BUILD builds parent support
Any school that can't get parents to turn out for events might want to get some organizing tips from Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development, or BUILD. The advocacy group got nearly 1,000 people to come out last night for a rally demanding that programs for schools and children be the priority for state and city leaders in these tough economic times. The attendees were mobilized mostly through schools (BUILD's ChildFirst program works in several in the city) and churches.
Both at last night's rally and another that ChildFirst held recently at Bernard Harris Elementary, organizers held a roll call. The result was that each school and, last night, each church had to report how many people it had committed to bring, how many were there and how many it would commit to bring for the next events. (Demonstrations are planned Dec. 17 at City Hall and Jan. 15 in Annapolis.) It's a way of holding parents accountable for their involvement. And it's working. With numbers like these and passion as strong as that exhibited last night, BUILD will make it harder for politicians to propose balancing their budgets on the backs of Baltimore's children.