An Unconventional rarely makes any kind of political connections but I feel as if i would be remiss if I didn’t highlight a few important issues. I believe this world can be better for kids; hence my subtitle, building pluralism one book at a time. A pluralistic world is good for ALL kids regardless of color, ethnicity, ability or disability, gender, affiliation, etc etc etc.
That said, here are a few things important to me this weekend (and forever, really):
- Banned books: books should not be banned, kids need to read about situations of all kinds. Information wants to be free. Children need to be exposed to the differences in our world that make us special/unique; not hide from them. Take action and fight against banned books. Follow my blog all week long for great banned books.
- Bullying. I’m sad that there is bullying in this world and most of it is aimed at CHILDREN. If you’ve ever been bullied you’ll understand. If you have kids, your heart will ache if your child is bullied. Take action like my friend Amy is doing at Lady Reader’s Bookstuff. Maybe you’ll even find a list of bullying resources for kids, written by someone you know..?
- Contacting your legislator. Why is this important? Because having worked for an important political figure many years ago I can tell you that listening to constituents is IMPORTANT. Were it not for constituents, there would be no political servant. What should you contact your legislator about? Today it’s this: SB 1115, the Special Education Funding Reform legislation. Why? Because Special Education funding is important. Special Education kids have EDUCATIONAL needs that deserve to be met; just like yours and mine do.
My friend, Lisa, is a hard core Special Education advocate. She’s made it easy for you to contact your legislator. First, here’s her blog, go show here some BIG love over at A Day in Our Shoes.
Second, send this letter (insert the legislator’s name in the blank):
My family and I live in your district and have been watching the progress of SB 1115, the Special Education Funding Reform legislation. As I read the votes online, I see that it has been passed unanimously four times since March. As we both know, in June this bill was hijacked by legislators that wanted to pass the Charter School Reform, and now this bill is at risk of not passing.
I’d like to point out that many children with disabilities cannot have their needs served appropriately in a charter school; they are not welcomed there. It is unfair to lump the two issues together, especially when one issue does not have full support. SB 1115 has been in the works for over five years and must be passed in October or the hard work must begin again. Since it passed unanimously several times prior to the Charter School legislation being attached, it is obvious that it is supported and there is no reason for it to not go through and become law. Please make it a priority to work with your fellow lawmakers to get this passed through, even if it means disassembling the bill and removing the Charter School provisions if a consensus cannot be reached.
SB 1115 does not ask for additional funding-it merely takes existing funding and distributes it fairly. This can only benefit all of Pennsylvania’s students. The Charter School legislation issue is an important one. However, that needs to be worked out on their own time, not on the backs of Pennsylvania’s children with disabilities, some of our most vulnerable citizens.
Thank you for your time.
How do I know to whom to send the letter? Lisa has helped you out. Here’s the link. Enter your street address and then it will tell you who represents you. Here’s mine:
Then what? Click on the LINK to their name. It shows you a photo of your legislator and how to contact them: phone, email, fax, facebook, twitter, youtube, etc. USE THEM. To be sure, you probably won’t get to speak to the representative personally, but rest assured you will get attention from someone in that office; they have an office or home address in your neighborhood; they care about what you think.
Guess who’ll be getting a word from An Unconventional Librarian?
What about you? Will you take action to make the world a better place for kids?
Need help? Email me, It’s what librarians do!