It is week 134 of our new reality and we are reflecting on what we learned from the past week as the 50CAN team and our partners gathered together in New Mexico for the 2022 CAN Summit.
The Land of Enchantment certainly lives up to the name, not only because of the sheer beauty of the desert landscape but also the rich history, culture and community that powers the work of the NewMexicoKidsCAN team and its many partners throughout the state.
Reading through the comments on our end of summit survey, I found myself nodding in agreement with the reflections on the power of learning about a state through the love and commitment of local advocates and recapturing our sense of passion by uniting together with advocates across the country:
- “This was truly a gift to us. To be able to learn and connect with so many leaders allowed us to recharge and IGNITE.”
- “The cultural/location experts were amazing. I also loved learning about all the intricacies of the culture of New Mexico. It was so unexpected and wonderful.”
- “Love the local grounding! I felt so immersed in the New Mexico work, but in a way I can apply in my own state.”
- “Thank you so much for sharing your passion for New Mexico and your beautiful culture with us all. This is an experience I will always carry with me.”
Last time in the New Reality Roundup, we took a hard look at state achievement data in DC and explored CRPE’s new report, The State of the American Student. This week we spotlight several reflections–told through four lessons and four photos–from the CAN Summit that we hope we all can keep front and center in the year ahead.
FROM THE FIELD
Before the start of the summit, we gathered together the Executive Directors of our CANs with our national leadership team for a day of workshopping goals for the 2023 legislative session.
As we wrote in the Science of Advocacy, “advocates looking to maximize their impact should not aim for a series of small wins but instead shoot for a win worth fighting for.”
That lesson was clearly taken to heart. While our Executive Directors are still meeting with coalition partners and legislative champions as they continue finalizing their goals and plans, the draft presentations–from ESA expansions to CTE programs to giving students the opportunity to learn and receive credit from outside a school building–are focused on charting a path to a parent-controlled and student-centered education system of the future.
Moment of Resilience
Members of the 50CAN community throw their hands up in a bus on the way to the opening of the International Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. 50CAN was invited to watch the first balloons launch with two elementary schools in Bernalillo, New Mexico by superintendent Mathew Montaño. Watching the faces of the students light up as the balloons took to the sky will be memories we will never forget.