PTA Volunteers Give the Gift of Civic Engagement

voterregistration1Advocacy is what makes PTA unique. As leaders, your work and contributions are an important part of PTA’s legacy of advocacy that has held strong for more than a century.

Volunteers from the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs in west Contra Costa County (Thirty- Second District PTA) are strengthening that advocacy voice by getting the civic-engagement word out to teens and parents in a fun – and memorable – way. When students in the council’s four high schools turn 18, volunteers send them birthday cards reminding them to register to vote. Using the theme and image of a birthday gift, volunteers designed a paper postcard and a digital ad emphasizing voting as a lifetime opportunity.

The birthday cards are an innovative way to reach a traditionally hard-to-reach audience – high-school students and their parents – to remind them about the lifelong importance of civic education and involvement.

The electronic birthday ads include links that track engagement data, allowing volunteers to provide additional voter-registration follow-up and encouragement.

Council members hit upon the idea to use voter registration as a way to reach out to students and their families, who had not been coming to local civic-advocacy events as frequently as in the past.

“This need to re-engage with this population has been perking ever since, and the council’s Voter Registration Drive is the final result,” said Thirty-Second District PTA Advocacy and Legislation Chair Robin Peoples Klau.

Klau reports that the rock-bottom-cost project – now in its second year – is being well received by all implementing partners including school administrators, teachers and student groups, and volunteers are looking at taking it even further.

“With approval of the committee and the board we’d like to translate into Spanish and, at a minimum, distribute the digital ‘ads’ to the additional six councils within the district,” she said.

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