In 2008, Grassroots St. Vrain began our community work to support education and share information as widely as possible throughout St. Vrain communities. We started as a group of parents concerned about staffing and program cuts at our respective schools. We have become a 2,600 member 501(c)4 non-profit organization that serves as a model among Colorado communities for education outreach.
That amount of growth and success doesn’t come easily. It takes hard work and dedication from our Board and our members. Last year alone, GSV staff reached out to school parent groups, district parent groups, school administrators, and frequented community events to talk about education issues and support knowledge-based voter decisions. Our members overwhelmingly supported the 3A mill levy override by writing 18,500 post cards, speaking at PTO meetings, staffing tables at school events, canvassing, posting yard signs, participating in honk & waves and soliciting local endorsements.
As our outreach continued, we managed a growing database of 2,600 members and upgraded our communications via Facebook, Twitter, email, our website blog and periodic electronic newsletters.
Our local success has provided opportunities for us to share our experiences beyond St. Vrain. GSV presented our parent engagement-based grassroots model at the Great Education Conference in Denver, the annual Colorado Association of School Boards conference in Colorado Springs and at a national conference in San Diego.
We participated in the Great Futures 2013: Year of the Student Project, which focused Colorado’s attention on the impact ongoing education cuts have had on our students. For that project, we included high school students from the district’s Student Advisory Council who asked our school board to approve a resolution in support of Year of the Student and attended petition delivery at the Capitol.
In an effort to protect the investment in education approved by St. Vrain voters, we met with 7 of our local state representatives and senators representing St. Vrain communities to introduce ourselves, discuss the work we’ve done to promote education at the local and state level, and offer our services as a resource to our legislators while they represent us at the Capitol.
During the legislative session, we joined with Great Futures to participate in SB-213 review sessions with Senator Mike Johnston. The measure successfully passed both houses and is waiting for Secretary of State petition signature approval to be placed on the November ballot.
And we made time to celebrate with our community along the way. The GSV school year kick-off house party brought together PTO/Booster Club board members from across the district to meet each other and share experiences. We celebrated with graduates of Leadership St. Vrain in April as they wrapped up their year of learning about the business of education in Colorado.
We are very pleased that St. Vrain communities over the last 5 years have engaged in the conversation about education and recognized a need to invest in education. We are seeing the results of our communities’ contributions via higher test scores, expanding student programs, updated facilities and district awards. And we’d like to thank every one of our volunteer members for having an impact on the success of our schools that are the bedrock of a thriving community.
Here’s to another great and growing 5 years!!