Campaign Shares Pennsylvania Public School Success Stories

The Success Starts Here campaign, organized by the Pennsylvania Schools Boards Association, seeks to raise positive awareness of the public school system.

Last week, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) launched its Success Starts Here campaign to share success stories from the state’s 500 school districts.

It was time to really show the general public across the state of Pennsylvania the amazing things that happen across schools.

The two-year push will use social media and paid and donated television, billboard, and radio advertising to showcase the interesting, unique things schools are doing to educate the next generation.

“It was time to really show the general public across the state of Pennsylvania the amazing things that happen across schools,” PSBA Executive Director Nathan Mains said. “With an eye toward the fact that every public school—not just in Pennsylvania but around the country—really goes about their work in different ways and has different tools and opportunities with their students, but all of them, when you look at it, are relatively unique and make a lifelong impact on public school students.”

One of the first videos tells the story of a first-grade class in the Northern Lebanon School District learning to control robots using basic computer programming.

“Some of my lowest students academically were the ones thriving the most. One of the most inspiring things was to see the self-confidence I was building in these students,” teacher Tiffany Hogg said of her class at the campaign’s kickoff. “One of the effects is not to limit what my students are capable of.”

Success Starts Here enables PSBA members—like Northern Lebanon School District—to share these unique classroom experiences through video, photography, social media, or a submission on the campaign website. The organization will also send teams to schools to help document stories.

“It’s really about each district telling their own story,” Mains said.

PSBA provided members with toolkits covering how to share stories and is relying on those working on the ground to find potential topics. The groups it’s collaborating with on the campaign—the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units, the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, the Pennsylvania Principals Association, the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association, and the Pennsylvania State Education Association—will also be searching for experiences to share.

“This campaign will highlight both the extraordinary programs offered and the simple everyday ways public education is touching the lives of our students,” PA Association of School Administrators Executive Director Jim Buckheit said in a statement. “Public education is the foundation for the lifelong success of our kids, our communities, and our state.”

PSBA started the work by surveying individuals about their views on public education. While most people don’t have a negative view of public education, the polls found they are relatively unaware of the system’s benefits unless they are more closely tied to it.

“While public education in Pennsylvania and around the nation faces real challenges, we want to balance the public conversation with robust examples of quality, commitment, and innovation happening at all levels and across all school entities,” Mains said in the release. “Today, nearly 90 percent of students and their families choose public education. We need school entities across the state to join the campaign and show that success truly does start here.”

(Pennsylvania School Boards Association)

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!