In order to convince policymakers of the importance of investing in early learning, we need to share our stories. Stories help make the case for investments in early learning and provide anecdotes that policy makers can look to when deciding how to vote or working to influence their colleagues.
Use the basic structure below to develop a one- or two-paragraph story, which can be sent to your legislators in the form of an email. Download a Word version of this template, or submit your story in this online form.
We are planning a story blitz, when people across the state will have their stories shared with legislators at an appointed time. Submit your stories to Dan Torres, Thrive director of policy and partnerships, and we will deliver them to legislators.
Along with your story, please answer the following questions:
- Can we use quotes or excerpts from your story to advocate for early learning?
- Are you interested in telling your story to a legislator in person? If so, what is your contact information?
Start crafting your story now!
Using the guide below, type up your completed story.
Who are you?
My name is xx and I am a (parent, provider, business leader, etc.) living in city/town, Washington.
What is your personal connection to early learning? This is a great opportunity to give some details about your own experience with early learning as a parent, provider, K-12 teacher, business leader, etc. The examples below are just meant to give you an idea of how you could talk about your personal connection.
Example 1: As an early learning provider, I have seen the power of high-quality programs in preparing kids for kindergarten and beyond. The children in my program get to explore their world in a friendly and structured environment, learn to interact with other children and teachers, and begin to build a foundation for success in school and life.
Example 2: I am the parent of a 4-year old, and was lucky to be able to send my daughter to an ECEAP program near my house. In that program she has not only received the nurturing and care that she needs, but I have also watched her skills and curiosity blossom. At the same time, many of my friends struggled to find preschool options they could afford because they don’t qualify for ECEAP. All kids deserve access to programs like the one my daughter attends!
Example 3: Although I don’t have children of my own, I have worked as an elementary school teacher for more than a decade. I can almost always tell which kids have attended some kind of early learning program and which ones haven’t. The kids who attended a quality program are better prepared to learn, more accustomed to a classroom, and in general have a more advanced set of skills that help them find success in school.
Why is early learning important to you? Use one of the following examples or insert your own.
Example 1: Early learning is an essential part of our state’s education continuum. By investing in early learning, we give children the start they need to be successful in our K-12 and higher education systems.
Example 2: Early learning is an equity issue. Quality early learning experiences are critical to closing the opportunity gap that leads to achievement and income gaps later in life, particularly for children in low-income families and children of color.
Example 3: Early learning is a smart investment. When we invest in quality early learning, we see a tremendous return on that investment because kids are more likely to graduate high school and less likely to interact with the criminal justice system.
Thank them (legislators) for their time and urge them to support policies that are good for our youngest learners.