As the editor overseeing several publications for the National Center for Parents as Teachers, it is part of my job to tap into our vast field of Parents as Teachers programs and parent educators to gauge where we are in terms of providing relevant content and additional resource support.
My most recent survey fielded last fall through the Parents as Teachers News (quarterly professional resource publication) gleaned some great insights as well as a few surprises. One that stood out was the general lack of interest in advocacy…29% of respondents stated advocacy as their least topic of interest! Here are some comments:
“Too much fund development and advocacy — that’s why I don’t read [the Parents as Teachers News].
“No need to give us info on advocacy, we are already sold on the program.”
“If [a parent publication] contains info about legislative concerns, program information, etc. like the newsletter for parent educators it won’t be effective.”
“Keep it professional, leave politics out of it.”
As a communicator, it was clear to me that I’ve got some work to do. Not only do some of my readers fail to see the critical importance of advocacy as an essential part of building viable and sustainable Parents as Teachers programs, but they also fail to see their intrigal part in it.
How about you? Do you have a clear understanding of advocacy and why it is important to Parents as Teachers?
If you do, then you understand that services supporting young families and children ARE political…critical decisions about the future of early childhood funding are being made at the local, state and federal legislative levels as we speak. Who in your community needs to know about the benefits of Parents as Teachers?