Have a Heart: Invest in Kids!
Valentine’s Day provides us with a fun way to tell our lawmakers to “have a heart” by prioritizing early learning and child nutrition programs in their budgets.
As Congress and state legislatures convene, they will have the opportunity to invest in kids. Lawmakers need to hear from you about the importance of investing in early childhood education to help more kids be kindergarten-ready in our states and update child nutrition programs across the country
We have a federal advocacy ask that everyone around the country can take action on as well as state-focused advocacy asks for those who live in our SCAN states.
Federal Ask: Child Nutrition Reauthorization
State-Specific Ask: Connect with your SCAN State contact to learn more about what you can do on a state level to create change for child nutrition and early learning priorities!
Omar Salinas Chacon
You can incorporate valentine-making into an existing student club or community action team meeting, host a stand-alone event or write them by yourself at home. It’s up to you!
Need ideas about an online video platform for your valentine-making event? We’ve got you covered! Check out our comparison of online platforms.
Remember, if you are writing to members of Congress, you will typically write three cards: two to your U.S. senators and one to your representative. Not sure who represents you? You can look it up at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.
There are several ways you can prepare your valentines, including:
Using Our Pre-Printed Postcards
SCAN has created postcards with a Valentine’s Day message. The back is blank for you to write a note to your lawmaker. See our sample messages below for what you can write to your lawmakers.
Making Your Own Valentines
You can create your own valentines with some simple materials like paper and markers. Once your valentine is done, grab your SCAN t-shirt and take a quick photo or video. You can then plan to share that on social media, tagging your lawmakers.
Here’s a sample post that could work: Check out these special valentines I created for @SenBoWatson! Senator, we at @SCActionNetwork urge you to #HaveAHeart and #InvestInKids this Valentine’s Day.
Sample Postcard Message
Note: The sample message below was drafted with congressional lawmakers in mind. If you are focusing on state lawmakers, connect with your SCAN staff member about which programs to highlight for your state.
Dear [lawmaker name] –
Please improve and strengthen child nutrition programs so that they better serve the needs of our country’s children, something particularly important in the wake of COVID-19, by co-sponsoring and passing the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).
I hope you’ll have a heart and invest in kids!
[your name and address]
Sample Messages for Handmade Valentines
♥ Have a heart and invest in kids!
♥ Don’t break my heart – invest in kids
♥ Be mine. Invest in kids!
♥ Roses are red. Violets are blue. Invest in kids, and voters will love you!
Below are some ideas for delivering or mailing your valentines. No matter how you deliver your valentines messages, be sure to stage a great photo. We’ll use these photos on social media and share them with lawmakers’ offices. Check out our tips for taking a good photo.
Please be sure to put your safety and those of your fellow SCAN advocates first when planning your deliveries. Also, connect with your SCAN staff contact about delivering or mailing your valentines to ensure coordination.
If You Wrote Postcards:
♥ You can either mail them directly to lawmakers or send them to your SCAN staff contact who may mail them together or deliver them in-person.
♥ If you created a Kudoboard: Kudoboard has a print feature so you could consider an in-person delivery, following all safety protocols (see below). You could also download the image to send directly to the lawmaker’s staff member.
If You Organize an In-Person Delivery, Consider These Tips:
♥ Send only one or two people max for the delivery. If you send more than one person, they should practice social distancing and wear masks. You should also call the lawmaker’s office in advance to coordinate on safety protocols related to delivering the valentines.
♥ Wear your SCAN t-shirt and make sure it’s visible in the photo.
♥ Make sure the valentines are visible in the photo. Place the especially creative ones on top. Consider taking a close-up photo of some of your favorites.
♥ Be polite to the staff when dropping off the cards. Let them know that you want the lawmaker to prioritize funding for programs that help more children access high-quality early childhood education.
♥ Take a great photo! See our tips for taking a quality picture that we can share far and wide.
♥ After the delivery, post your favorite photo on social media. You can tweet a photo at the lawmaker to whom you delivered the valentines or post your photo on Facebook or Instagram tagging the lawmaker. Be sure to use the hashtags #HaveAHeart and #InvestInKids in your posts.
Amplify Your Valentine Messages
♥ If you created your own valentines: Because handmade valentines will require an envelope, they will take a long time to get through congressional screening. Instead of mailing these, we recommend taking a selfie (ideally in your SCAN t-shirt) holding your valentine to share on social media.
Remember to tag your lawmakers in your post so they see your message to them. Also, please use the hashtags #HaveAHeart and #InvestInKids in your posts.
In addition to advocating for children, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to fundraise for the 13 million kids in the United States who suffer from hunger and food insecurity.
As you plan your valentine-making activities, make sure to select an online meeting platform so that people can convene safely. Below are a few options for platforms that are free and easy to use. Your SCAN staff contact may also have preferences about online meeting platforms.
|Zoom||Messenger Rooms||Skype||Google Meet|
|Participant Limit||Up to 100||Up to 50||Up to 50||Up to 100|
|Time Limit||40 minutes||None||None||60 minutes|
|Account Sign Up||Click here||N/A||N/A||Click here|
|Meeting Set Up||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here|
|Sharing Video||Click here||Click here||Click here||Click here|