By Kelly D. Drummond, Tennessee’s Afterschool Ambassador
There is an adage, “All politics are local.” I remembered this saying as I recently voted on Super Tuesday. This commentary is not about political parties or voting, but about building relationships and sharing our afterschool perspectives on a local landscape. As I voted on Tuesday, I sincerely noted that the election was not solely about picking a presidential nominee. On the ballot were several local positions that mattered to my everyday life – votes for County Commissioners, Law Director, Property Assessor, and School Board members. I also understood those elected officials potentially impacted the outcomes of my afterschool program. As afterschool providers, we deliver our services in our local communities and neighborhoods. Our local elected officials are our neighbors, co-workers, and shoppers at our local markets. This local connection lends itself to building foundational relationships that will extend beyond any political affiliation.
The Tennessee Afterschool Network recently hosted the Day on the Hill in Nashville. It was an excellent opportunity to see the state legislative process in action. But I encourage each of you to take the momentum created by the Afterschool Network even further and build your own local relationships by getting to know your local officials, understanding their positions, and inviting them to see your program in action. Our services are making generational differences, one day at a time. Local relationships matter. The relationships you build today, will shape our local, state, and national landscape in the future. Afterschool programs make a difference for all.
Kelly Drummond, with Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, is a TN Afterschool Network Steering Committee member and was selected earlier this school year by the Afterschool Alliance to serve as an Afterschool Ambassador for Tennessee.