Advocacy Update for June

  Ms. Kaye Sharbono COABE President

Ms. Kaye Sharbono
COABE President

Advocacy efforts have taken off! 

I am so excited to bring to you an update on the status of our adult education national campaign Educate and Elevate. WOW! We have come a very long way in a very short time, and we are not done yet by any means!  

You may ask national campaign - "Why now?" Notably, I and many of you have lived in the times when adult education had a diminished value, huge lack of understanding about what we really do, and tremendous budget issues year in and year out.  

We have all known for many years that our secret in adult education is a PROMISE to America. We prepare our students to compete in an increasingly competitive world and be as work-ready as possible. We empower individuals, families, and communities with the educational opportunities they need. We are the SOLUTION! We CAN make America more competitive, build stronger communities, and add to our tax base while containing costs. We CAN put adults on sustainable paths out of poverty and open up new avenues to financial security and the middle class. Given that, still you may ask, "Why Now?" Indeed, it's because America cannot continue to ignore millions of its residents who were never taught or never learned to read, perform simple math, use a computer, or creatively solve problems. IT'S OUR TIME FOLKS!

We have three goals that drive our actions with the campaign. They are:

  1. Create processes for a concerted, collective effort to reach local, state, and federal officials and our communities.
  2. Inform and educate officials and the general public about the relevancy of adult education through data, stories, innovations, and key message points.
  3. Make specific requests to support funding adult education.

We have had many campaign highlights that we are delighted to share with you, such as:

  1. Educate and Elevate campaign launch (April 2017)
  2. Campaign toolkit (July 2017)
  3. Webinars (5 through July and August 2017)
  4. Educate and Advocate newsletter (July-November 2017)
  5. International Acclaim (November 2017)
  6. Thirty-Five million dollar INCREASE in funding (March 2018)
  7. Ambassador Training for Adult Learners (18 pilot states - March 2018)
  8. Adult Learner membership option and strand at conference (March 2018)
  9. Hit the Hill regional events in Washington D.C. (Approximately 300+ face to face meetings with appropriators 2017-2018)
  10. Quick Fire email - 3 clicks (2017-2018)
  11. 80,000 connections made to legislators (Quick Fire - 3 clicks Fall 2017- Spring 2018)
  12. Customized messaging available for states with Quick Fire email, 3 clicks (2018)
  13. Map Locator tool - State Specific Data
  14. Success stories - Student, Program, and Workplace Innovation
  15. National meetings (Betsy DeVos, Michael Wooten, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute of Educational Leadership, Jobs for the Future, XPrize for Adult Education Symposium)
  16. National communications (Press Release, Article in USA Today, Success Files with Rob Lowe, Congressional letters)

Certainly, with all of this, you may ask yourself "How can I help?" We, at COABE, ask that you share the campaign on your website, share the campaign via your email lists, submit innovations and success stories, let us know about your legislative meetings, read the Educate and Advocate eblasts we send out, and send us your ideas and comments. 

All of us need to STAND united with 55,000 plus adult educators across America to educate America about the importance of adult education in advancing career and college readiness for millions of people.