#PTALegCon has been such a rich experience. The first full day was filled with so much education and great ways to move the needle forward in the mission to advocate for every child. Here are some overall takeaways from the afternoon sessions of March 9, 2021. I also give additional details on the sessions in the attached audio, so be sure to check that out.
Concerning advocacy generally, it can be a bit overwhelming, but Daphne Hoffacker shared a great list of 10 ways to get started:
Appoint an advocacy chair to be a member of your executive board
Pick one core priority your PTA wants to work on for the school year.
Collaborate with associations that have similar goals.
Share news articles and research through web and social media
Host education webinars with area experts and invite everyone.
Develop a community event to raise awareness about a core advocacy priority.
Activate your advocates.
Watch school board meetings.
Follow legislators on social media and attend Town Halls
Participate in virtual rallies or start a rally for your local PTA’s priority.
Don’t forget that there are a lot of resources out there already at the National PTA level, State PTA level, and also with like-minded organizations. Look for position statements, the history of the issue, and any bills put forth previously. Reach out to the people who have written those histories or bills and partner with them to continue to advance this issue. Finally, personal stories are critically important. They humanize the issue and show direct impact. Legislators love them, so make sure your issue has one or more personal stories to share.
There were several deep dives in the afternoon, and we attended a session on digital equity, education funding, student safety, and diversity and inclusion. All were well put together and had some incredible tips for PTAs, PTOs, teachers, and other educators. Check out the attached audio clip or listen to our summary podcast if you want more details.