The group which became known as the National Congress of Parents and Teachers was founded on February 17, 1897, in Washington, D.C. The leading figures were Alice Birney, the wife of a Washington D.C. lawyer, and Phoebe Hearst, wife of a United States Senator from California. Membership in the group was originally geared toward mothers, as revealed in the original name of the group, the National Congress of Mothers. After several other name changes, the name National Congress of Parents and Teachers (NCPT) was established in 1924.
The goals of NCPT were to promote the welfare of children, to secure adequate laws for their protection, to develop relationships between parents, teachers and communities, and to raise the standards of home life. The North Dakota branch, the North Dakota Congress of Parents and Teachers, was organized in May 1915. Grand Forks was represented in this body by the Grand Forks City Parent Teacher Council, which was formed in 1926.
The Grand Forks City Parent Teacher Council consisted of presidents of local Parent Teacher Associations, principals of local schools and one representative of each PTA. The group sponsored activities which would realize the goals of the NCPT. Some of their activities included: collecting clothes for the needy, purchasing playground and athletic equipment for the schools, purchasing library materials, sponsoring music and essay contests, promoting health issues, and purchasing musical instruments for the schools.
The North Dakota Congress of Parents and Teachers began publishing a periodical entitled North Dakota Parent Teacher in 1928, although it had been known as P.T.A. Bulletin since 1921. In 1966, the name changed to North Dakota P.T.A. Bulletin, until publication ceased in 1971.