by Colleen Flaherty
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Thousands of educators, parents, students and community activists rallied in support of public education Monday for the Our Schools Day of Action. In more than 60 cities, from California to Maine, supporters came out in droves to support issues like school funding, student poverty, school safety and community-led ideas for great public schools.
Here are some events that happened around the country:
- In Maine, there was a food drive for students and families in need this holiday season.
- In Des Moines, Iowa, where more than 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, organizers drew attention to the importance of school funding and equity in education. The event included a press conference and a collection for hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and boots for families in need in the Des Moines Public Schools.
Every day in our classrooms, we see the multiple, damaging effects that poverty has on our kids’ ability to focus on learning,” said Andrew Rasmussen, president of the Des Moines Education Association. “We are going to need to find better supports for families that are in poverty to help them become supportive families at home. A lot of what happens in school is affected by what happens at home.
- In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., community leaders, elected officials, Broadway actors and “Cat in the Hat” visited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School where they have hundreds of books to promote literacy.
- In Lake Charles, La., despite steady rains and frigid temperatures, approximately three dozen stakeholders braved the elements to speak their minds on the Common Core State Standards at Lake Charles-Boston Academy’s Auditorium.
- In Traverse City, Mich., educators donated hundreds of food and care items for students and families in need to the student-run food bank at the local high school. “For too many children in our community, learning is a challenge when they don’t have enough to eat in the morning or lack basic personal and school supplies,” said Mary McGee-Cullen, MEA UniServ Director. “Local teachers and education support professionals are stepping up to help those most in need this holiday season, because we all have deep roots in our community and we strongly believe in doing our part to make sure everyone in this community can succeed.”
Check out what people are saying on Twitter about the Day of Action: