PTA Primer: What to know about parent-teacher associations

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A couple of weeks into August, the new school is no longer so new. Students are settling into a routine. The PTA forms are going out.

If you're one of the more than 36,000 Alabamians who belong to a parent-teacher association, you know the drill.

But maybe you've never had the time or the opportunity to work with a PTA.

Layna Payne wants you to know that child advocacy is at the heart of everything they do.

She's part of the leadership of the Huntsville Council of PTAs.

Payne acknowledges, "PTA has sometimes...been perceived as the fundraising arm." However, she says there is much more to PTA than selling candy bars or gift wrapping.

Founded in 1897, the National PTA has played a role in the creation of kindergarten classes, school lunch programs and mandatory immunization policies.

Today, there are opportunities to volunteer on a weekly basis or just once a year.

To find your school's PTA, click here.