PTAs and booster clubs may seem similar on the outside, but they are very different in terms of purpose and range of activities. Both booster clubs and parent-teacher associations raise money to help children in an academic environment, but beyond this basic similarity, they have many more Booster Club and PTA differences.
In this article, we will cover the big-picture Booster Club and PTA differences between booster clubs and PTAs. We will explain how a booster club and PTA differ in terms of their goals and overall effects on the school district so that you can understand why both are needed in order for a school district to function well. After all, both organizations are there to support the kids. They just accomplish this goal in very different ways.
First, let’s look at how booster clubs work and then discuss how PTAs work. Doing this will lay the groundwork make clear booster club and PTA differences later in the article. Don’t worry – these explanations will be fairly high-level overviews, so we will not get into the nitty-gritty details. We will just go over the basics of what a booster club does and what a PTA does so that you can get a sense of how each type of organization functions.
How Booster Clubs Work
A booster club is a nonprofit organization that is created to raise funds and generally support a specific club, sports team, or athletic program within a school district. Booster clubs throw fundraisers or coordinate events to bring in money to pay for equipment, transportation, and other things that clubs and sports teams need. They are often created to support teams and clubs with shrinking budgets.
Like parent-teacher associations, booster clubs are often organized and run by parents of the students in the clubs or teams that the booster club supports. However, a booster club’s purpose is specifically to support extracurricular activities, which is not what parent-teacher associations are focused on. In addition, teachers are not usually involved directly in organizing booster clubs.
Booster clubs also have limited political influence within a school district. They are almost always required to operate at the discretion of the administrators of the school district. The relationship between a booster club and its school district will be laid out in its by-laws, and since a booster club’s purpose is narrowly focused on raising funds for student organizations within the school district, they usually do not try to change the way the school district manages its resources or operates in general.
How A PTA Works
Parent-Teacher Associations are created to support a school district by procuring funds for teaching supplies, recruiting good teachers, and managing the influence that parents have on the school district in general. PTAs help to implement school improvement programs and manage communications with the local community through newsletters, fliers, email updates on current issues, news and events.
PTAs have a wide focus. The goal of a PTA is to provide what students need to be successful in their learning, including nutrition, health, school safety, physical fitness, and general well-being. In addition, because PTAs are so deeply influential in the local community, PTAs sometimes have political power. As a result, leaders of PTAs often move on to positions in local governments.
In addition, PTAs in the USA are part of the National PTA, a nonprofit organization that brings consistency to PTAs across the country. The National PTA advocates for the interests of children at the national level on issues including by not limited to kindergarten classes, child labor laws, public health service, hot and healthy lunch programs, the juvenile justice system, and mandatory immunization.
An Easy Outline of Booster Club and PTA Differences
Now we are ready to discuss booster club and PTA differences. From the descriptions above, you might already be able to see, at least a little, how they differ. Let’s discuss them so that their differences are clear.
For one thing, Booster clubs and PTAs have very different scopes of activity. One of the biggest booster club and PTA differences is that the scope of a PTA’s concerns is very broad and encompasses every aspect of the well-being of children in a school setting, while booster clubs have a narrower focus on raising funds for extracurricular activities. While a PTA may or may not support extracurricular activities, the PTA will often have other responsibilities and operate programs concerning other areas of academic life. However, a booster club will mostly focus its efforts on supporting only student activities related to certain clubs and athletic programs.
Booster Priorities vs. PTA Priorities
In some cases, that narrower scope means that some Booster clubs only receive small donations and organize smaller events and fundraisers. Meanwhile, PTAs often receive much larger donations, and therefore have larger budgets, bigger events, and greater community participation. PTA membership tends to be broadly representative of the local community around a school district, while booster club membership tends to be specifically representative of the clubs and athletic programs a booster club supports.
Political vs. Apolitical
Finally, while booster clubs offer parents a chance to raise some money for their kid’s activities and show some school pride, PTAs often directly influence the academic performance of children within schools by providing supporting programs to children. For example, while a booster club might help sponsor one child who needs equipment to play sports, a PTA might provide a hot breakfast and lunch for all children, make sure every child gets vaccinated, and work with the school district to help improve the overall performance and attendance of kids in the school district.
The Final Word on Booster Club and PTA Differences
As you can hopefully see by now, booster clubs and PTA differences are clear. While they might look similar on a superficial level, once you understand how they work and what their purposes are, you see that they are very different types of organizations. Sure, they both try to help children succeed in an academic setting, but PTAs support school districts broadly in helping children learn while booster clubs focus much more narrowly on funding extracurricular activities.
Now that you understand how a booster club and PTA differ, you can get started finding a booster club in your neighborhood. Search for your local booster club using booostr.com and get involved. Or better yet, start your own booster club to support athletics programs at your local schools. You a lot of useful information on boooster.com to help you get started.