The 2017 Parent Group of the Year search is closed.

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Celebrate and share your group’s work and you could win cash and prizes for your school. Whether you’re a PTO, PTA, HSA, PTC, etc., entering PTO Today’s 2017 Parent Group of the Year search is easy, and all K-8 parent groups are eligible!

Read more about the 2017 winners.

2017 Parent Group of Year

This year's Parent Group of the Year search is now closed.

We want to shine a spotlight on the great, often under-appreciated, work being done by parent groups at elementary and middle schools across the country. Enter in as many categories as you’d like; we’ll automatically consider you for the National Parent Group of the Year and Judge’s Choice awards.

National Parent Group of the Year

The Parent Group of the Year has superior all-around involvement efforts and emphasizes a variety of accomplishments and activities, including family events. All entrants are automatically considered for this award.

Judges' Choice

A parent group that shows overall outstanding effort or outstanding focus in a particular program or event area, selected by the judges from among the entries.

2016 Winners

8 Categories

Outstanding Parent Group at a Small School

(200 students or fewer)
Creatively supports parent involvement and student achievement, even with a limited base of volunteers.

Outstanding Parent Group at a Private or Parochial School

Religious or secular school parent group that shows a commitment to school/home connections.

Outstanding Focus on Academics & Enrichment

An event or program that supplemented the school’s offerings in the arts or a curriculum area, or supported goals for improvement in those areas.

Outstanding Family Event

An activity for parents and kids together, especially if it also enhances families' connection to the school.

Outstanding Fundraising Program

A program or event that shows widespread engagement of the school community while also contributing to the financial security of the parent group.

Outstanding Major Project or Program

A special effort to enhance any aspect of teaching, learning, or student recreation, especially if it has a unique impact.

Outstanding Outreach to a Diverse School Community

Successfully and consistently involves parents and families from different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc., in the group’s efforts and activities throughout the year.

Outstanding Community Service Project

A project spearheaded by the parent group, with involvement by students, parents, faculty, and/or administrators to benefit others.

Why should we enter?

Enter the Parent Group of the Year search to showcase all your hard work and increase awareness about your group. Choose from eight categories, including Outstanding Family Event and Outstanding Community Service Project, and we'll automatically consider you for Judges' Choice and the grand prize of National Parent Group of the Year.

There are so many great stories to tell—why not share yours? Tell us about an event/activity or what you do best. Tell us about accomplishments your group has had throughout the school year.

National Parent Group of the Year



Prizes for category winners:

$500 each


How can we enter?

Entering is simple!

  1. Decide on your group's strongest category—and remember, you can pick more than one! It's up to you. You'll automatically be entered for the grand prize.
  2. Write a few pages or more about what your group did, why you did it, and the results.
  3. Complete the online form to enter.

You can get more creative by including materials or information from the events and activities your group sponsors, but it's not required. Tell us what you did, how you did it, and the results for a specific project or the entire school year. It's that simple. More hints for Parent Group of the Year entries.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Winners may be featured in the September issue of PTO Today, on, or both. Find out more about past winners in the Parent Group Hall of Fame.

National Parent Group of the Year:
Grover Cleveland Elementary PTSA, Erie, Pa.

Judges' Choice:
Rescue Elementary PTC, Rescue, Calif.

Special Recognition for General Excellence:
Baldwin Elementary PTO, Manassas, Va.
Ben Parker Elementary Ohana, Kaneohe, Hawaii
Deer Path Elementary PTO, Cary, Ill.
Heron Heights Elementary PTO, Parkland, Fla.
Samuel Watson Elementary PTO, Fall River, Mass.

Outstanding Parent Group at a Small School:
CADES - George Crothers Memorial School Parents Group, Swarthmore, Pa.

Outstanding Parent Group at a Private or Parochial School:
Jacksonville School for Autism PAC, Jacksonville, Fla.

Outstanding Focus on Academics & Enrichment:
Briarlake Elementary PTA, Decatur, Ga.

Outstanding Family Event:
Polaris Charter School PEF, Manchester, N.H.

Outstanding Major Project or Program:
Stiles Point Elementary PTA, Charleston, S.C.

Outstanding Outreach to a Diverse School Community:
P.S. 139Q The Rego Park School PA, Rego Park, N.Y.

Outstanding Community Service Project:
Fair Grove R-X PTO, Fair Grove, Mo.

Outstanding Fundraising Program:
Mark Newbie Elementary PTA, Collingswood, N.J.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who can enter?

PTO Today's Parent Group of the Year search is open to all elementary and middle school (K-8) parent groups: PTO, PTA, HSA, PTC, etc. Parent groups at other schools such as high schools may still enter, but should be aware that the main audience of PTO Today is K-8 parent groups.

2. How many categories can my group enter?

Groups may enter in as many categories as they wish.

3. How many winners will be selected?

Nine winners will be chosen, one in each of seven individual categories plus a national winner and judges' choice winner. We'll also name several dozen honorable mentions, and every group that enters will receive a certificate of achievement.

4. Does PTO Today promote the winning groups?

Winners will be featured on and/or in the September issue of PTO Today magazine.

5. When will the winners be notified?

Winners will be notified in late summer.

6. Will my entry materials be returned?

Entries are held for review until the September issue of PTO Today magazine is published. If you'd like your materials returned, please feel free to contact us in September.

7. Who sponsors the Parent Group of the Year search?

PTO Today organizes, runs, and judges the annual Parent Group of the Year search.

Helpful Hints

1. Get together with your group and decide on your group's strongest category (or categories).

2. Work with your group to coordinate the necessary materials—make it an activity and reflect on what you've accomplished for your school.

3. Don't be afraid to brag; this is your chance to get recognition for all your hard work!

4. Judges favor groups that create a plan and follow through on it. The judges also tend to favor groups with a strong focus on parent involvement.

5. Be creative with your entry. Include photos, reviews, testimonials from parents and teachers, newspaper clippings, web links—you name it! It's not required, but the more information you send, the easier it will be to see just how fabulous your year has been. Winners don't necessarily have the most elaborate entries, however; it can be as simple as a basic Word document, as long as it demonstrates why your group deserves to be recognized.

6. Remember that outstanding groups come in all shapes and sizes. It's what you've achieved that counts.

7. Start preparing your entry now. Save, collect, and organize information from each of your activities as you hold them. You'll find information more quickly and easily when putting together your entry.

Optional Questions To Help You Get Started

1. What are your parent group’s goals, and how did you meet them?

2. What was your most notable accomplishment of the year?

3. Describe the best program or event that you run (if different)

4. What does your group do to build parent involvement?

5. Where did the idea come from? Is this the first time you’ve run this event or program?

6. What were your goals for the activity?

7. What steps did you take to plan and execute it?

8. Describe, in detail, what occurred.

9. How did you fund it?

10. Why was it successful?

11. What would you do differently next time?