A month after the school year began, Maria was deeply frustrated that Lincoln Elementary – a traditional district school in West Contra Costa – still hadn’t found a teacher for her son Javier’s bilingual class. The substitute teacher, who was not a bilingual instructor, wasn’t cutting it. Maria turned to Yannell Selman, a parent organizer for CCSA Families, for help finding a charter school for her son.
But Yannell decided to help Maria address the issue at her school. Maria gathered a dozen mothers in her home and, working with Yannell, they decided to raise the issue together at the next school board meeting. They spent a few days preparing to make their case. On the day of the meeting, more than 15 families, including several children, plus two teachers, called on the board to find a permanent, credentialed teacher for the third grade class. By the end of the meeting, the district staff were practically tripping over themselves to help the families.
The very next day, 45 families gathered at the school ready to hear the district’s plan. Amazingly, the district had found a full-time teacher less than 24 hours after the families had demanded action from the board. The Richmond Confidential, the local newspaper, wrote an amazing story about the parent victory.
Now, these Lincoln moms are ready to continue advocating for better schools. They have formed a strong team; they know change is possible and they are ready to make it happen in West Contra Costa.