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Why the governor’s mansion is lit in ‘Red for Ed,’ and how you can get involved

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Gov. Roy Cooper announced earlier this week that the North Carolina Executive Mansion will be lit red this week in honor of national Public Schools Week.

“The future of North Carolina goes to class in our public schools, and we must invest in that future,” Cooper said. “The ‘Red for Ed(ucation)’ lighting is a way to remind people that our public schools deserve our strong support and appreciation.”

Public Schools Week 2024 (#PSW24) is an annual, week-long celebration through March 1 this year to honor the invaluable contributions and achievements of educators, administrators, board members, and support professionals in our public schools and the communities they serve, according to this press release.

Courtesy of Learning First Alliance

It is part of the ongoing #HerefortheKids campaign, which launched on Oct. 4, 2022, in “an effort to bring together families, educators, and community members to shine a light on local public schools and tell the stories of the amazingly positive things happening in classrooms and school buildings nationwide.” 

The week and the campaign serve as an invitation to education advocates and stakeholders, parents, families, lawmakers, and others to join in spotlighting our public schools and the dedicated individuals behind them, according to the Learning First Alliance.

The Learning First Alliance is a coalition of 13 national education groups with a collective membership exceeding 10 million, including the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; AASA: The School Superintendents Association; American Federation of Teachers; American School Counselor Association; Consortium for School Networking; Learning Forward; National Association of Elementary School Principals; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Education Association; National PTA; National School Boards Association, and National School Public Relations Association. 

How can you get involved?

This #PSW24 toolkit includes a news release, email message, social media posts, and graphics.

You can sign on to this statement of support in English or Spanish.

You can register for this webinar entitled Portrait of A Learner: How Schools are Preparing Students for Success,” which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 29, from 6-7:30 pm ET.

More information can be found on the website.

Each and every week, according to the Learning First Alliance, you can:

  • Reach out to a teacher or school staff member to thank them for their work. 
  • Share success stories and other positive updates about your local schools on social media.
  • Showcase educators, initiatives, partnership, and programs that are making a difference for our kids.
  • Speak with your local and state elected officials about your support for public schools.

And, as always, you can submit a story idea to EdNC!

Where’s Cooper?

In case you missed it, Cooper has been on the road, visiting child care centers, schools, community colleges, and businesses to highlight public education.

After the Republican-led legislature introduced legislation to expand school choice statewide, on May 23, 2023, Cooper, a Democrat, issued a state of emergency for our public schools.

He also hit the road. You can see all of the places he visited between May 23 and the end of 2023 to highlight public education on the map above in red.

Cooper then declared 2024 “The Year of Public Schools.” Here is the proclamation, and here are his remarks from the launch. You can see all of the places he has visited in 2024 to highlight public education on the map above in blue.

If you click on the icons in the map, you can see the school name and where it is located. The visits are numbered in the order Cooper visited them. He’s up to 35.

Mebane Rash

Mebane Rash is the CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC.