The Lane County Stand for Children Chapter had an inspiring annual meeting on September 18. We met virtually to discuss our work and recommit to our cause. Do you live in Lane County and want to attend future meetings? Sign up to become a member or email us at email@example.com.
Here’s a breakdown of what we discussed as community members and advocates:
First, we briefly reviewed our organization’s history, and the impact we’ve made so far:
Stand is a statewide organization, started in 1998, to give parents and students an organized voice for good schools and educational equity.The Lane County chapter started in 2001; we now have 1,800 members! We organize and support the volunteers who go door-to-door to tell voters about school levies and construction bond measures, work to elect school champions to local and state office, and every year, we grant “Beat the Odds” college scholarships; 22 local students and 100 state-wide have received scholarships.
In 2015, we passed the Eugene library levy, and helped renew it in 2020, to keep branch libraries open and expand services.
In 2016, we passed State Ballot Measure 98, that funds Career and Technical Education in high schools across Oregon, and expands college access to underserved students.
In 2018, we led the campaign for the 4J school bond: building 3 new schools and repairing every district school and helped pass state education funding bills.
In 2021, we helped elect education advocates to our school board and passed House Bill 2001, to support a more diverse teacher workforce.
Then, we moved on to the main topic of discussion: Covid. Parents asked, how do we keep our children safe at school? How can we support our children’s mental health? Two great speakers shared info on the subjects:
4J Schools Superintendent Cydney Vandercar: Superintendent Vandercar shared her belief that being in person is the best thing we can do for kids. Kids have said they are happy to be back in person! She also shared that the School District is prioritizing mental health supports – and following best public health practices. You can find 4J COVID-19 protocols here.
Ellen Thornton-Love, Lane County Public Health, Child and Adolescent mental health: Ellen shared an incredible list of resources for parents. You can find the full list here.
After hearing from our guest speakers, we shared updates on our local work:
- Stand passed House Bill 2001 this year, to support a more diverse teaching work force. Bilingual educator Edith Gomez, and Stand leader Siobhan Cancél shared their stories of attending 4J schools, experiencing racism, and often being the only student of Color in their class. It would have helped immensely if they only had some adults there that understood their experience.
- Stand supports culturally inclusive, accurate curriculum; we need to speak up now, to counter the loud pushback against racially just, accurate history. Stand is working with educators and justice organizations as a coalition called Learn from History. Learn more here.
- Reading expert Brenda Kameenui explained the need to use proven, best practices in teaching reading. Reading is the foundation of all learning, so this is a matter of equity. Read an article by a reading teacher: "Teaching Reading Is Rocket Science."
- Due to Covid, the 4J Middle School Lunchtime Mentor program is on hold. If you’d like to help a middle schooler once volunteering starts up again, contact program coordinator Kate Becker: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lisa Krenk reported that 4J is in the very early stages of planning a “Career and Technical Education” center focused on construction trades – where students will actually build houses.
As a group, we all committed to continue speaking up to support best public health practices and support learning from history. What a great group - Thanks for Standing for Children!