I first got involved with Stand for Children Louisiana because my girlfriend and I wanted to educate ourselves to be stronger advocates for our young children in their educational journey. We didn’t realize how much support our family needed until we joined Stand Louisiana.

The support and guidance we received from Stand Louisiana has helped us transition into engaged parents at our children’s school. My involvement with the organization helped me recognize where I could use my voice to bring about the change I want to see in my community.

One of my proudest moments with Stand Louisiana was joining staff and other members for the March 2021 Caravan for Justice. Juvenile justice reform is something I am passionate about because I’ve been affected by the flaws in our judicial system. Attending the Caravan for Justice made me realize I can bring awareness to the issue and work with others to bring about long overdue change.

I am grateful for Stand for Children Louisiana recognizing my family’s commitment to continuing to raise our voices. The direct payment awarded by Capital Area United Way and Stand Louisiana will be used improve the reliability of our household’s technology and connectivity so I can improve my skills in my current field: auto mechanic. Like millions of families around the world, our finances were affected by COVID-19. This gift will help us as we continue to work for better outcomes for our family. 

This is one post in a series made possible by a grant from Capital Area United Way. The grant allowed Stand for Children Louisiana to provide direct cash transfers to twelve qualified members to support quality early education and/or continuing adult education.

Saturday, September 25th marked the commemoration of the desegregation of Little Rock Central — when the Little Rock Nine became the first Black students to attend Central for a full day of classes after earlier attempts that September. For weeks prior, these nine students had been denied entry by armed National Guardsmen under the orders of then Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, a segregationist. Images of the Little Rock Nine being screamed at, assaulted, and spat on made news around the world. But, on that day, in the face of angry white segregationist mobs, troops from the 101st Airborne were sent to our school by President Eisenhower to escort the students in. The soldiers remained stationed there for the rest of the school year to accompany these brave children. The children did not know then that they would become American trailblazers.

That day in 1957 was the culmination of years of legal battles and civil rights struggles so that Black students could learn alongside their white peers and be afforded the same education that had been withheld from them for centuries. This moment in time also reflected the hard work before and foreshadowed the struggles to come, both inside and outside Central’s walls — the battles we continue to encounter today. Sixty-four years have passed and we’re still fighting for educational equity; it’s sad and tragic. Many of my students would not have stood a chance to access these educational opportunities had the Little Rock Nine not blazed a trail before them.

On the Learn from History coalition launch call earlier this month, we all learned about what the coalition would do to provide the educational resources, thought partnership, and clarity of conversation with parents, students, and educators as they encounter rampant misinformation about what is being taught in schools. I spoke about how all too often they fear being vilified or bullied in some way when they are simply trying to do their jobs: teach the true stories of those like the Little Rock Nine. We also learned how the coalition prepared toolkits for parents and educators like myself, to ensure that we understand how we can create safe spaces for responsible, essential conversations about the importance of fact-based history in our schools. Since that evening, many Learn from History supporters have shared stories about educators, young and experienced, who have braved fines, termination, lawsuits, and, in some cases, threats and violence by extremists, simply for daring to teach accurate history.

But these fights aren’t won overnight and that’s why I’m asking you to keep sharing your stories.

As a school trustee, I participate in the governance of an incredibly diverse district in San Antonio, Texas – rich with tremendous cultural wealth. I appreciate Learn from History’s work to ensure that all students are taught an accurate and thorough history to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. And that requires that we teach all of our history, both the triumphs and the tragedies.

While serving, I have engaged with parents and guardians on both sides of the discussion who have bonafide concerns and fears. I can relate as a parent to three exceptional children. Unfortunately, we have been put in these challenging positions by policymakers who focus more on the outcomes of their elections rather than the outcomes of students. It should go without saying, but all students deserve a rich academic experience.

I am also a firm believer in educating parents and guardians to ensure issue distortion and misinformation don’t blind them to the realities of what balanced, responsible, and age-appropriate classroom discussions can be when talking about fact-based history with our children. I think one of the best ways to do that is through sharing your story so we can get past the rhetoric and be reminded of what we have in common — that we all want what is best for students.

