January = Advocate & Educate!

missouricapitol

MASN’s Public Policy & Awareness Committee is kicking off the New Year with a new advocacy plan. Each month, we will share a blog post (and downloadable/shareable PDF) with advocacy activities for programs to implement throughout the year. We hope these inspire you to find new ways to connect with leaders at the state and local level, and to incorporate advocacy into your program throughout the year.

State Advocacy in January 

Legislative session is back in swing in Jefferson City, as this month the 99th Missouri General Assembly is sworn into office.

Find out who represents you. You can find your State Representative by visiting (http://house.mo.gov) or your State Senator by visiting (http://senate.mo.gov).

Introduce yourself. A great way to start communicating is by introducing yourself to your legislator and/or their staff with a quick phone call or email. Invite them to your program at some point throughout the year for a site visit or to attend an event you host throughout the year.

Read these tips from the Afterschool Alliance’s Afterschool Snack blog for connecting with new members of Congress and the state legislature. 

Does your legislator tweet? Find their Twitter handle, and make sure you use the #moleg hashtag when tweeting to Missouri legislators.

Here are a few statewide officials Twitter handles to start with:

Missouri Governor @EricGreitens

US Senators @RoyBlunt and @ClaireCMC (Claire McCaskill)

If you connect with your elected officials or are planning a visit, reach out to MASN so we can support your efforts. Contact Casey Hanson, Policy and Communications Coordinator, for more information  at hansoncb@missouri.edu.

Local Advocacy in January

Take this opportunity to make connections with local leaders in your community. Set up meetings with your mayor, city council members, and school board, or plan to attend their public meetings. Reach out to other civic organizations, including your community’s chamber of commerce and other clubs, like Rotary, Lions Club, etc. These organizations can often provide great resources in terms of volunteers and financial resources!

mlk-jr-day

Activities for Youth

This month we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 16, which is now also the National Day of Service. This is a great opportunity to share MLK Jr.’s story with your youth, and to discuss the importance of community service. If you are in full day programming on the 16th, plan for a way to help your youth give back by serving your community.

Learn more about the MLK Jr. Day of Service here.

Talking about MLK Jr.’s Dream speech is an opportunity to help youth turn their dreams into goals. Help the youth in setting SMART goals for the year this month and develop accountability systems in your program to help them achieve these goals throughout the year.

Check out this article about setting SMART goals with your youth from Edutopia.

Activities for Staff

As we get into the legislative session, encourage your staff to sign up for Twitter! It’s a great resource for connecting with elected officials and is critical for advocacy.

Don’t forget to follow us @MO_Afterschool and use the #MOAfterschoolWorks hashtag so we can share your posts!

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

1/16/17—MLK Jr. Day/National Day of Service

1/31/17—Deadline for Intent to Submit in Afterschool Works! Video Contest

Next Month:

Black History Month (February)

Why We ❤ Afterschool (Valentine’s Day – 2/14)

Have ideas for future months? Email Casey Hanson at hansoncb@missouri.edu to submit your thoughts.

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