Issue 1: Address specific literacy needs of underserved student populations
Description of Issue 1: Specific advocacy efforts targeted TALE's support of specific literacy needs of diverse student populations. For example, TALE encouraged members to donate books to students for Storybridge, a non-profit organization based in Amarillo, Texas. During the 2018 TALE Conference held February 23-24 in Canyon, Texas, TALE held a book drive. Conference attendees donated books and money to Storybridge, which were used to provide quality books for students in the elementary and middle school grade levels.
Importance of Issue 1: Chandra Perkins, the founder of Storybridge, stated, "Research has shown that 2 out of 3 low-income families do not have a single children's book in their house. In Amarillo, we have 35 public schools receiving Title 1 funding. In those schools, the percentage of low-income students ranges from 71 – 96%. This means thousands of children in our city have zero age-appropriate books of their own, making it exponentially more difficult for them to be successful in school."
Effect of Activities from Issue 1: Creating awareness and encouraging active participation in the conference book drive among attendees aligned with TALE's mission to promote literacy that will enhance the lives of children and young adults. Several books were donated to Storybridge, along with a monetary donations totaling over $1200.
Issue 2: Increase awareness and inspire activism among TALE members
Description of Issue 2: Garnering support for literacy and literacy education among elected officials is a collective effort that requires an informed constituency. TALE's Advocacy Development committee engaged in continuous efforts to keep TALE members informed of issues related to literacy and literacy education by utilizing social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, TALE's Advocacy Development committee inspired activism among TALE's members by instituting a postcard campaign and encouraging participation in committee-related activities held during the 2018 TALE Conference.
Importance of Issue 2: Educational legislation and policy have an effect on literacy and literacy educations. Literacy professionals must be aware of current legislation and policy issues in order to ensure that they support evidence-based practices.
Effect of Activities from Issue 2: Throughout the membership year, TALE's social media presence kept TALE members informed of current issues. Additionally, the advocacy activities held during the 2018 TALE Conference involved several conference attendees in advocacy and recruited two new Advocacy Development committee members.