JerseyCAN, a nonprofit organization advocating for high-quality schools for all New Jersey students, recently launched two fellowship programs for parents and teachers looking to become more involved in advocating for New Jersey students and their local communities. To help launch this year’s programs, State Senate Education Chair Vin Gopal (D-11th) addressed the participants of the teacher fellowship, while State Senators Declan O’Scanlon (R-13th) and Troy Singleton (D-7th) shared valuable insights with the parent fellowship participants to provide a deeper understanding of policy creation in New Jersey.
“At JerseyCAN, we know that the best advocates for children are the people they see and interact with every day: parents, guardians and teachers. We know many in the community are looking for opportunities and information so that they can empower students and create better student outcomes as we discover the long-term effects of the pandemic on our education system. We are so grateful that Senators Gopal, O’Scanlon and Singleton have been able to join us and show a commitment to educational equity for all students in New Jersey,” stated Paula White, JerseyCAN Executive Director.
“The parent training provided by JerseyCAN is covering a range of valuable topics,” stated Dana Yedwab, a participant in the parent fellowship. “Featured speakers have been seasoned experts in education, advocacy, and communications. I have been able to successfully incorporate many of the points learned during the program into my own journey as a parent advocate. As a parent fellow, I hope to continue working with other parents to support all students in our school district in meeting their needs and goals.”
“I applied to JerseyCAN’s teacher fellowship after my principal shared the information with me,” stated Claudia Lagos, JerseyCAN Teacher Fellow. “I told her about my interest in education policy and advocacy particularly in seeing policy changes that would support the recruitment and retention of diverse educators, as well as support quality bilingual education programs for our students. Our kick-off session was empowering! I look forward to learning and growing with this amazing team of passionate educators that strive for a better tomorrow in this field.”
The Parent Fellowship is a newly created initiative, built on the positive momentum gained last summer’s parent training initiative, Parent Champions for Strong Schools. This year’s inaugural fellowship includes the participation of 15 parents and guardians from around the state.
The New Jersey Teacher Leader Policy Fellowship began its third cohort with 10 dedicated educators and was founded with the hope of empowering New Jersey teachers to influence state and local education policy positively.
For more information about the JerseyCAN Fellows please follow JerseyCAN on social media @jerseyCAN and visit the website jerseycan.org.