Letters to the editor offer advocates the chance to draw the public’s attention to the needs of gifted and talented students. To be published, letters need a connection to something reported in the paper or to something happening locally. For example, extensive newspaper coverage about the state education budget that does not include mention of gifted education programs offers the chance to write about the need for state funding for gifted and talented education services. Stories about Advanced Placement classes open the door to letters about the need for a full range of gifted education programming. Administrators, school board members, and legislators all read their local newspapers; many elected officials read the major newspapers across the state. This may be your chance to share your opinions with them right in their own home in a nonthreatening, thoughtful way.
Personalized letters have the best chance of being published and also have the greatest impact. The message in your letter is more meaningful to the reader when he can see how the issue affects you, your district, and/or your state. For instance, you can include state or local data to reinforce your point, talk about your own experiences with your child's school, or mention an ongoing discussion in your state that is relevant. Examples of letters authored by NAGC and others provide a template, or sample on which to model your own message; we urge you to change the letter to make it your own.