This year both of my sons, Seth (12) and Jonah (9) joined me in Frankfort in support of Kentucky Youth Advocates annual Children's Advocacy Day. This is an amazing opportunity to support PTA in it's advocacy efforts as well as to see their mom in action. What did the boys learn? They learned that advocacy is about building relationships and addressing issues with respect and courtesy. They learned that there are other people who believe just as strongly and passionately about issues that impact our families: legislation about health and wellness, about education, about a myriad of concerns. That showing up and shaking a hand has as much value as a phone call because it let's those we have elected know we are engaged, we are paying attention, and that we care. And this year, this year there were close to 1000 or more, in attendance, from all over the State. Children and adults, are focused on change. All ready for action.
I know that not every parent engages in the way I do. But be engaged. Read with your child. Attend parent-teacher conferences. And if you are a PTA leader and you don't want to be an advocate, don't deny other parents the opportunity. Inform and educate them about events such as Children's Advocacy Day, and let them decide if they want to attend. But don't make that decision for them or their children by not telling them about the event. I believe that parents feel disconnected enough from education, and that part of our responsibility in PTA is to reconnect parents/families/students with their schools and community.
PTA is everychild.onevoice. It's time we start speaking and listening to what our parents and students need. So, plan ahead for next year. Children's Advocacy Day 2012. See you there!
"The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something." Antoine de Saint-Exupery