Mom Congress: Lesson Plan for Change
Find out how you can be a part of the education reform movement and improve local schools
Found: 51 amazing moms.
In 2009, we at Parenting formed Mom Congress® on Education and Learning, a grassroots coalition that connects and celebrates moms making a difference in their children's schools, so that they can share the lessons they've learned and encourage other moms to advocate for positive educational change. Next, we launched our "Send a Mom to Congress" contest at the beginning of 2010 and chose a representative from each state and the District of Columbia. We flew them to Georgetown University in Washington, DC, this past May, where they spent two days meeting with and listening to a stellar lineup of panelists, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, National PTA CEO Byron Garrett, vice president of the National Education Association Lily Eskelsen, and faculty from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies, the Mom Congress educational provider.
The task at hand: Develop a "Lesson Plan for Change" to empower moms everywhere to fight to improve their children's schools. Whether it's a little issue (say you want to outfit every classroom with a new book series) or a big one (maybe you want to secure funding for additional special education teachers or build a new gymnasium or computer lab) you can follow this road map. It was drawn up by these seasoned movers and shakers who've used the very same strategies to mobilize their own communities and convince school boards and administrators that it's time for a change. Look at what they've accomplished:
- Gwen Eaddy-Samuel of Meriden, Connecticut, founded the first child pedestrian safety program in her town for kids walking to public and private school.
- Myrdin Thompson of Louisville, Kentucky, along with fellow PTA board members and parents, led a successful effort to build a new playground and garden at her children's school that netted a $10,000 grant from KaBOOM, a national non profit (more on them later!). Then she raised an additional $50,000 from the community.
- Delegate Jennifer DeFranco of Palatine, Illinois, secured a proclamation signed by the state governor deeming one week in October to be Bullying Prevention Awareness Week; schools around the state participated with related programs.
- Virginia delegate Christine Morin of Lorton fought and won not just one but two battles for the construction of new schools in Fairfax County.
"We are going to win the fight for better schools when passionate moms put the power of their citizenship to work," the NEA's Lily Eskelsen, told these amazing Mom Congress delegates. Are you ready to join their ranks? Let's get started!