NEA VP Talks Shop at the Mom Congress

By Ramona Parks-Kirby

NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen welcomed 51 mom advocates from across the country to Washington, D.C., Monday and gave them valuable tips on getting involved in their children’s education, meeting with policymakers and lobbying to push for resources for students and schools.

During her presentation, she stressed the value of parental involvement extending beyond the school doors and into advocacy.

“Teachers aren’t going to win it alone,” Eskelsen said.  “We’re going to win it when the most important people in the life of a child, the moms and dads and the grandparents, decide to put their power as citizens to work.”

The mothers took part in Parenting magazine and Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies “Mom Congress on Education and Learning Conference.”

Moms representing each state and Washington, D.C., will use their personal experiences and knowledge gained from speakers to develop Parenting’s “Lesson Plan for Change.” The guide, which will help empower parents to get more involved in their children’s education, will be published in the October issue.

Eskelsen serves an advisory board member for the Mom Congress.

“We’ll win when we can make the rest of the world understand the mission of a public school,” Eskelsen said. “And it’s not a mission written on some website. It’s written across our hearts.”

To read Eskelsen’s blog post about the crisis facing public education due to proposed teacher layoffs, head to

Photo: Bill Clark for NEA