Be looked upon as a reliable source of information.
Have legislators see what is going on in California classrooms.
Develop An On-Going Relationship With Your Legislator
Invite him/her to speak at a local council event.
Invite him/her to present your "Celebrate Literacy Award" to your recipient.
Invite him/her to be "Principal for the Day".
Make him/her an "honorary" member of your local council. Make it a ceremonious occasion.
Do a parent event and invite him/her to speak or address the audience. Ask him/her to talk to your students about his/her job and how reading and writing effects his/her job, the importance of reading and wirting, and the kinds of reading and writing s/he does throughout the day.
Invite him/her to read to your classroom.
Invite his/her legislative aide(s) to do any of the above.
Fax and/or call your legislator about your opinion on key legislation.
Send your legislator any relevant research and/or successful practices that are going on in your classrooms. Send some pictures showing "children at work" to humanize the strategy or practice.
Enlist some parents to also contact your legislator abut the "good" things going on in your (their children's) classroom.
Many legislators conduct local town meetings during legislative sessions. Call your legislator's offie to find out the latest schedule. These are often not well attended and could be a good opportunity for in depth interaction with your local representative. If a town meeting isn't scheduled, you might want to ask him/her to conduct one in your area. You also might want to invite a key researcher to or other speaker to share the podium.
Some Suggested Guidelines
Have a specific purpoe or message in mind that you are trying to convey. (Familiarize yourself with your legislator's pedagogical knowledge and previous voting record to decide if your message will be teacher centered, student centered or legislator centered).
Ask the legislator if he/she would like you to contact the press regarding the visit. Have parents involved as much as possible.
Designate a host or hostess (administrator and/or other council members) to guide them during his/her visit.
Have your talking points outlined.
Follow up with a letter of appreciation for his/her time reiterating some of the talking points. Include any photographs and /or news clipping from his/her visit. Make contact with your legislator two to three times a year to further cultivate this relationship.
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