PTA History

Washington State PTA was founded in 1905 by Abby Williams Hill, a Tacoma-based artist who saw the need for an organization to support Washington’s children. Thanks to her leadership and vision—and that of thousands of parents and teachers who have carried her vision forward—Washington State PTA has been a leading voice for children in Washington for more than 117 years. In addition to supporting the work at the national level, here are some specific examples of PTA successes right here in Washington:

  •     Washington State PTA coined the term “preschool” and mentored parents of toddlers long before early childhood education was accepted and expected.
  •     Before there was public funding for well-child exams, PTAs hosted back-to-school “round-ups” with medical volunteers.
  •     When moms went to work during World War II, Washington PTAs arranged day care.
  •     When local levies failed in the 1950s and kindergartens went unfunded, Washington State PTAs first organized kindergarten “co-ops,” then worked to secure state funding for universal kindergarten.
  •     As part of a coalition of community and statewide groups, Washington State PTA was instrumental in promoting the use of vehicle seat belts to save lives.
  •     Thousands of volunteers from Washington State PTA helped secure the passage of the “simple majority” amendment to the state constitution in 2007.
  •     Working collaboratively with other education and child advocacy groups, Washington State PTA played a leading role in securing the passage of major education reform efforts in Washington: House Bill 2261 (2009), House Bill 2776 and Senate Bill 6696 (2010).

Take some time to watch this great history of the Washington State PTA!