With Constitution and Citizenship Day approaching on September 16th itMFMpicThe Black Star Project’s Million Father March will be happing in cities across the Country on September 15th.

The Million Father March is an opportunity for Black men to show their commitment to the educational lives of their children on the first day of school and throughout the school year.

The importance of male engagement has been one of my focuses around the State.  Taking your child to the first day of school doesn’t cost anything, but the reward in return is so valuable that no dollar figure can be put on it.


September 16th is Citizenship Day. As you may know, the new Graduation requirements now include one semester of Civics coursework. unknown

Former Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, David J. Shestokas has published a book to help parents and educators present crucial citizenship information in a way that speaks to students of the 21st century.

The book has been published in English and Spanish.  More on the English language version can be found here, and the Spanish at this link.

More on the author can be found here, and more about Spanish language collaborator Dr Berta Arias can be found here.


Engaging and Supporting Military Families

Next I said we would continue to give you pieces of the NPTA Convention so I want to highlight another fantastic workshop that was presented.  Engaging and Supporting Military Families.

This workshop was so informative. It gives us insight on things I have never considered before. Some are heartbreaking.  The workshop discusses subjects like:

  • How hard the transition can be for not only the kids but the moms and/or dads moving from place to place. All have to make new friends and need support through the transition.
  • Why we shouldn’t take offense to the wives or husbands not being able to talk about their spouses whereabouts or what they do because it’s classified information that they can’t talk about.
  • The impact on kids and families of not knowing if their mom or dad is going to come home from their tour; and
  • Informed us that most are not able to join social media sites or share their personal information due to security reason.

We have a lot of schools starting and we can increase our membership and make our communities stronger by keeping an open mind and remembering that we don’t know each other’s challenges but everyone needs someone by their side.

We are an inclusive association. Everyone has different needs and wants but as long as we are respectful and have an open heart we can get through anything TOGETHER! Every Child One Voice. Sí se puede!

Here to serve,

Matthew John Rodriguez

Illinois PTA President