Letter from RYH Director, Wendy Katten

What a year it has been! For RYH, it has meant non-stop advocacy work on a daily basis. We are at a critical juncture now where we need your support to continue at this pace and are asking for you to make a small donation today to help fund our work for the year ahead.

Raise Your Hand is not funded by millionaires, corporations or anyone but individual donors. Our support comes from you, the public school community. We do not have a marketing department, communications department, administration or payroll. What we have are dedicated volunteers who are willing to spend their free time pushing for a better education system. We are truly grassroots and we need your financial support so we can continue our advocacy to improve funding, work towards a broader and improved curriculum at CPS, and stengthen the parent voice in policies that impact our children.

We have done a tremendous amount of work this year. Some of our accomplshments:

  • Organized numerous town-hall meetings and rallies across the city
  • Provided a steady stream of information on CPS policy from a parents’ perspective through emails/FB/website
  • Advocated at almost every CPS Board meeting
  • Sat on CPS Longer Day Task Force and advocated all year for broader curriculum for all CPS students
  • Provided a parents perspective on CPS issues in the media with over 25 press mentions this year
  • Met with parents individually in over 20 communities to discuss how to advocate at the school level
  • Lobbied in Springfield, worked with parents on reaching out to elected officials city-wide
  • Built citywide partnerships and convened a coalition of 16 parent/community groups, Chicago Parents for a Quality Education (CPQE)

As sweeping changes continue to be introduced at CPS and at the State level, RYH must work harder to keep you informed and to continue to affect positive change. We can no longer maintain this level of work without the increased support of our members. Bottom line: we need to raise $20,000 by the end of July or we cannot continue our full-time outreach, education, advocacy and community-building efforts. WIth an annual donation from our members of $25 we will be able to continue advocating for the funding and policy issues that most impact our children's education. Please consider one of the funding levels below and donate today!

$25 – Education Advocate

$50 – Graduate

$100– Bachelors

$250– Masters

$500– Doctorate

$1000–Professor Emeritus

To make your contribution, click here.

Here are some of our plans for school year 2012/2013 if we get the funding we need:

  • Keep parents up-to-date on CPS policy issues
  • Share input on implementation of the Longer school day
  • Participate in the CPS Arts Education Plan Advisory Committee
  • Continue to build a diverse parent coalition to focus on public education
  • Fight for increased funding for CPS at state and local level
  • Coordinate town-hall forums on topics such as standardized testing, education funding, Common Core standards, etc.
  • Roll-out of a new training program for RYH liaison parent reps around city.- We’ll help you advocate for your school

As the school year ends, it has been heartening to see a community rise around the shared interest of improving public education for all Chicago’s children – people visit our website, read our articles, expect accurate information regarding education issues, interract on our Facebook wall, hold electronic discussions (and debates!), pose questions at RYH forums, attend RYH rallies and respond to“calls to action,” flooding political offices with timely emails regarding education policy to affect votes. We have also seen how when we work together we can have an impact on shaping policy.

We sincerely thank you for being an integral part of this coalition and for making education a priority in Chicago. Numbers do make a difference!

Yours truly,

Wendy Katten,

Director, Raise Your Hand