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Hannah Kent Schoff, a resident of Powelton for some 60 years, is known for her leadership of the campaign to establish a juvenile court system in Philadelphia; and for her leadership role in establishing the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) as a national organization with state affiliates.

Powelton resident Hannah Kent Schoff, a member of Philadelphia’s New Century Club, organized the campaign that led in 1901 to the establishment of Philadelphia juvenile court system. From 1902 to 1920, she served as president of the organization that became the National Congress of Mothers and Parent-Teachers Associations, which, under her leadership, established the PTA as a national organization with state affiliates. Schoff stood for the nineteenth-century ideal of women’s proper role in society as nurturers of the health and welfare of children—a position that radical feminists of her generation sharply criticized. From her home in Powelton, she founded and edited the journal that became National Parent-Teacher, and, in 1915, she published her book The Wayward Child, based on her study of so-called incorrigible children who had served prison sentences.

Powelton Village

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Hannah Kent Schoff was an activist social worker and pioneer in the movement to establish juvenile courts in the nation’s cities at the turn of the last century. She also made a lasting mark as longstanding president of the children’s- advocacy organization that founded the national PTA.