Who we are: We are mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, ministers, and community members who are passionate about public education and committed to economic justice and racial equity. We know and are committed to anti-racism practices and the daily work they require. Many of us attended public schools, have children in public schools, or have children who were educated in public schools. We believe in the fundamental mission of our public education system as a great equalizer and facilitator of civic participation.
Our work: During the pandemic, when in-person learning may not be possible at many schools and in many school districts, we will create and help others create reliable spaces where K - 12 students who otherwise would not have the benefits of necessities such as quiet space, internet access, and nutritious meals, can go to complete their school work. Even a few hours twice a week will have an exponential impact. We are intentional about targeting our efforts towards students who would otherwise go without.
Our mission is to build a portable model that individuals and organizations can use to establish learning pods where students feel safe, supported, nurtured, nourished, and ready and able to learn.
More specifically, a Facebook discussion about public schools re-opening (or not) turned into a discussion group working together to hash out how individuals could use existing community resources, in a grassroots way, to serve our mission. The group includes non-profit executives, teachers, attorneys, psychiatrists, writers, lobbyists, local government representatives, child care executives, food bank executives, and more. Other friends have donated their time and expertise to developing this project. Some wished to remain behind the scenes, but thank you to all.
Administrator/Co-author: Jane Castanias, Oakton, VA-DC Metro
Co-Author: Michael Kleber-Diggs, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Website: John Hutchinson - Wichita, KS/Estes Park, CO
Christy Kirk Bell, Vero Beach, FL
Nelle Nunamaker Brien - Westfield, IN
Alexandra Castanias - Oakton, VA
Greg Castanias - Oakton, VA-DC Metro
Sarah Thacker Estell, Indianapolis, Indiana
Kate Goad - Buhler, KS
Lisa Wells Harris - DC Metro
Anne Hutchinson - Wichita, KS/Estes Park, CO
Amy Johnson - Osceola, Iowa
Sarah Kuhns - Stanehope, NJ
Casion Pilliod - Plano, TX
Rev. Jon Strand, Vienna, VA
Cindy Ewy Thompson, Sheyboygan, WI
Candace Nocon-Whol, Norfolk, VA