on the brink of burning out? Teens are still facing the typical pressures of navigating friendships, relationships, college admissions and now a pandemic. Our hosts spoke with adolescent psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. John Duffy, about how families can support their teens during this challen…
 
How can we prepare to meet every child’s needs as they return to school? We spoke with National School Psychologist of the Year, Chandrai Jackson-Saunders to learn how schools can set children up for success and how families can help by focusing on the whole child. She offers concrete strategies school communities should implement to meet the varie…
 
Teens experience mental health issues at alarming rates. How can you tell if it’s typical teenage angst or something more serious? If your teen is experiencing depression, how can you best support them? We sat down with Dr. Doreen Marshall, VP of Mission Engagement at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP) to get answers to these que…
 
It’s time to rewind! Join our hosts Helen & LaWanda as they look back on highlights from our first three seasons. They discuss some of their favorite pieces of advice and share a sneak peek at our upcoming mini-series. Resources Episodes referenced in this compilation include: Middle School: What Every Parent Should Know with Phyllis Fagell How to …
 
You may not be aware, but every school has LGBTQ youth and families. Is your PTA using inclusive language and offering affirming programs and activities? We sat down with two guests from the Human Rights Campaign Ellen Kahn, senior director of programs and partnerships, and Jodie Patterson, board chair of the HRC Foundation, to learn how to become …
 
When you think of parent teacher partnerships, conferences and report cards might come to mind, but what if we made family engagement more fun? Colleen Ryan, 2019 Toyota Family Engagement Teacher of the Year shares her innovative approach to building partnerships with families. She offers advice for parents and teachers on how to work together to h…
 
Raising a teenager can be difficult—even under normal circumstances—and COVID-19 has added new challenges. We talked to Dr. Lisa Damour, adolescent psychologist, and high school student Isaac Hurtado, co-host of the hit podcast, Teenager Therapy, to get tips. Isaac shares his experiences and what he’s hearing from other teens as they cope with all …
 
Parents dread getting a call from their child’s principal’s office. But maybe It’s time to shift our mindset and think of principals as partners who support our children’s development. We talked with Dr. Tayarisha Batchelor, principal of the Rawson STEAM school in Hartford, Conn., about how families and parent leaders can collaborate with their pri…
 
Do you want to talk to your kids about race and racism, but not sure where to start? We spoke to Melissa Giraud and Andrew Grant-Thomas, founders of EmbraceRace, to learn how to approach these conversations with young children. Using their professional expertise, and their own parenting experiences, Melissa and Andrew also share advice on raising a…
 
What can families do to address bullying and how can schools act proactively to prevent bullying altogether? We talked with Dr. Deborah Temkin, the vice president VP Youth Development & Education Research at Child Trends to get answers. She shares strategies for supporting children who are bullied and offers advice to parents who have learned that …
 
You probably find yourself thinking a lot about your child’s academics, but what about their engagement in the arts? We interviewed Julian Bass, a two-time PTA Reflections winner, who has gone on to make a name for himself as a filmmaker and visual effects artist. He shares how his own parents supported his artistic journey and how families can enc…
 
If you’ve noticed your child is struggling with academics more than usual, but you’re not sure if it’s due to the pandemic or signs of a learning difference, we’re here to help. We spoke with Amanda Morin, writer and senior expert at Understood.org to learn strategies for supporting students with learning differences during online and hybrid learni…
 
With the presidential election less than a month away, how are you talking to your kids about civic engagement? We spoke to U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, who offers wisdom from her experience in the classroom and on the Hill. She shares how families can help kids become active citizens and lifelong voters by encouraging them to contribute to the…
 
Will school closures and distance learning be a temporary setback for kids’ learning or will it have a permanent effect on their education? We spoke with Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading to get his perspective on the impact COVID-19 is having in the hardest hit communities. He offers suggestions for parent lead…
 
Are you overwhelmed by all of the online resources available to your child but not sure where to start? During this unusual school year, we need to help our children find online resources that meet their needs. We turned to Merve Lapus of Common Sense Media who shared how families can set students up for success this school year. Listen to discover…
 
How many books on your children’s shelves feature Black and Brown characters? The stories we read to our children should be mirrors to see themselves and windows to see others who are different from them. We spoke with Newbery Medal award-winning author, Kwame Alexander about the importance of representation in kids’ literature. He shared about his…
 
As school districts plan for an unprecedented back-to-school season, money is particularly tight. We invited Dr. Marguerite Roza, our guest from Education Finance 101: Money Talks, back to the show to give us an update. She shares what's currently happening in the world of education finance and how families can advocate for their child's needs.…
 
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