It was an event so important that I chose to speak in English. I’m a native Spanish speaker, but I opted for a second, more mainstream language when it came time this week to deliver more than 1,000 petition signatures in support of common sense recommendations for the new Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) strategic plan. I wanted more people to hear and understand what I had to say.
What I had to say was this: “We are members of the organization Stand for Children, and - thanks to their support - today we dare to raise our voices to demand change, but also to support IPS. Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee and the board are stewards of our school system, and we are the customers. We share a common interest -- our students! We must work together on the same goal: IMPROVING OUR INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.”
I delivered that statement at a news conference in front of a large group of reporters before we handed over the signatures. That’s something I never would have done before I became involved in Stand for Children Indiana. I moved from New Jersey two years ago to try and find a better quality of life for my kids, but I didn’t know the best ways to help them get a great education until I attended Stand University for Parents and graduated from the program.
That experience helped me realize that I have a voice and can make a real difference in the local school system - for my children and all the others. That’s why I got involved in Stand’s committee focused on shaping the future of the Indianapolis Public Schools district.
At the time, I was one of only a few Spanish-speaking parents participating in Stand Indiana, but I didn’t let that hold me back. And whatever is stopping you from getting active to improve education in your area shouldn’t hold you back either. Our kids are too important.
Evelyn Barrueto is a Stand Indiana parent leader.