Celebrating Stand Education Superhero Miss Revia Ellis
For five years, Stand for Children Louisiana has fought alongside parents, partners, teachers and the community to improve education in our state for all children. But five years of Standing Strong takes time, perseverance and hard work.
Most of all – it takes a group of dedicated people who are committed to making their world a better place, and over the course of 2017 we would like to introduce you to a handful of those people who make this work possible, those individuals who fight for students and teachers – our very own Education Superheroes.
Revia Ellis – Parent, Team Captain, Early Childhood Educator
As the parent of three young children, Miss Revia knows the value of a quality early education center. When her oldest was ready to go to pre-kindergarten, Miss Revia did her research and found a fantastic option that she was confident would educate her child. By the time her youngest child was ready to attend an early learning center, Miss Revia noticed the choices were more limited. She worried that sending her youngest to a sub-par center would hinder their lifelong academic success. Luckily, Miss Revia’s youngest earned a coveted spot in a quality center, allowing Miss Revia to return to school herself, where she is currently studying to be a certified early childcare provider who will provide other parents with peace of mind knowing their child is being looked after by a capable, strong, empowered, and certified educator.
But Miss Revia doesn’t stop there – securing and providing early learning experiences for her children and her future students isn’t enough: Miss Revia wants to secure quality early learning programs for all young learners in Orleans Parish. On Thursday, August 31st, 2017, Miss Revia, along with three of her Parent Members, descended upon New Orleans City Hall and testified before the Budget Committee about the importance of public funding for quality early learning centers for the city’s youngest learners. They asked for $750,000 – certainly not a small number – in public funds to support a pilot program to improve the quality of early learning seats in Orleans Parish. Besides attending in person, these Stand Parents rolled out all the signatures they’d collected from community members who support this initiative and public investment in quality programs. For testifying, mobilizing her team members in the middle of the day, collecting all those signatures, and so much more, Miss Revia truly is a Superhero for the youngest learners in Orleans Parish!
While we won’t know how much the City will chose to invest in this program until they reveal their revised budget for 2018, Miss Revia feels good about our chances. Every single member of the budget committee stood up to take a picture of Miss Revia, the three Parent Members standing behind her, and the impressive roll of petition signatures. And after listening to Miss Revia’s testimony, members of the budget committee spoke eloquently about the need for public investment in our youngest learners. We remain hopeful the Budget Committee will fully fund this program (and to show your support for Miss Revia and this pilot program, please consider contacting the Mayor and City Council by clicking this link to send an email.
Miss Revia’s community and advocacy work doesn’t end with testifying before the City Council. She regularly opens her home and hosts Stand Parent meetings where members gather to discuss personal parenting and systematic challenges, ideas for improvement, and opportunities for direct advocacy. Miss Revia manages her own team of six Parent Members, tirelessly leading them through lessons, strategic planning workshops, discussions, and brainstorming sessions. Miss Revia is also taking a larger role this fall including co-facilitating Stand’s three-week University for Parents (Stand UP) at ARISE Academy in New Orleans.
For this, and so much more, we celebrate Miss Revia Ellis, Stand Louisiana Team Captain, parent, early childhood educator, and outstanding advocate for the students of Orleans Parish – our very own Education Superhero!