Here at the League of Education Voters, we know more than our fair share of advocates. Principals, parents, community members, teachers, preachers, business people and more unite to improve educational outcomes for students across Washington state. However, with all these valuable resources, student participation can easily be forgotten in the education advocacy equation. LEV strives to keep students at the center of our efforts.
One of our summer interns, Grace Armstrong, who is studying Special Education at Gonzaga University, decided to tackle this issue head on. This summer she developed a workshop entitled “Advocacy and Activism at School.” Her goal is to give students the power to fix issues they see at school, rather than relying on an adult to help, which oftentimes never happens. With this workshop, students will identify a needed area for change at their school, uncover the root causes and long-term effects of the issue, and examine their personal investment in repairing the issue. Most importantly, they will develop a strategic action plan on how to influence people in power and conquer these school-related issues through advocacy and activism. This workshop is focused on forming student and community coalitions, so students can advocate not only for their needs, but the needs of many.
Grace has already presented the workshop at several local community centers and has more scheduled. She says, “the students teeming energy, curiosity and passion blow me away. They have so much to discuss surrounding issues from bullying, to unhealthy school lunches, to falling behind in class. You can tell they want change and they want it now.” Grace can’t wait to continue this workshop series at more community centers and summer camp programs around Seattle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to schedule a workshop!