As busy school psychologists it can be difficult to find the time, or daunting to know what to say to share our ideas with legislators. Yet it’s increasingly apparent that our voices are needed and our ideas must be communicated. We are the ones working with students, teachers, and parents each day, and our state and national legislators need to know the challenges that we face, and what can be done to better support students.
NASP has created a tool called the Virtual Advocacy Center to help minimize the time and reduce the stress of interacting with legislators and sharing your message. Tools like the Virtual Advocacy Center help connect practicing school psychologists with the legislators that represent them, as well as provide information about relevant bills that need action.
As I’ve interacted with legislators, often they will ask something like, “So is there a bill right now that addresses this?” They want the action. They want to know that there are already solutions in the works that may just need sponsoring, or other support.
By using this tool, NASP has helped to create the message that you can tailor as you see fit to get the message where it can do some good.
So let’s see how easy it is to use.
- Go to cqrcengage.com/naspweb in your web browser
- You’ll see a website with a list of current issues in need of legislative action – just click on the link for any that you want to support
- Enter in your Zip code and click the “Check Zip Code” button
- You will immediately see your senators and representatives, with an action message ready to go (feel free to modify the message however you see fit)
- Just fill in your information – name, address, email, etc. and click “Submit” and you’re done!
There are lots of other ways that you can connect with legislators and using a form letter that’s pre-written may not be the most effective. But if 5 minutes is all you have, this is a great way to start your advocacy work to help support students at a state and national level.
If you have any questions about how else you can advocate for students, please contact a UASP board member!