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Public Schools Are the Heart of Our Communities

CFJ Youth Leaders hanging out pre-pandemic at Fremont High School in Oakland 

Above Image: CFJ Youth Leaders hanging out pre-pandemic at Fremont High School in Oakland.

Love is in the air, and we’re celebrating by taking a moment to appreciate one of the major relationships in our life – the CA public school system! That’s right, decades into our relationship, CFJ remains enamored with public schools and the potential we have together. 

Like any love story, ours is full of ups and downs. Disagreements over politics, communication styles and finances are frequent, but that doesn’t mean our love ever goes away. Through the years, we have seen past those moments and reminded ourselves of what drew us together in the first place – a core belief that education is foundational to young people having a good start in life. 

Public Schools are the heart of our communities, offering vital resources that are life-changing for students and families. The list of reasons to love is long, but we’ve included a few of our favorites here:

  1. Public schools are places of learning open to all students regardless of ability, status or identity.
  2. Public schools offer green spaces for communities to gather and spend time outdoors.
  3. They provide key health resources to students and families, especially in rural and low-income communities. 
  4. Public school systems provide meals and nutrition to food-insecure students and families.
  5. Schools are gathering places for cultural events and celebrations – creating a shared identity for students, families and the larger community. 

As much as we love our public schools, it’s easy to see how they are often underappreciated. Full of old infrastructure and generational trauma, their actions have the potential to harm rather than heal. Instead of trading public schools for a younger, flashier version, we at CFJ know the system needs the same care as the people working within it –  patience, support and healing. We choose to look past the superficial and invest in the incredible potential that still exists

Like any relationship, we get as much as we put in – and we’re prepared to keep putting in the work! Using our voice to call for investment, support, and love for the CA public school system. Because public schools are the heart of our communities, we’ll always be motivated to keep fighting for our students and families. 

“We must be working together with decision-makers to create a school where we are comfortable and can succeed in. I don’t want to go back to a classroom, I want to go back to a community.” — Melisa Rodriguez, CFJ Oakland Youth Leader

Make public schools your Valentine today and everyday by plugging in to what’s happening with local school board elections and district decisions! This spring, there will be school elections and other crucial primaries across our communities, stay tuned for more information about what’s at stake in our schools.

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