Building Resilient Communities: How Isaac School District turned an old house into a thriving resource center for all (PART TWO)
(Missed the first part of the story? Click here to read about how a dedicated group of community leaders began to develop the building blocks for the Isaac Family Resource Center.)
Following the Isaac community assessment, the Resource Center team turned directly to parents and community members to learn what kind of resources they would like to see in the center.
“Involving the community supports inclusion of feedback, relationship building, shared decision making, and parent leadership development,” Sarah said. “In order for the Resource Center programs to be effective in strengthening families, we will continuously strive to empower families to establish their own vision of an ideal.”
“This process has also created a sense of ownership and pride around the project ensuring that no matter what happens, the Family Resource Center will be sustained by the community,” she added.
Sarah said that many parents were generally quiet and did not contribute at the beginning of the planning process. As time passed, however, their confidence grew and they became more vocal.
“The most rewarding part of this work has been watching the parents involved in the project grow and discover the power of their voice,” Sarah said. “They are more involved in their communities, they are stronger advocates, and they will be evoking the changes in their families, schools, and communities that are needed to promote a healthy community. This is ultimately what the true goal of this project was.”
Based on these conversations and feedback, the center will offer programs and services including English and second Language classes, citizenship classes, college preparation classes, health education, alcohol and drug prevention workshops, parenting classes, resumé and interview workshops, a health and dental clinic, career counseling, and so much more.
“This project would not have been possible without the work of the community and the support of our partners,” Sarah said. “Although community driven work can be difficult, it is essential to include the community at all times to ensure that we are truly meeting needs and creating sustainable projects and initiatives.”
The center is tentatively set to open during the second week of November. This date could change depending on construction. When it does open, however, it will provide much needed programs and services that will now be a point of pride in a community that is too often underserved and overlooked.
Some truly amazing results happen when a school or school district becomes a community hub and generates support for many families. Know of another amazing project like this one? Share with us in the comment section!
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."
- Coretta Scott King
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