NJEA’s PRIDE in Public Education campaign is 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. PRIDE provides grants to NJEA’s local affiliates for projects that bring the public schools out into the community and the community into the public schools. Here’s how you can use the PRIDE program and organize your members to assist those in need during this difficult time.
Get involved now:
Apply for a PRIDE grant
Below is a short list of sample PRIDE projects that you can submit in order to provide support for Hurricane Sandy victims. You are encouraged to brainstorm your own unique solutions as well. When you are ready, apply for a PRIDE grant by downloading the PRIDE forms from njea.org. Remember to submit an updated cover sheet with your application that reflects your previously approved funding plus any new funding that you are seeking. Speaking of funding, current PRIDE funding limitations upon your local (i.e. if your local has reached or exceeded its PRIDE funding limit) will be waived depending on need. If your local is already at its maximum PRIDE funding but wants to seek more for this effort, email Jim Boice at firstname.lastname@example.org
for more details. If you need assistance with the PRIDE grant application, contact your NJEA regional UniServ office.
Sample PRIDE projects:
• Set up a PRIDE table at a local gas station where a line exists and hand out bottled water and snacks. A sign-in sheet can be used to build the local's database. Don’t forget to hang your PRIDE banner! Include the cost of bottled water and snacks on your PRIDE application.
• Provide meals to volunteers who are providing support to victims. Include the cost of meals on your PRIDE application.
• Serve hot meals to the victims themselves. Include the cost of meals in your PRIDE application. Work in conjunction with your local food bank or Red Cross to ensure their needs and procedures are met (the logistics of serving food to victims should be left to the professionals).
• Organize a community donating effort complete with teams that would canvass the community asking for donations, etc. Ask your superintendent for use of school buses to deliver the materials. Include the cost of any meals for your volunteers in your PRIDE application as well as any other costs.
• Sponsor a fundraising event such as a school talent show, etc. Include any sponsorship costs on your PRIDE application.
• PRIDE will also cover any printing and publicizing costs inherent to your efforts.
Efforts to support hurricane Sandy victims should go beyond members and reach out to the community. Even locals not in the affected areas can mount a community organizing effort. Here’s how you can reach out to your community in order to involve them in your efforts:
• Reach out to your local PTA or PTO and build a partnership in support of these initiatives. Consider reaching out to other groups such as the band boosters, etc.
• Activate your PRIDE community supporter database (those email addresses and cell phone numbers that you collect at all your great PRIDE activities).
• Encourage school administrators to use the district email database and/or robocall system as well as the district website and/or text-messaging service to get the message out.
• Reach out to community newspapers and television stations.
• Reach out to community groups (municipality managers, churches, historical societies, civic organizations, local police and firefighters, local government, etc.).
• If schools are in session, your local could get the word out to students and involve them in the project via fliers and announcements.
• Use all available social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to reach the community.
Other ways local associations can get involved
• Set up a table outside a local grocery store and ask patrons for donations and canned goods.
• Adopt a family in the community that was hit particularly hard by Sandy.
• Organize delivery services for the elderly and house bound in your area.
• Work to launder clothing for community members.
• Help to clean out homes in affected areas.
Are you considering organizing a supply drive? Here is a list of suggested items. Remember, before mounting any relief effort it is important to contact the recipient to determine if the supplies are necessary. Check this list and contact the shelters directly:http://www.nj211.org/hurricane.cfm#stateandlocalresources
• HAND SANITIZER
• BABY WIPES
• SANDWICH, QUART, GALLON ZIPLOC BAGS
• PAPER TOWELS
• TRASH BAGS
• ANTIBACTERIAL WIPES
• GRANOLA BARS
• ENERGY AND PROTEIN BARS
• CEREAL BARS
• GRAB AND GO SNACKS (I.E. PRETZELS, CRACKERS, ETC)
• WORK GLOVES
• MEALS IN A CAN
• ANY CANNED GOODS
• PEANUT BUTTER
• SHELF STABLE MILK
• CLEANING SUPPLIES
• TOOTHBRUSHES, TOOTHPASTE, AND SOAP
• HYGIENE PRODUCTS FOR MEN AND WOMEN
• PET FOOD, PET LEASHES, KITTY LITTER, ETC.
Also consider contacting your local Red Cross directly and see what you can do to help.
Do you have members who are looking to volunteer? Check out this link for more information:http://www.nj211.org/hurricane.cfm#volunteer
Get involved later
Right now there are many people volunteering in the affected communities, so local officials are turning people away in some areas. Many emergency shelters are also reporting that they are well stocked with supplies. If, however, you have heard of a need in your community that NJEA members can help with, please let us know. For example, we're getting some updates and requests for assistance on our Facebook page (New Jersey Education Association). Here’s one:
• “The Hopatcong teachers are looking for volunteers to come to the Hopatcong HS shelter to work with our children and parents while living at the shelter. If you are a dance, yoga, martial arts, or Zumba instructor (etc), and would like to volunteer, please contact Danielle Kovach. Thank you!”
Keep in mind that many of these communities will need our help well into the future, so if you're not able to help now, your local can begin to plan an effort now that will offer support in the future. Consider encouraging your members to sign a pledge of involvement that will commence after Thanksgiving or around the holidays.
Consider organizing your members around a long-term effort that involves:
• Building and landscaping supply collections.
• Gently used furniture or clothing drives.
• Collaborate with a local hardware store, paint store, building supplies store, etc. in order to collect supplies or donations.
• Work with garden centers in your community to organize your efforts.
• Adopt a “sister school” in an affected area. For example, we are beginning to learn of schools that are a total loss. Throughout the school year, donations can be collected as needed. Emotional support can be offered by your students through digital and pen-pal connections.
Whatever you decide to do to help, make sure your members and your local get recognized for your efforts.
• Take pictures and post them on your association website or Facebook page.
• Shoot video and upload it to your website or YouTube channel.
• Send your media into your local newspapers and television stations.
• Speak to your administration and ask for permission to have your media posted to your district’s website.
• Submit press releases to your local newspapers and television stations inviting reporters to your events (contact your regional office for a sample press release).
• Create an association flier that you can distribute at your events that highlights your local’s sponsorship and details how our members and students are making a difference.
• If providing any giveaways or supply donations, consider attaching a tag or sticker to each item that reads, “Compliments of the members of the _______________ Education Association.”
• As with any PRIDE event, ensure that your association banner is hanging at the venue.
• Following the event, send a thank you or message to the community members that attended your event thanking them or providing additional information.
As locals apply for PRIDE funding for these projects, we will maintain a list and post examples of their descriptions on our Facebook page. Check it often:https://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE