Join ‘Backpack Challenge’ on MLK Day

Save the morning of January 19, 2015 to attend a unique event sponsored by Lutheran-Episcopal Advocacy in Nevada (LEAN).   We all know the Education Initiative, Question 3, failed in the November election. Governor Sandoval has said he has a plan to fund public education, but he has disclosed no details. The LEAN event will give our Legislators an opportunity to do something tangible for education.

Watch Rev. Mike Patterson’s video on this special event here.

All new and returning state Senators and Assembly Members have been invited. Those who attend will assemble backpacks filled with school supplies. The backpacks will go to a Title I (low income) school of the Legislator’s choice, and the backpack will include the name of that Legislator.

We hope this will be a fun exercise that will remind Legislators of the need to seriously address education funding.   We particularly want to highlight the needs of Title I schools, which are chronically without resources. There’s a reason we’re doing a school supplies project in January. Many of our congregations assemble school backpacks in September, but by January, heading into the second half of the school year, most of those supplies have been used. This leaves teachers purchasing basic supplies from their own pockets. So in order to pull off this “challenge to Legislators,” we need your help. Please consider donating five, ten, or twenty dollars to buy the supplies to go in the backpacks. Our Director of Advocacy, Rev. Mike Patterson, has arranged to buy supplies at a huge discount from a local office supply store, so your donation will go a long way. Checks can be sent to LEAN c/o St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 737, Sparks NV 89432, or given to your Parish Communicator.

The gathering will feature more than stuffing backpacks. James Hardesty, Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court, will speak. Also on the agenda is a representative from Union of black Episcopalians, and a speaker from the State Board of Education. The event will occur simultaneously at Community Lutheran Church in Las Vegas and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Reno, connected by video conference.   A representative of Northern Nevada Food Bank will speak in Reno, and a representative of Three Squares will speak in Las Vegas.

Members of all Episcopal and Lutheran congregations are urged to attend. The event begins at 10:00 am, and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to mp4675@att.net.

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