Schools in Arizona are ramping back up, after a hot summer break. But here at Stand for Children, we never slowed down. Why didn’t we slow down, you ask? Because of superstars like Liliana Hutcheson.
In this edition of In the Trenches, we are celebrating Lili’s 10th anniversary at Stand! We call them Standiversaries!
Lili spent this summer hosting engaging workshops, combating summer learning loss, and training parent leaders across the Valley. After 10 years supporting parents, she’s more committed than ever to using the most up to date research such as the importance of combating summer learning loss, or the “summer slide.”
Lili helped open the Stand Arizona office in 2009 and has been helping families ever since. She’s played an instrumental role in all the affiliate’s accomplishments – from winning elections to passing English Language Learner reform legislation earlier this year. Most often, you’ll find her training team leaders, and helping parents and students through our after-school tutoring programs and reading challenges.
If you haven’t met Lili, you probably know someone who has. She’s trained over 4,000 parents, and currently has almost 1,000 parents in her “power base.” (A fancy Stand term for her network of parents that are engaging on education issues with Stand.)
She is one of the hardest working family engagement leaders in the nation. And her work this summer proves it. In partnership with Valley of the Sun United Way she trained parents about how important it is for students to stay mentally active over the summer and gave them tools to support reading and academic activities. She helped them get ready for “back to school," have a plan to get to school on time every day, and have all the supplies they need.
Earlier this year, Lili helped organize an amazing inaugural Stand Day at the Capitol with about 130 participants from multiple school districts – even though the goal was just 75. The sea of blue shirts meant everyone knew Stand Arizona was in the house!
We are so incredibly grateful to her and inspired by her. Here is what some of our parent members say about her:
“Lili gave me the courage to speak up,” said Lucy Maldonado, a parent member. “I was so nervous about meeting with our school principal, but I also knew that we had a bold plan to launch a parent-led tutoring program. Because of Lili and her trainings, we met with the principal and launched the program shortly after. It was an amazing experience, and I would never change it for anything else.”
Carmen Toro said, “I had never been to the Capitol before. I was nervous about how things would go. But Lili made feel at ease and was very knowledgeable about the legislative process.”
Lili’s commitment and passion for all children getting a great education is why she is such an amazing part of our team. Now, she’s helping tackle one of the biggest issues facing our state: Arizona’s reading crisis. There is good news and bad news in this crisis.
Right now, only 46% of our students are hitting the literacy mark. Recent findings show that Arizona's state test scores are improving, but only by a few percentage points.