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  • Priya Bradfield

    This is fantastic! I've been heavily involved in my kids' local public school here in the San Fernando Valley of LA and the momentum of parent and community involvement is growing. When I got there, there was no parent group (the PTA had been abandoned about a year and a half before I got there). Well, I got a few other parents in KG and we got it back up and running. That was 5 years ago. Now, we (PTA) run a Carnival, Academic Olympics, fundraisers, Book Swaps, Staff Appreciation lunches, and other events every year. One pebble can start an avalanche! I dislike it when people automatically consider homeschooling because they think LAUSD is bad. It's not all bad - it just takes all of us to partner together to change our communities!

  • Juan Carrillo

    Great post and wonderful insight. I am a student studying social entrepreneurship. My focus has been on low-income minority students in Los Angeles. In attempting to develop a social enterprise, I have found it very important to understand ways of engaging minority parents in their children's educational achievement. I am continuing my research and learning about results from various experiences. I believe you have presented me with a new one and I thank you for this.

    • Annemarie Ralph

      Glad to help. Good luck with your research. It's a very important question you're tackling....if you find the answer, be sure to let us know!

  • Rebecca Rousculp

    Thanks for sharing! Do you have somewhere on the web to go to read more about your ending styrofoam campaign? Its a serious problem in our community in the Dominican Republic.

    • Annemarie Ralph

      Hi! Try typing in "king middle school Styrofoam" to a Google search. There are lots of articles and videos out there on us. If you want to give me your snail mail address I can send you out our press release packet which contains more information. It sounds like something my students might want to tackle, also! Let's keep in touch!

  • Dawn O'Keeffe

    Absolutely fantastic post! Every single word is right on. We are currently in the midst of post-production on a documentary called GO PUBLIC: A Day in the Life of an American School District . One of the driving reasons we wanted to do this documentary project was to capture an authentic look at public education at the moment things are happening. We wanted to take people behind the doors in a district that struggles with a similar negative reputation. Myths are repeated as fact and people do not darken the doors of the schools to discover for themselves the reality of these various learning environments.

    I love how you said it, "She visited the campus and found out first hand that it wasn't as bad as she thought. People fear what they do not know. She came onto the campus and met with the teachers, students, staff and community members that were dedicated to this school. She realized that instead of giving up and forming something new, she would join in with the active parent community and help lift this school up."

    We believe the GO PUBIC Project is important now because too much focus has been placed on what is supposedly broken in public school education. We know there is always room for improvement, but we wanted to capture the good things that go on every day in our public schools, the teamwork it takes and the textured richness for those involved. We wanted to hear from the people actually living the public school experience. By telling the stories of individuals that work and participate in the schools, we hope to encourage viewers to become informed and compassionate advocates for their local public schools.

  • TreePeople

    We met Annemarie and young members of her team at Cilmatepalooza this year. They weren't scary, just scary smart! They set the best possible example of acting locally to benefit their own community and, by extension, the wider world. No styrofoam? Nice work, guys! That helps EVERBODY.

    • Annemarie Ralph

      Hi, yes, aren't they great? They are tackling plastic straws next....look for us in the news soon. ;)

  • Manasa Yeturu

    Having once been a teacher myself - just wanted to say this is a great post - classrooms and teachers around the world need more local love!

    • Annemarie Ralph

      Thank you. It really is that simple, isn't it? :)

  • Manasa Yeturu

    Having once been a teacher myself - just wanted to say this is a great post - classrooms and teachers around the world need more local love!