Greetings Friends of Gwinnett SToPP. For those passionate about public education, it is true that the stakes have never been higher. On national, state and local levels the quality of education and safety of our children in public schools is uncertain. School police forces are emboldened to treat our children like adult criminals at the same time that the entire concept of public education is on trial.
There is cause for hope – but it means we all must be engaged.
For the first time in several generations, Americans are engaging, taking to the streets, picking up their phones and making their voices heard in large numbers. Leadership is more important than ever before. It is critical that engaged parents remain focused and reach out to elected officials in the most direct and efficient ways to shape policy and direct funding. It’s time for us to assume positions of power from local school councils to district school boards and even state and federal legislator roles.
We have been doing this a long time and we are here to help.
Gwinnett SToPP was founded 10 years ago and each year we work with parents across the county to equip them with the tools needed to advocate effectively for their children at a school level when needed and at a state and local level to influence education policy. These people weren’t necessarily community leaders, they were just concerned citizens who wanted to change things for the better. They had full-time jobs, children to care for and often they had no spouse to help them.
Those same people now assist their friends and neighbors with IEP meetings. They sit on school councils to hear from principals what is being done to improve their schools. They form non-profit organizations to improve student performance and they work in tandem with Gwinnett SToPP to rewrite, challenge and give careful consideration to existing school policies that need revision or clarification.
It may not be glamorous, but if we don’t do the heavy lifting, we get crushed under the weight.
Real change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication and attention to detail. Without community advocacy and activism training, most people lose focus or give up. So if you are joining us for the first time, welcome. We’re glad you’re here because we need your expertise and your help. Read about our program – Parent Leadership Institute and Youth Leadership Institute. These programs are battle-tested and provide great information for community organizing, student advocacy and political activism. Our training is rigorous but once you’ve completed it, we need you in the trenches with us serving on committees to advocate for fair policies both locally and nationally.