Sacramento, Calif. – Billboards reading, “Missing: All CA students. Last Seen: 3/13/2020. Reward: Their Future. #OpenSchoolsNow,” are on display in locations across California. The campaign, by Reopen California Schools, seeks to draw attention to the continued closures of public schools in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento and Benicia.
“Our schools across the state continue to be shuttered, halls empty and learning environments vacant,” said Jonathan Zachreson, founder of Reopen California Schools. “The visual of students missing is impactful and truthful, and we hope to bring awareness to the desperate need for in-person learning. After nearly a year of distance learning, children are suffering significant learning loss, increased in anxiety and depression and decreased physical health. Our campaign asks school boards and decision makers to weigh the risks and benefits of continued closure and offer an immediate option for in-person learning five days a week.”
Digital billboards are located at:
- Los Angeles – I-405 & S Main St, south facing
- Orange County – Garden Grove Fwy at Harbor Blvd, west facing
- San Diego – I-5 & Hwy 54, south facing
- San Jose – Hwy 87 & W Alma Ave, north facing
- Sacramento/Elk Grove – Hwy 99 & Calvine Rd, south facing
- Benicia/Martinez – I-680 & Waterfont Rd, north facing
The billboard campaign, which launched on February 8, 2021, will have its big push this week, February 22, with increased ad time in all six locations. Each digital ad displays approximately every 5 minutes. The ad buys totaling nearly $5,000 were funded entirely from private donations and a public Go Fund Me campaign (at https://gofund.me/332286b6). The billboard media company, AdSemble.com, partnered with Reopen California Schools, advising on maximizing budget to reach the largest audience.
Local parents, in each of the cities/school districts, are available to speak to media and/or do on-camera interviews at billboard sites.
Additionally, Reopen California Schools has learned of numerous rallies and events organized throughout the state.
Reopen SDUSD has organized a rally February 23 from 3-4pm at the San Diego Unified School District office at 4100 Normal Street in San Diego.
Reopen Sunnyvale and Cupertino Schools will host a rally February 23 at 4pm in the grassy area at Fremont High School at Northwest corner of Fremont and Sunnyvale – Saratoga Road.
CVUSD parents have organized a back-to-school rally on February 23 at 4pm at 5130 Riverside in Chino.
Elk Grove Parent Coalition has a rally scheduled for February 23 from 4 to 6pm at 9510 Elk Grove Florin Rd in Elk Grove. More information is available at EGUSDparentcoalition.com.
SJUSD Parents and Teachers for In-Person School will host a rally February 23 at 6pm at the San Jose Unified School District headquarters located at 3738 Walnut Ave in Carmichael.
Benicia Students and Parents will gather on February 26 from 3 to 5pm at the District Office at 350 E. K Street in Benicia. The group will then march to City Park.
United Parents Los Angeles (UPLA) will be holding a Zoom Blackout starting February 22 “for as many days as it takes.” Details on that organization’s efforts can we found at https://twitter.com/parents_la.
About Reopen California Schools
Reopen California Schools is a fully-volunteer group formed by Jonathan Zachreson in June 2020, following the COVID-19 shutdown of in-person, public education across the state. The group consists of families who advocate for parents’ right to choose the educational environment best for their students. Focusing on grassroots mobilization, its primary purpose is to educate parents on laws, regulations and rights. It also provides resources to educators wanting to understand the roles and fiscal impacts of teacher unions. Reopen California Schools has garnered the attention of more than 1 million Twitter users and has been interviewed by numerous local and national news networks. Their Facebook group of more than 12,000 members is open to the public.