From the Field: Busy Making a Difference
(an In the Trenches takeover!)

Hello from out in the field

Hi there — I’m Liliana Hutcheson. I don’t know if we’ve ever met, but I’m a family engagement coordinator and organizer with Stand for Children Arizona. I’ve been helping families with Stand Arizona for nearly 10 years. We have such a great organization dedicated to ensuring every child has an equal opportunity to a quality education, and I’m so proud of our outstanding parent leaders and members.

Don’t tell Rebecca, but today I’m taking over this edition of In The Trenches to let you know how we’re busy changing lives. So, without further delay — here are some great things we are currently doing at Stand Arizona.

Winter Reading Challenge was a success

One of our goals is for more students to read on grade-level. We know that only around 4 in 10 Arizona students can read on grade-level. This means...60% of our students are not reading at grade-level! Those are some pretty sad facts. To make matters worse, during the winter break, students often forget the information they’ve learned in school. To combat this “winter slide,” we launched our Winter Reading Challenge in nine different schools.

This challenge was flexible and easy in that children could read their favorite types of books or use our digital library (sponsored by Unite for Literacy), as long as they read for at least 20 minutes a day during their winter break. We’re super excited to announce that over 200 students completed the challenge in nine participating schools! We’ve been busy hosting pizza parties for all the students who completed this challenge. 

But we are not stopping there — this spring break, we are going to be hosting another reading challenge and hope to help even more students improve their reading results.

Empowering parents with hands-on workshops

We’ve been busy this month hosting nearly 10 workshops to equip parents with knowledge and tools to encourage student learning at school and at home. During these different workshops, parents have learned how to make the most out of their parent-teacher conferences or how their child’s education today makes a difference when it comes to getting into college. We’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with so many school leaders and to meet hundreds of new parents who want their kids to get the best education possible.

Join us for Stand Day at the Capitol

A few years back, a school leader in one of the schools that we work with mentioned some issues with current English Language Learner legislation. This year, there is a very good chance that a bill will reform those laws and give schools more flexibility and ultimately help more ELL students.

That’s why we are planning a visit to the State Capitol on Thursday, March 21. We want our parent members to come and find out what’s really happening under the dome. If you attend, you will be alongside other parents, educators, and advocates and will get to know your lawmakers during our Stand Day at the Capitol.

This will be a fun and easy way for everyone to learn how the legislative process works and to get to network with friends and legislators.

Save the date on your calendar:

Date: Thursday, March 21st
Time: 9:00 AM
Place: The Rose Garden at the Arizona State Capitol
To RSVP email:

Join the conversation

Recently, we launched a new opportunity for parents and community members around the state to get firsthand updates on what's happening "in the trenches." During these statewide calls, we’ve covered topics like the importance of reading at home and have learned more about how our current ELL laws work. This is an excellent opportunity to get plugged in, ask questions, and be part of a larger conversation about the future of education in Arizona.

Save the date on your calendar:

Wednesday, February 20th
Time: 11:30 AM
Call-in number: 408-740-3766
Access code: 3954670125#

Quote from the field


“My dream for my children is that they grow up and become honest, well-educated people with a successful future. I want them to know that their father and I will always be there to support them in every endeavor. But above all, my dream is for my children to become people full of happiness!"

- Fabiola Vasquez, Stand parent leader
We hope you enjoyed this week’s In the Trenches. We are out and about working to make a difference, but we plan to keep you updated in the coming days.

Rebecca, Stacey, Martin, Liliana, Blythe, Montgomery, and Katherine
The Stand for Children Arizona Team
Stand for Children is a non-profit education advocacy organization focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability.

In order to fulfill our mission, Stand for Children, Inc., our 501(c)4 organization, performs all advocacy and lobbying activities while the Stand for Children Leadership Center, our 501(c)3 organization, manages our parent and family education and engagement programs as well as Stand’s public awareness campaigns.
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