This year, inviting your Members of Congress to visit your Head Start center is one of the most important ways to show them how Head Start is unique, innovative, and high-quality. It also helps you build relationships with them by having a face to face encounter and makes your Head Start program memorable. Not to mention, you will be educating them about the comprehensive, two-generational and community based nature of Head Start, which is paramount to our success and impact. With your participation, every member of the 115th Congress will know that Head Start is well-respected in every zip code and makes a big community impact.
The best times to invite your Members of Congress to visit are when they are on recess and back home in their states and districts. The next time they are home is the August recess, between Monday July 31st - Friday September 1st. This is the perfect opportunity to invite them to meet the children in their own community who attend Head Start, their parents and the educators and staff who serve them! While your elected official is on site you can take them on a tour of the facility, have them read to the children, and hear from community partners about Head Start in the community.
Step 1: Find out who your members of Congress are by entering in your zip code or state here.
Step 2: Download and fill in this invitation letter template with your program's specific details and send it to your 3 Members of Congress via email (2 senators and 1 representative). You should email it to the scheduler in both their DC and local office. To find your member's scheduler simply call the Washington DC office line listed on their website (usually at the bottom of the page) and ask for the name, number and email of the scheduler. You can do the same for their local office.
Step 3: Review this suggested program for the visit to learn more about what activities you can plan when your elected officials are on sitel
Step 4: A few days before your visit, use this press advisory template to invite your local newspaper and TV stations to cover this special occasion. Be sure to personalize this advisory and ensure good coverage for both your program and your Member of Congress!
Step 5: Once your visit is over, donít forget to follow up and thank your Member of Congress and all who accompanied them. You can post your pictures from the visit on social media and tag your members of Congress to thank them. Then make sure to personalize this thank you letter template and send it to them the week after the visit or you can come up with a creative way to say thank you from the children and parents in your center. Remember, staying in touch and updating them about what you are doing in the community is extremely important.
This year our goal is to have every Member of Congress in the 115th Congress know their Head Start center. Once you have had a successful visit let us know and we will add you to the 2017 Advocacy All Star map below. If you are missing and already had a visit, please email Olivia Goumbri at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure your visit is recognized on the map.
Below is a map of various places where Members of Congress and their staff visited their Head Start center in the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Help us ensure that we do better this year and set up your visit today!