National Student Activist Network

Today’s students will bear the brunt of the problems resulting from members of their generation that are not productive or under productive.  It is therefore in their interest to be involved in improving the educational preparation of all the members of their generation so that as many as possible will be able to be highly productive and equally important, fewer will become a drain on society.  As one student in a struggling Bronx high school said, “maybe we need to find a way so not so many of our classmates fail.” It is our belief that not only do students have a huge vested interest in ensuring the maximum number of young people get a very good education but they can also be instrumental in helping make that happen.

As a result, a major sub-project of the initiative is to help establish a national network of engaged students (or leverage existing ones) to drive and support this initiative. 

The following are examples of potential High School student involvement.

  1. Initiative Awareness
    1. Initial Kickoff Events
      1. Organize students in major cities to participate in rallies to publicly challenge 4th grade students, their teachers and parents to achieve 100% grade level master for all students and to challenge national and local leaders (political, business and social) to support the students and teachers in this initiative.
      2. Organizing letters and other communication to local press and media and directly to political, business, religious and other leaders to ensure awareness and interest in this initiative.
  2. Maximizing National Support
    1. Organizing support for letter writing and other campaigns to mobilize specific personalities and organizations (e.g. hundred thousand pieces of snail mail open letters to targeted individuals via national media outlets)
  3. Establishing the Community Support Organizations
    1. Spearheading local efforts to get a local student/teacher support organization established for this initiative.
      1. Organizing letters and other communication to local political, business, religious and other leaders to get a local organization established that can support the local initiative efforts by teachers and students.
  4. Maximizing 4th grader commitment
    1. Visiting 4th grade classrooms to motivate 4th graders to pledge to put in extra effort to get every student in their class to 100% grade level mastery by the end of the school year.
    2. Getting the students to sign the pledge to achieve the goal for themselves but also to help their classmates achieve the goal and giving them colored wristbands to wear as a symbol of their commitment.
    3. Giving the students letters to take to their parents and also colored wristbands for their parents to wear as a symbol of their support for local students and teachers.
  5. Maintaining local 4th grader enthusiasm/motivation
    1. The initiative is expected to result in a number of local actions (students and teachers pledging to achieve the goal, student study sessions outside of school, campaign to quickly provide devices, bandwidth, education software, etc.). High school students will be asked to be reporters of the successes their community is having with the initiative (maximizing the number of names of local students and others mentioned) as well as where the community is falling short with regard to the initiative (e.g. blocking of useful tools for bureaucratic reasons or general lack of interest as shown by small number of people wearing wristbands, etc.). Local press and others will be encouraged to devote space/time to these local articles. Initiative will also ensure best and worst cases will be pushed to regional and national press as well. A national journalist support group is expected to be available to mentor the students in their journalistic efforts. An online course will also be available to help students willing to be local reporters be successful.
    2. Help organize periodic initiative support rallies where students that go above and beyond are honored by the community in a way that has lasting motivational affect among the broader student body (this applies to students of all ages as well as teachers and others).
    3. Encouraging EVERYONE in the community to be wearing the colored wristbands as a symbol of their support.
  6. Helping the learning process
    1. Volunteering to tutor and encouraging others in the community to help tutor (other high school students, local college students, senior citizens, stay-at-home parents, etc.)
    2. Encouraging the maximum number of people to take an online tutor preparation course to be able to help students.
  7. Etc.

Strategy for spreading student involvement:

      1. Reaching out to organizations that support local student clubs in high schools
      2. Reaching out to all kinds of web sites that encourage student involvement in social initiatives
      3. Reaching out to teacher groups that encourage/mentor student engagement
      4. Reaching out to religious and youth organizations that have access to young people
      5. Social Media Marketing campaign
      6. Etc.

Many school districts require or at least encourage students to participate in some kind of social initiative before graduating from high school.  We hope to tap into efforts to get students involved.

Student involvement at the national level:

In addition to having students spearhead local efforts, we envision many students becoming involved in the national level of the initiative:

    1. In an advisory capacity regarding likely reaction of students to various initiative efforts.
    2. As members on the various initiative teams doing the work to actually make things happen:
      1. Student software developers, developing the initiatives various websites and applications under the guidance of professional development mentors.
      2. As communication specialists initiating social media communication blitzes, etc.
      3. Participating in brainstorming/solution seeking efforts for accomplishing various tasks.
      4. As initiative advocates recruiting other advocates to spread the word about the initiative.

Getting Started:

It is intended that a special team will take on this project and start the reach-out campaign to appropriate potential partner organizations and/or recruit as many teens as possible from around the country to assist in building this network in the near future.  If you would like to be part of this team, or if you are affiliated with an organization that is involved in encouraging student social engagement or education in general and would like to find out more about the initiative or how you could be involved, please contact us at one of the following addresses:

Thank you for your interest in improving education and the future prospects of our society.