Parenting Magazine took a small group of thoughtful, committed moms and changed the world.
“The Mom Congress initiative is driven by the ever-increasing role parents play in implementing positive change in our nation’s schools,” said Susan Kane, editorial director of The Parenting Group and editor-in-chief of Parenting magazine. “Since the economic stimulus bill has earmarked a significant amount of financial support for public education, we have a unique opportunity to help moms advocate for funding for the resources that really matter to today’s families.”
The group of 51 delegates has grown to 12,000 women who are a part of the Mom Congress movement. They are ready for a reunion like none other.
Want in? I do!
“A joy” is the short version of what I felt representing North Carolina at the 2010 Mom Congress event. A longer version was captured in blogs, articles and videos. The energy in the group launched advocacy efforts across the nation. My favorite was the literacy effort that brought 1,200 books to foster children in Wake County.
Mom Congress 2011 heard from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on April 12 at Georgetown University. Calling the gathering an extraordinary group of moms, Duncan urged the group to continue to be engaged as passionate advocates for our nation’s schools.
“Children don’t vote,” Duncan said to the audience of delegates and Mom Congress mentors representing each state and Washington, D.C. “They don’t have lobbyists. They don’t have unions. You’ve got to be that voice.”
Watch more from Duncan in the video pasted below this blog.
Time for a reunion
I served as the Social Media Mentor for the Mom Congress delegates in 2011. Through workshops, networking opportunities and activities, Mom Congress empowered more than 70 women to share what they learned and become more effective volunteers in their communities.
If you use the $23.07 per hour value of a volunteer and multiply that out for one year of time, this means that through the Mom Congress conference, the businesses who sponsored the event were able to generate more than $3 million in value for our nation’s schools. If you consider that each of these amazing women can empower 10 more moms to do the same, it brings the total to $30 million in value.
If the millions don't sway you, here’s a snapshot of what a few of my fellow Mom Congress delegates are doing:
Felisa Hilbert (Oklahoma 2011, champion Diversity and Multiculturalism in the schools). Felisa writes that she was OK PTA Vice President. Advocate for poverty and education. In 2012, she became UNF Shot@Life Champion. Felisa traveled to Uganda to participate in UNICEF Family Health Days! “Because of my efforts in advocating and fundraising, more 2500 children in developing countries will be free of measles and polio for life. How cool is that!” In 2014 -15, Felisa became the UNF Champion Leader for KS TX and OK and started plans to build a little clinic in the Sierra Madre, Mexico this summer.
Deb Heffernan (Delaware 2010) Deb was elected as Delaware State Representative in Nov 2010 and re-elected in 2012 and 2014. She co-chairs Kid's Caucus, Serve on Education committee, Joint Finance Committee, Appropriations, Chair Natural Resources, Vice Chair Health and Human Development.
Kathie Kitron Green (Indiana 2012) Kathie is still passionate about family engagement in schools. She retired from PTA this year after serving as the Indiana PTA NE Region VP supervising 50 PTAs in her area for three years> Kathie also serving on the National PTA Communications Committee.
Oh the places Mom Congress could go if we reunite!
Comment below with "I'm in" and email me with your contact information to be added to the list.
Liza is the Faith Filter columnist for the Cary News. Her stories of faith and lives changed by trusting in God are published about four times a year.