Dear Raise Your Hand Advocate:
As you are probably aware, the outlook for education funding in Illinois is dire. With no official state budget in over a year, a massive deficit at CPS, and no real solutions being provided by the city or state, our schools stand to face massive cuts.
As parents and concerned citizens, we cannot stand by and watch our state and the future of our state — our children — be held captive by this political stalemate.
Raise Your Hand (RYH) is a voice for our children and their future. We are working hard to create resources and toolkits, plan actions, and organize parents to advocate with elected officials — all with the ultimate goal of providing the children of Illinois with the public education they deserve.
Although it may seem counterintuitive during these precarious financial times to be asking for contributions, it is exactly what we need to do right now. As our schools face potentially devastating cuts, it is imperative that RYH expand our reach and increase our visibility. Our goal this summer is to recruit parents and concerned citizens to help us spread the word about the importance of a quality public education and advocate for a funding solution before schools are set to open in the fall. You can help us reach this goal with a contribution to RYH. Here are a few ways that your donations will help:
• $42 is the cost of a train trip to Springfield. RYH took five trips to the capitol this year and gifts of this amount will allow us to provide transportation to many more parents.
• $50 is the cost to print color flyers for just one school. We create numerous infographics and flyers each year and could reach many more parents with a donation of this amount.
• $200 is the general cost of hosting a RYH town hall forum. We have at least three of these a year to help inform parents about pertinent education issues.
• $600 is the cost to plan RYH parent-advocacy training. We try to have three of these a year and 52 people have recently gone through training. These are four-hour sessions which impart excellent skills to advocate. Even a partial donation to fund training would be extremely helpful.
While these are very specific suggested donations, a gift of any amount will help us recruit and train prospective education advocates and allow us to continue our vital initiative promoting sustainable and fair funding for our schools. You can give a one-time donation or become a monthly donor for $10 per month. Your donation, before the end of the school year, will give us and our volunteers the tools we need to help turn the tide.
If you would like additional information about RYH and our initiatives, please check out our website at www.ilraiseyourhand.org. Thank you for your support. Together we will stand strong and push for solutions to get the funding that our schools need and that our children deserve.
Executive Director, Raise Your Hand