Developing Advocates for your School

Posted by Melissa Winston, Bright Futures Coordinator, Joplin Schools on 2/17/2015 12:00:00 PM

Are you working to develop leaders in your community who can be advocates for your school district and for the most at-risk students in your schools? The benefits can be tremendous as you now have people in place who not only understand your school district, but will also work on the behalf of your school for you.


Oftentimes, people view the school district through their own perceptions and what they’ve heard from others. Our goal is to provide them with accurate information so they can be true advocates for the school who understand what is actually happening, not just what they believe or hear is happening.


In the workshop entitled “Bright Futures Leadership Academy” at the Bright Futures Community Engagement Conference, we’ll share with attendees what our model of the Leadership Academy looks like at Joplin Schools.


Through our academy, community leaders are given an opportunity to meet and speak with school leadership and tour our facilities. They learn about poverty and the impact it has on the brain and the child’s ability to learn and develop. They are also provided information about the demographics of the community and how poverty affects truancy, grades and disciplinary action. We give clarity about the mission, vision, and strategies of the District. We also talk about how to develop opportunities for at-risk children so they can succeed and discuss programs our district has developed to tackle these challenges. Attendees have an opportunity to spend a “day in the life of a teacher,” where they can see first-hand the challenges and joys of this enormous task.


We’ve had great success with The Leadership Academy at Joplin Schools. It has opened the door for people to not only understand the school district and our students, but also gives them an opportunity to become a part of solutions. The vast majority of the people who attend BFLA end up getting involved in helping the school district in one capacity or another. We find that other leaders who were previously serving in schools leave the Academy empowered as an informed voice for the school district.


We hope you will join us for this workshop and learn about the benefits of developing a Bright Futures Leadership Academy in your district. Engaging the leaders among you to be partners and advocates for change in your community helps make the dream come to life!