That’s why I’m sharing my story and am asking you to share your story too.

Having support from the Learn from History coalition has motivated me to be more proactive as an advocate for this issue and help bring others along. Dozens of teachers, students, and parents have spoken up about how this issue is affecting them. But we know they aren’t the only ones out there.

I hope you’ll share your story today and take a stand for students’ right to a high-quality education.

When my mother was too sick to care for my four younger siblings, I took them in a few years before she passed away because I didn’t want to see them separated or wind up in foster care. At the time, I was a young mother of three and finances were already tight. My younger brother was around 12. Despite all my efforts to try to set him on the right path, he ended up going downtown and getting into an altercation. He went to juvenile detention. I protested to the courts about the tragedy that happened to us, but no one listened or cared. We still had to pay court fines and fees, which we couldn’t afford. There was no assistance and no counseling or resources to help me deal with this issue that was all new to me.  

On top of the court and probation costs, there was the gas or bus money to get to where he was, the cost of finding babysitters for my children, and the cost of making sure he had food, toothpaste, shoes and other necessities.  

Things I didn’t think I would have to do, I ended up doing: going to the food pantry, donating plasma, asking friends for help, and getting energy assistance. I had to miss work to be at court dates. It was a struggle, and my younger children didn’t understand why we could no longer afford family activities like going out to eat or to the movies.  

After he got out, I thought we would be OK, but then there were probation fees. I then had to decide between paying the costs to help secure his freedom, or not paying and having him continue to be dragged through the justice system.  

It was a vicious cycle. We lived paycheck to paycheck for several years. Some months, not all the bills got paid. It was either pay for rent or the lights, or the fees. Something had to give, but it never did.  

I want to see fines and fees eliminated from the juvenile court system so parents and caregivers don’t have to choose between feeding their family or buying their loved ones’ freedom. I want to see these costs eliminated because kids shouldn’t have this burden following them into adulthood. We all make mistakes.  

I tried to lead my brother on the best path I knew how, but once he had the fees, it felt like I was doing the time as well. It was a huge burden and hardship on my family. It strained us and we no longer had financial stability. I wish he would have been given options to pay it off, like community service. I wish someone would have given me resources or guided me through the justice system, but no one did. It was a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

If you live in Indiana, click here to join the movement for youth justice reform.

As students return to the classroom, educators continue to navigate the new realities of teaching during a deadly global pandemic. But some educators are now having to face a whole new set of restrictions that have nothing to do with keeping students safe.

Several state legislatures around the country have recently passed legislation crafted to censor educators, including banning them from teaching about the role that racism has played in our nation’s past and present.

A high-quality public education includes learning an accurate, fact-based account of U.S. history. Add your name today if you believe students deserve to hear the truth about our nation’s past.

When we asked high schoolers to share their thoughts about these new laws, one said it felt “dystopian” and like she was being lied to. Another said she felt like her culture was being erased and silenced. Teachers and parents have also told us they’re worried about the harm these policies will cause, including a potential loss of state funding if educators “violate” these laws by mentioning race or racism.

When students are given the opportunity to learn about mistakes and injustices committed in the past, they’re better equipped to work toward a more just future for everyone.

If your state or school district is being affected by politicians’ attempts to censor U.S. history in K-12 schools, we want to hear from you. The more we speak up about this issue, the more effectively we can show how this censorship is a detriment to students and their educations.


Millions of families across the country are now two months in to receiving the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments. Are you among them?

Stand for Children wants to hear how your family is spending these extra funds so that we can show lawmakers in Washington how investing in families pays off.

Hear from Devony Audet, a parent fellow with Stand for Children Washington, about how the tax credit is helping her family gear up for back to school season.

We’d love to hear from you, too! Record your own video and send it to [email protected].

I still remember how it felt to be at the first Stand for Children rally on June 1, 1996.

I covered the event as a teenage reporter, so my job was to interview other young people and adults who had traveled all across the country to gather in Washington D.C. that beautiful summer day.

There’s one particular story I keep in my head: There was an older woman with her own folding chair who opened it up under a tree on the side of the National Mall and sat down. After she got situated, I went over and asked her why she was there. She was with her young granddaughter, and she said that she had traveled all the way from the Midwest to be a voice for her grandchildren. 

As I navigated through the crowd speaking to others who attended that day, I never imagined that 25 years later, I’d still have the privilege of telling the stories of Stand families and children who are fighting for a better life and education.

To be at Stand now and continuing to find spaces to amplify the voices — not only of young people, but of our communities, of people who at one point or another have been told their voices don’t matter — is a great honor, especially as someone who sees her own story reflected in the families we serve.

Whether you have been with Stand since day one or since a few days ago, I want to say thank you. Your enduring support, determination and generosity are making a difference for families and children.

Did you know that starting today, families all across the country will start receiving payments from the expanded Child Tax Credit?

When I heard this news, I was so relieved! It’s going to help out my children so much and will cover the costs of everything they need to be happy and healthy kids.

Raising a family is so expensive, but that shouldn’t be the case. I’m the mother of three little ones, and while I would love to have a job and bring in income, right now I need to stay home with them because daycare just costs too much.

My husband is the main provider, but being a family of five on one income makes it difficult to pay all our bills month to month and buy groceries, medicine, clothing, and all the things kids need as they grow up.

The Child Tax Credit payments will help us cover the cost of child care so I can join my husband and earn money for our family.

Go to whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit to learn more and find out if your family will receive the benefit.

Recently, loud and powerful voices have claimed that teaching about race, racism, and antiracism in schools is divisive. We have found the opposite to be true.

Honest conversations about our country’s history and present are the best way to heal, foster understanding and create the future all students deserve. Now, more than ever, we need to remain connected to one another as we press forward on our antiracist educator journey. 

We developed the Summer Conversations experience to help you and your professional learning community understand what it means to be an antiracist educator and how to move forward. We know our antiracist future depends on what and how students learn today. 

Please check it out, gather your people, and register today to receive all the materials you need.

research analysis released this week by the Annenberg Institute at Brown University speaks to the positive impact the Home Visit Project (recently renamed as Home Visit Partnerships) has on student attendance, educator-family communication, and student engagement. Home visits are a family engagement strategy that typically involve teachers visiting students at their homes and creating open channels of communication between educators, families, and students. This study observed the outcomes of visits by teachers to the homes of their students during the 2019-2020 academic year, and was made possible by a generous grant from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund – Communities Foundation of Texas.

The study involved 580 teachers in five Texas school districts – the Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Dallas, Fort Worth, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, and Richardson Independent School Districts. Researchers identified these key findings: 

  • Participation in the Home Visit Project reduced students’ chronic absenteeism, particularly among early elementary students.
  • Participation in the Home Visit Project improved teachers’ connections with their students and students’ families.
  • Teachers feel home visits improved students’ engagement and achievement.
  • Participation in the Home Visit Project made teachers feel more confident in the ability of students to grow.
  • Parents and students who participated in the Home Visit Project had overwhelmingly positive experiences. 

Researchers conducting the study underscored the particular impact that home visits had on students and their families in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: “We also found that despite the interruption of the COVID-19 pandemic on home visit implementation during the spring of 2020, that early elementary school students receiving home visits were significantly less likely to be chronically absent than their non-visited peers. The disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic has left many students disconnected from school and has resulted in higher rates of chronic absenteeism across the country; this study suggests home visits could be an impactful approach to improve student-school relationships and engagement in the coming recovery years.” 

The Home Visit Project began in 2015 when a group of Stand for Children Texas educator fellows identified authentic family engagement as their top need to better support students. After much observation, listening, and learning within the program, especially while navigating the past year, it was clear how important partnerships are between educators and families and how success is based on those partnerships. The Home Visit Project team therefore made the decision to officially change the program’s name to Home Visit Partnerships.