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Invite Members of Congress to Your School

TIP: Inviting your Senators or Representative to your classroom is a great way to build a connection to their office. Seeing a high-quality 21st century language classroom in action will illustrate the importance of language learning and let you and your school showcase the great work you are doing in the community. To invite your Member of Congress, work with your principal to compose a letter telling them about your school, your language classroom, and the importance of this class to students and parents in their district. Send the letter to both their Washington, DC and the district offices. Make sure you send the letter directly to the Congressman’s scheduler, preferably via their e-mail address. As Members of Congress often have busy schedules and are only in the district for a few days a month it is helpful if you can remain flexible with their schedules. Sometimes a Member of Congress will be unable to attend but will send a member of their staff. These connections are also beneficial because staff have a direct line to the Member of Congress. Having a relationship with the staff can be useful in other advocacy efforts down the road.

Another suggestion is to have your students create the invitations. You could post on the school’s website some classroom evidence of what students can do in the target language (e.g., performance assessments, conversations, Skype connections with partners abroad) and send the link via e-mail to your Members of Congress and their staff members. Who could resist clicking on a link to see real students using different languages for real communication?