Using Personal Stories In Education Advocacy
September 14, 2016

A personal story, and the storyteller who shares it, are a powerful way to communicate a point—a useful tool in education advocacy. Personal testimonies offer insight into the students and families that inspire reform champions’ work, and introduce the general public to the nuances that exist in education policy and reform.

Below are just a few examples of powerful storytelling and advocates’ efforts to amplify them:

  • The Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri constantly encourages the parents they work with to submit their stories in an effort to help educate policymakers on critical education issues currently underway in Missouri.
  • DC School Reform Now features parent stories in their monthly newsletters and on their website in a way for other parents and supporter to understand how the work of DCSRN is impacting the families of Washington, D.C.
  • The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools showcase personal stories about charter schools and graduates on their blog to engage the reader in the good news of charters.

Finally, great storytelling doesn’t always have to come in blogs and newsletters: The NY Post published a piece in summer 2016 by Dale Dykes, who is an alumnus of KIPP Academy and St. Agnes High School in Manhattan. In this touching story, he explains how Mr. Weels, a guidance counselor at KIPP, was his “secret weapon” to finishing college. Dykes’ honest reflections—and the countless personal stories that advocates help amplify every day—communicate the impact of education policies and practices in a way that data and charts often cannot.

Have you recently read a moving story related to education? Send it to the PIE Network so that we can share it with others!

Tanzi West Barbour

Tanzi is PIE Network's Senior Director, Communications, Charters, and Choice

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