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NRTA's History

Learn more about NRTA's history and founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. Read

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About NRTA

Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus founded NRTA: AARP's Educator Community (then known as the National Retired Teacher's Association) in 1947 to address the economic challenges and health insurance needs of educators in retirement.  The benefits she was able to provide retired teachers became so popular that non-educators sought the same member benefits.  Therefore, eleven years later, in 1958, Dr. Andrus reached out to a broader audience by founding AARP (then known as the American Association of Retired Persons).  NRTA and AARP shared many goals and collaborated in the development of countless programs and advocacy initiatives.

In 1982, the two associations merged at the national level and NRTA became a division of AARP. The merger was designed to continue the beneficial relationship NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community and AARP had enjoyed for nearly a quarter century.  NRTA also maintains a collaborative working relationship with a network of state and locally-based Retired Educators Associations (REAs) who collectively represent over 750,000 retired educators.

The 50th Anniversary of NRTA was celebrated in 1997 with events nationwide and at the state and local levels—culminating in a national Convocation at which the NRTA and AARP state presidents, the Board of Directors, and other leaders celebrated their shared history and vision. More recently, NRTA and its network of REAs helped AARP celebrate its 50th anniversary by honoring an outstanding high school in every state with a $10,000 grant to support multigenerational and civic engagement activities.

NRTA has received over $500,000 in grants to support the Educator Support Network, Staying Sharp (brain health), College & Career Planning and Financial Literacy programs from Farmers Insurance, MetLife and The Hartford, respectively.

In the tradition started by our founder, Ethel Percy Andrus, NRTA: AARP’s Educator Community continues its quest to engage all those committed to education and learning.

Join NRTA today and be a part of this exciting group of people with a passion and affinity for education and learning.

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