We are moms and dads.
We are concerned citizens.
We are parents fighting for our children’s education.
We are SOS.
We came together in 2015 to ask if our county could be doing better to invest in our schools.
We did research, compared budgets, questioned the school board and appealed to our county commissioners, all to get a better understanding of our funding issues.
Our conclusion is that there are areas where we could be doing better. Our mission is to serve as an information and advocacy resource for others with the same concerns. And there are many who share our concerns.
Our Facebook group has grown to over 1,400 members. Parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, former teachers, former students and anyone else with an interest in the positive promotion of Kent County Public Schools are welcome. We strive to be a reliable source for anyone in search of accurate information. We have spent countless hours providing answers to specific questions, providing resources, announcing meetings and events, sharing stories of student success, and promoting our schools to new families.
We do this every day.
But that is not all we do.
We designed, printed and distributed materials for Realtors to use for promoting our schools to families considering a move to Kent County.
We raised more than $9,000 in two years through our Random Acts of Kindness campaign that help fill gaps in school funding. We promote teacher fundraisers for the purchase of classroom supplies and furniture.
We wrote letters and encouraged others to write to Gov. Larry Hogan in support of Board of Education requests.
During last year’s bus crisis, we created the Facebook equivalent of a phone tree. We provided this service for every school in our county, every morning and afternoon for several weeks until the bus issues were resolved.
One of our founders is a team leader for Strong Schools Maryland, a grassroots State advocacy group that meets with state representatives and promotes the importance of the Kirwan Commission findings.
Another of our founders is a parent representative for the Special Education Citizen’s Advisory Committee. She is a powerful advocate for parents of special needs children throughout our district.
Another of our founders is running for a seat on the Kent County Board of Education —motivated by a desire to contribute to the decision-making process.
We attend county commissioner meetings whenever we’re not busy attending soccer games or helping with homework or working. We bring our kids with us if we can’t get a sitter. We have created a video archive of these meetings so that other concerned citizens can be informed.
We go to Board of Ed meetings and learn about all the incredibly positive things that our schools and students are doing and share that information. We share the struggles that our schools are facing without adequate funding.
We do not get paid to do any of this. We do this because we care. We do this because the need is urgent. We do this because we see a way forward that includes a well-funded, prosperous school system. We do this because good schools benefit not just our families, but our entire community. And because a thriving public school system is an instrumental component towards stimulating business growth, attracting new families, and thriving in decades to come.
If you have ever been a parent who would never miss an opportunity to do what was best for your kids and your community, then you are SOS, too.
For more information on SOS and the Support Our Schools initiative please visit our website www.kcpssos.com or Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/kentcountyschooldistrictparents.
Robbi Behr, Jodi Bortz, Rebecca Heriz-Smith, Francoise Sullivan and Elizabeth Proffitt are the organizers of the Support Our Schools initiative.