Community members filled the RevEd space last Wednesday to celebrate parents who played an important role in preventing school closures. The event, “The Power of Families,” sponsored by Revolution in Education (RevEd), provided an opportunity for families to come together and celebrate the achievement of their involvement that helped keep schools open. When the Kansas City, Missouri school district’s BluePrint 2030 plan was proposed in the fall of 2022, Northeast schools including Northeast High School, James Elementary, Whittier Elementary and a few others had been earmarked for closure or reuse. Seeing that their children might ask for their schools, parents began to organize and raise their voices to protest the closures. Maria Yepez, a parent of James Elementary students and attendee of the event, says that when they saw that James could be closed, she, along with other parents including Dahlia Rodriguez, one of the leading parents among parents, began campaigning against it. of the closure. “When Dahlia said that she was willing to do something, we, a group of four moms, supported her and started collecting signatures when she could because we work and have children,” Yepez said. The mother told her that she is happy that the schools have not closed, rather than seeing her daughter’s happiness knowing that she will be able to continue her education at James Elementary. “I have lived in the Northeast for 20 years and I went to these schools. They always put the Northeast area like it’s a bad area. So I said to myself, ‘If they take away this little bit of education, of something good that we have in our area for our students, it’s going to be Northeast,’ Yepez said. “This was what encouraged me to do something, to join with Dahlia and the other popes to raise their voices.” RevEd, a non-profit organization that focuses on providing the Latino community with resources and support to achieve a sustainable education, support for parents in the course. Empowered parents collected signatures, attended district forms, spoke with state legislators and district board members to save their community schools. After months of effort, in January, it was revealed that the Blueprint 2030 plan had been modified and that schools in the Northeast were no longer at risk of closure, giving families relief. Recognizing the dedication and effort of the parents despite having limitations such as language barriers and lack of representation on the board of directors, RevED decided to have this event to celebrate their achievements. The Director of Digital Experience, Ivan Ramirez, said that the Northeast community has committed to continue fighting to improve their communities. “It was time to celebrate the power of families. Sometimes the Latino community is relegated to the shadows. Not this time, Northeast KC parents joined their voices and spoke up. This called for a celebration,” Ramirez said. “Our families are no longer alone. They have each other. Our students are no longer alone, there is a group of empowered parents ready to advocate for them and have better educational results.” The event was packed with community members excited to celebrate that their schools will continue to be available for their children. Among the participants, all expressed the same happiness in the accomplishment they were able to achieve by coming together and using their voice against possible school closures in addition to continuing to encourage parents to get involved. Attendees enjoyed tacos provided by A & J Molcajete and an atmosphere with music provided by FK Menace. Organizations like Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Latino Arts Foundation also took part in the event, sharing more information about their organizations and painting children’s faces. Innocenia Reyes, said that she has really enjoyed being part of this achievement and being able to use resources such as RevEd to achieve change and limit the obstacles that students face. “We came to support parents who are looking to make schools better, so that they don’t close, and that their children are studying,” Reyes said. Another parent, Noel Mendez, says he attended the event to continue supporting the Latino community and to celebrate that schools have not closed. “Cheer up, sign up, don’t be afraid, everything is possible. That when you put your mind to it, you can,” Mendez said, inviting more parents to take action.