KPATA President – Callie Benton

Q: How do you work advocacy into your busy schedule?
A:  I have a supportive family that helps me maintain a balance. Advocacy is essential in the field of early childhood because we are the voice of the children we serve.  I am a working mother of three and yes I am busy, but I enjoy it.  I would say my “secret” is taking care of myself.  I eat well, exercise and get rest so that I can maintain a busy lifestyle.

Q:  What suggestions do you have for someone who is just getting started with advocacy?
A:  What I have found in working as an advocate is that most of the time people want to listen to me and hear the stories of the impacts we are making.  It is essential to learn your facts before taking action.  Policy makers rely on advocates to get them the facts they need to take action on our behalf.

Q:  Any favorite resources, websites, etc. about advocacy?
A:  KPATA puts forward a strong effort in keeping us informed on political issues concerning early childhood programs and partners.  I really appreciate the work KPATA provides.  My most helpful resources are sometimes my legislators.  I often call and email my representatives to ask question on topics.  More often than not, if they don’t know about the topic they get back to me with an answer in a fairly short time frame.

Q:  Favorite advocacy story?
A:  I am happy to say I have been fairly successful as an advocate.  My advocacy started back in high school when I spoke to the KS  Transportation Comm. in support of widening the 169 Hwy and has made a long journey with the bulk on my advocacy being in early childhood.  I am always touched by the stories our Parents As Teachers families share with legislators about how our program has impacted their lives.  We make a difference.

Q:  Optional: do you want to share about running for office?
A:  In January I made the decision to run for Miami County District 2 Commissioner.  My determination is strong to help the Commission of Miami County find innovative ways containing costs, obtaining supportive funds and creating more vibrant business and worker economy.   I am committed to improving the business climate, encouraging responsible growth, broadening the tax base and improving Miami County for workers and their families.