For the past four years, AWLA representatives have been attending the JNCL-NCLIS Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. During this two-day event, we are able to meet with representatives from the offices of our elected officials. During the short meetings, we report on the state of languages in Alabama, which includes sharing some success stories about you and what you’re doing in the classroom! Most recently, during ACTFL in November, numerous AWLA board members met with these offices and asked our elected officials to better support funding for world languages. The reception this year, and over the past four years, has been very positive! During the last Advocacy Day, a representative from another state mentioned an idea that may make a huge impact on world language education in Alabama…. inviting our elected officials to our classrooms to see what it is that we do! When we brought this up to our elected officials, they were excited at the possibility of the elected official themselves or a representative from their local office coming to the classroom and see a live course!
This is where you come in! Using this site (http://myreps.datamade.us/index.html) find the contact information for your state and federal elected officials. Send them an email and also call to invite someone from their office, or the official themselves, to a class! Whenever they agree to come, plan a day in your class where you do something that gives them a good idea of what is like to be a student in a language class! Maybe it’s a day when you plan to be a breakout or when the students are presenting on careers in their language. Use this time as a chance to show our officials the impact you’re making on our students who are the future of Alabama!
Nick Gossett, Advocacy Chair