You are coming to the Rally on Sunday, aren’t you? It’s at 3PM at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty (5941 Penn Avenue / 15206). This Rally for Public Education is going to be fun, energizing – and important to our movement. Here’s why you should be there:
- You’ll have fun! There will be street theater outside and games and activities for the kids (thanks to our community partners OnePittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon’s “Hear Me” project). We will have fabulous performances, more things to do inside, and a free movie showing.
- Get energized. Feel the energy of hundreds of other volunteer parents, students, teachers, and community members coming together to fight for our schools. We win when we fight together and you need to see who else is standing with you, fighting by your side.
- Send a strong message. We already know that many of our legislators will be there, along with the media. This is a prime opportunity to send a loud and clear message: “Put children first in the state budget! We must have adequate, equitable, and sustainable public funding for our public schools.” If you want them to hear us, we need to be there with our bodies and fill that theater.
- Get motivated. Hear the State of Public Education delivered by Rev. David Thornton, of Grace Memorial Presbyterian in the Hill District. He is a public education hero who allowed himself to be arrested last spring during a sit-down protest for our schools. He will share our response to the Governor’s proposed state budget that continues to shortchange our kids.
- Get inspired. Everything we did last year worked. We have major achievements to celebrate. We will recap those, and then issue a Call to Action for this year with some help from Rev. John Welch, Dean at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and our friends at PIIN. We’ll even have a call-to-action-from-your-seats, with things we can do right there in the theater together.
- Hear our students. When students speak and perform, their voices and talent tell us the real story of what’s at stake in public education. And we’re in for a treat with everything from African drumming and a jazz ensemble to hip-hop, vocal, and spoken word performances.
- See some stars. We are honored to host a number of great performers, including Pittsburgh’s own folk hero, singer songerwriter Anne Feeney; Pittsburgh’s “emerging artist of the year,” Vanessa German; the Squirrel Hillbillies; and a very special surprise guest.
- Watch a pro-public education movie. Stay after the Rally for a free showing of the amazing new documentary, “Brooklyn Castle.” This terrific film tells the story of a New York City middle school chess team of mostly poor, students of color who have won more national championships than any other school – yet their very existence is threatened by budget cuts. We are able to present this under special arrangement with the producers: you don’t want to miss it.
- Learn about Opt Out. This is your chance to have a one-on-one community conversation with Dr. Tim Slekar, head of the education department at Penn State Altoona and a national leader in the Opt Out movement. He will explain why parents all over the country are opting their children out of high-stakes-testing.
- Our kids are counting on us. This is no astroturf group – we are a real grassroots movement of volunteers just like you. None of us is getting paid, and it only works when we commit to working together. If you care about public schools, you need to be at the Rally for Public Education. You’ll know that you stood up for equity, social justice and for the common good. Because public education is a public good.
You can see the sign for the Rally for Public Education outside the Kelly Strayhorn Theater driving down Penn Avenue. Go to our Facebook page to RSVP and we’ll see you on Sunday!