74. Does your local have a PRIDE in public education committee?
Since 1994, NJEA has conducted the PRIDE in Public Education campaign, a statewide effort to share the successes of public education with all New Jerseyans and build strong community support for and involvement in our public schools.
As part of its campaign, NJEA provides grants to its local/county affiliates for projects that bring the public schools out into the community and the community into the public schools. Each year there are hundreds of local PRIDE projects conducted by NJEA members.
For example, in April 2012 the Berkeley Township Education Association (BTEA) is planning the “Night of 3 Rs: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.” At this event, NJEA members will support literacy in their schools by promoting “battle of the books” and “math madness” competitions. Refreshments will be served and magnets and bookmarks will be distributed with the BTEA name and logo. What’s more, a book fair will be on site that will include a visit from a local author. Seven hundred members of the community are expected to attend, and the BTEA will receive recognition in the local newspaper for hosting the event.
Events like these don't happen without members stepping up to plan them. PRIDE often appeals to members because it's all about supporting the local community and sharing all the good things going on in the district and how our members and students are at the center of it all.
If you’ve never participated in the NJEA PRIDE program, take this easy quiz. It will help you see if your members are already doing great PRIDE-type projects but not getting the NJEA resources and funding available.
1. Do you have excited but slightly overwhelmed new staff?
2. Do you have members feeling beat up by all of the negative press?
3. Do any of your members invite parents, community leaders, and/or senior citizens into their classrooms to talk to their students or participate in holiday activities?
4. Does your school have back-to-school night and/or parent-teacher conferences?
5. Does your school hold music, art, and/or science nights to showcase students’ work?
6. Do any community and/or civic groups sponsor town festivals or holiday events?
7. Would your members enjoy getting funds to help them participate in these types of activities?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you are already on your way to participating in PRIDE. Now all you have to do is put a few ideas on the proposals, and you’ll qualify for funding. The only difference is that your association and not an individual staff person will sponsor the event. After all, PRIDE is all about getting your members involved and building name recognition and support for your association.
In order to establish PRIDE in your local, you need a team of members to help you -- members who will enjoy giving back to the local community and volunteering in charitable causes. PRIDE often appeals to newer, younger members as they seek to learn more about their school communities and involve themselves in charities as well as great public relations projects. To get started with PRIDE, reach out to your NJEA UniServ field rep.
For more information about PRIDE, log in to njea.org and go here: https://www.njea.org/Parents-and-Community/Pride/Pride-Secure
Here is our section of the message board devoted to PRIDE: http://www.njea.org/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=7
Here is our PRIDE Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE?fref=ts
Here's an older episode of Classroom Close-Up NJ that highlights the PRIDE program in one local: http://bcove.me/bom34lvi
Additional Classroom Close-Up NJ PRIDE videos are here: http://www.njea.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=84