Last week, Stand for Children Louisiana partnered with Louisiana Policy Institute for Children to host a virtual Parent Advocacy Training as part of Louisiana's Early Ed Month. The Training was a huge success and 2018 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year and the event's facilitator Kimberly Eckert summed it up incredibly well:
"So much fantastic content packed into just one hour. Families care about their children and want to be involved in their communities and education. Sometimes the "how" is withheld, though. Thank you to organizations like Stand for Children Louisiana and Policy Institute for Children for enlightening, engaging, and equipping."
I learned so much during this training and hope you'll take about an hour to watch the recording here. Perhaps most importantly for me, a single thread wove through every discussion: when parents talk, elected officials listen.
This thread was shared by three of our esteemed guests including Louisiana State Senator Beth Mizell, City of Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis, and BESE Member Ashley Ellis, all of whom are elected officials. They confirmed that as our elected representatives, they want to hear from us. They want to address our priorities and pursue our interests. In order to do that, they need to hear from us.
During this event and all of #LAEarlyEdMonth, we've been talking about the state of early education in our state and the opportunities we have to invest in our children and improve our offerings. Right now in Louisiana, 114,000 in-need children ages birth to three years are without access to a high-quality early care or education program. This impacts our state's education outcomes and our state's current economy. Did you know Louisiana employers face annual losses of $760 million due to childcare-related employee absences and turnover?
As we reflect on the recently adjourned special session and look forward to the regular session (which starts March 14), I hope you'll double check who your elected officials are and ask your legislators to support early education this year.