“NJ KIDS CAN’T WAIT…” Campaign to Support Parents and Empower Families to Ensure Students Are Learning this Fall

Launch NJ Kids Can’t Wait

[New Jersey – October 6, 2021] For the last eighteen months, parents throughout New Jersey have been beset with confusion and concern regarding their children’s education. Even with school doors now finally open, significant concerns and questions persist for parents across the state. “Are my kids on track academically? “What is the plan to address their needs?”

To address this significant void, JerseyCAN, a nonprofit advocating for high-quality schools for all New Jersey students, announced today that it has launched a campaign that will provide all New Jersey families with needed information, guidance, and tools to work with teachers and schools to get their children back on track academically while maintaining the highest expectations. The campaign, which will run statewide through the fall, will invest in an extensive media campaign, a one-stop-shopping microsite, and digital engagement to homes across the state.

“This campaign is about supporting New Jersey parents,” stated Janellen Duffy, Senior Advisor, JerseyCAN. “While we celebrate the fact that schools are open, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Parents want a clear understanding of how their school district plans to address the disruptions to learning that have occurred over the past 18 months. And more specifically, parents want to make sure that their children get back on track academically. We designed this campaign to provide answers to parents’ questions, develop a statewide platform to share parent voices, and to make sure all New Jersey families and educators uphold the highest expectations for our students.”

“For the last 18 months and most specifically the opening of the new school year, many parents are grasping for information,” stated Tafshier Cosby, CEO of Parent Impact and Director of Organizing for the National Parents Union. “Parents want to know what they should do if their child is struggling with homework. They want to know how their school district is spending stimulus dollars. And overall they want to know what the plan is for addressing their child’s academic and other needs. With this campaign, JerseyCAN has connected parents to a checklist of key questions to raise with teachers and schools, as well as tools to gauge how their children are doing.”

Two 15 and 30-second digital spots entitled “NJ Kids Can’t Wait” anchor the media campaign. In addition to the digital engagement investment, JerseyCAN has also created a “We Can’t Wait…” digital center where parents can share their voice, ask questions, digest various resources of information, consider a series of questions their school and districts need to answer, and review examples of innovative work happening at the district level in New Jersey.

The following is the advertising script that will anchor JerseyCAN’s “We Can’t Wait” campaign:

Voice 1:
“Last school year was tough, but I did see firsthand what my kids covered in class —
and where they need help.

“I’m glad school is starting again, but I’m concerned.

“Are my kids on track academically?

“What is the plan to address their needs?

“How can I help?”

Voice 2:
“JerseyCAN can’t wait to help you get answers to those questions; visit cantwait.jerseycan.org to learn more and have your voices heard.”

Today’s announcement continues JerseyCAN’s investment in addressing students’ needs and accelerating learning throughout the state to address the significant challenges brought on by the global pandemic:

    • In Fall of 2020, JerseyCAN conducted the first poll of New Jersey parents showcasing the stark racial and income disparities in addressing the challenges of COVID-19. This poll found parents had concerns not only about their children’s health and safety but also about students staying on track academically.
    • Last Winter, JerseyCAN released the first of its kind study defining the impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey students. This research projected that approximately 393,000 students in ELA and 430,000 students in Math in grades 3-8 would not be on grade level by the end of this school year.
    • Earlier this summer, as school districts began creating plans to utilize the billions of federal dollars coming into New Jersey through COVID relief funding, JerseyCAN launched a centralized multimedia platform to assist local districts and charter schools in advancing new strategies and programs to accelerate learning. This platform features case studies of New Jersey districts and schools who are actively using evidence-based strategies to accelerate student learning.

About JerseyCAN:
JerseyCAN: The New Jersey Campaign for Achievement Now is a nonprofit organization that advocates for all students across the state to have access to high-quality schools. We work to improve policies and programs to support equity and excellence in New Jersey education.

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