Local Unit Advocacy Spotlight: Bucknell ES
Local advocacy can be anything that improves your school for students, staff and families. Working with school administration, community groups, students, staff and families, PTAs help each child realize their potential in our schools.
Upon re-forming in December 2021, the Bucknell Elementary School PTA saw a need: for outdoor spaces and learning at their school. Seeing the lack even of a picnic table, and taking inspiration from the work of neighboring Hollin Meadows, the Bucknell PTA organized school families and reached out to local businesses and experts such as Arcadia. They wrote grants several organizations, including Fairfax Food Council and other organizations.
Volunteers also joined the project via GrandInvolve, an organization that helps place seniors in schools to assist in classrooms and other learning spaces. Project leaders presented mock-ups at PTA meetings and brought parents and families into the space. Staff were involved by homeroom teachers being invited to plant and tour the changing space. Leadership opportunities were provided for students at Bryant High School to work with Bucknell’s youngest students, and West Potomac students to work with Bucknell’s 6th graders.
Administrative buy-in was high and key: Mt. Vernon School Board representative Karen Corbett Sanders came to break ground for the space! It was presented to the school as a gift of learning and space to the staff and students of Bucknell.
In the words of Bucknell PTA president Neil Sullivan: "I firmly believe, as PTA, we are working together to truly improve the life of every child in our schools and communities. Part of that is to give them outdoor and sensory experiences they deserve and need: to see things growing, changing and adapting. To be in the fresh air, to dig in the dirt and tend to something. To me, PTA is about Families, Staff and Community joining together to make things like this happen. It’s been truly a community effort to make this project happen, which sounds cliched, but it’s completely true!"
It’s a wonderful project, with many moving parts. But it all begins with the desire for all people to thrive in our community, and a bit of advocacy!
Send us your advocacy, your work, what you are doing in your schools and communities to bring each child’s potential to reality. To share your PTA advocacy story, please email Robert Rigby, FCCPTA VP of Advocacy, email@example.com.