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Resolved to Advocate

Kathryn Young Thompson

I was typing up my yearly parenting resolution for The Parenting Post and it occurred to me that although it’s not directly related to educating my kids, it definitely affects how well they are able to be educated. For 2011, I’m focusing on feeding them better physically.

As far as broader advocacy goes, my main goal for the coming year is to really make my classroom time count. Maybe I’m at the school to help with reading or spelling but if I’m really engaged, I can help the kids and the teacher in a variety of ways. Really paying attention, loving the kids, and zoning in on their individual needs, both academic and emotional, while I’m working with them can have a big impact.

I reached out to my Mom Congress friends to hear what they’re going to focus on in the coming year and here’s what they had to say:

I resolve to focus on a few issues, instead of trying to tackle too many at once; for me, its early literacy and children's health/nutrition...for starters, at least! ~Jen Barth – 2011 Oregon Delegate

My resolution is to educate my child about healthy eating. I will emphasize fresh whole plant foods: vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and I will set a good example.

Because the food industry puts out so many confusing messages and information on food packaging can be so misleading, I will read a book about food politics such as Appetite for Profit by Michele Simon and because I want to learn more about healthy eating, I will read Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right by Joel Fuhrman, MD and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. To educate myself more about diet and disease, I will watch the DVD Forks Over Knives (available to watch instantly on Netflix). ~Amie Hamlin – New York Delegate 2010

As a grandmother of two fine young boys, I resolve to expose them to all educational, artist, athletic and spiritual opportunities I am able to muster in 2012. ~Ethel Archibald – 2011 Nevada Delegate

I learned this from one of my 4 sons that as a parent I need to do this...

“make sure my children find JOY in learning.” ~Tiffany Pratt – 2011 Hawaii Delegate

In 2012, I will speak up even more and have my voice heard! ~ Lyssa Sahadevan – 2011 Georgia Delegate

This year, I will continue to help advocate for healthier school meals in our District. ~Katherine Kollman – 2011 Maine Delegate

I resolve in 2012 to advocate at the Utah State Capital in support for all appropriate Health Bills being presented and spread the word to rally support for Utah's children! ~Lori Harding – 2010 Utah Delegate

I know this will sound crazy coming from me, but "I resolve to be more involved" in 2012. What does that look like? Well, part of it is acknowledging that because of my role as an advocate for family engagement in education on behalf of my children and community, it means that sometimes I am away from my children. The irony of that is never lost on me. So I plan on being more in the moment with them when I am with them, so when I am involved advocating for them, I don't feel so disconnected from them. Forging a healthy future for them means being in the present with them.  I am often reminded by my oldest son that while I'm off saving the world I also need to be off on a field trip with him, off to an art class with his brother, and off to read a bedtime story with his
sister.  Happy New Year and may 2012 be filled with great adventures and joy!  ~Myrdin Thompson – 2010 Kentucky Delegate

I resolve to work with my child's teacher and principal to turn the focus of the classroom from a negative one of punishment and competition to a positive one of encouragement and cooperation. ~Susana Carella – 2011 Massachusetts Delegate

My resolution for my high school student receiving special services, is not take the responsibility for their education away from a student and place the responsibility on someone else. They need to be advocates and be an integral part in their own successes and we need to remember when we do this we are not doing them any favors and potentially hindering their futures. ~Connie Hollin – 2011 Wyoming Delegate

In the new year, I pledge to continue to enrich young lives through education.  

My New Year's resolution is to a provide way in which people from all faith traditions can make a meaningful difference in others’ lives, enlist volunteers with diverse interests and abilities to provide educational enrichment for youth, and develop innovative and exemplary programs that teach youth, help the community, and serve as models for others. ~Heather Jack – 2010 Massachusetts Delegate

In the new year I will continue with my commitment to support educators, staff and administrators in our district (where I teach, and where my children go to school) in learning how to talk about race and racism. ~Catherine Anderson – 2010 Maine Delegate

As my children age and go off to middle school and high school, I resolve to continue to be involved in their schooling no matter how much they might want me to fade off into the background...... ~Shayne McCaslin – 2011 Arizona Delegate

In light of the comments that Nancy Green, executive director of NAGC, made at the 2011 Mom Congress Conference, I resolve to do my best to ensure that every child learns at least one thing each day. ~Melissa Bilash – 2010 Pennsylvania Delegate

My New Year's resolution is to expand my early literacy initiative Books Make it Better-NJ to include a volunteer reader drive for Reach Out & Read. ~Meghan Lynch – 2011 New Jersey Delegate

I resolve to meet one on one with younger parents to impress upon them the importance of becoming and staying actively involved in the education process - small groups are effective. ~Deloris Iriving – 2010 Mississippi Delegate

My New Year resolution is to share tools and techniques of advocacy with students! Through our leadership and efforts, we can also find more ways to leave no child behind by establishing fair and robust teacher assessments and implementing real plans to pauperize the perpetual achievement gaps and increase graduation rates of students who are college and career ready! Visit us and consider donating to UCAN, Inc., remembering, "YOU CAN CHANGE our World and Together We Must!" ~Brenda Martin – 2011 Kentucky Delegate

Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.