Educational advocacy promoted at Highland Family Festival

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
It is often difficult to get children to go back into their school building when the day is officially over, but dozens of students and their parents and guardians made a special exception at Highland Elementary. On Nov. 11, the school on the city’s westside transformed into a special event center that featured a host of activities and crafts for the children and informational sessions for the adults on educational advocacy at the local, state and federal level. Sponsored by CareSource in partnership with All in For Ohio Kids, and A Step in the Right Direction, the evening event sought not only feedback from the young children and the adults on topics such as what they liked about their local schools and what they thought could be improved, but it also offered tips on how to engage with local and state officials on topics like fair school funding and advocate for educational opportunities for all public school students. Katelyn Jackson, a parent organizer at All in For Ohio Kids, said the surveys that were filled out and the feedback that was given would be distributed to a number of student advocacy groups to try to make changes to the school funding formula. Jackson, who is pictured at left with Kayla Davis, the founder and executive director of the local non-profit A Step in the Right Direction, said all voices need to be heard in order to make educational changes for the betterment of the community. The state-wide coalition of community members, educations, parents and organizations plans to host additional Family Festivals like the one held at Highland Elementary throughout the year. Jackson encouraged parents who were unable to attend the night’s event to fill out surveys and give feedback on the state of their schools at
Davis fixes a plate of food for an attendee at the event.
Volunteer Nicole Ryan makes a snow cone for some of the children in attendance.
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