Building Community Partnerships to Support Learning

It truly does take a village to raise a child and in Fayette County, we’re fortunate to have a community that values quality education. As your advocate on the Board of Education, I will work to build community partnerships that encourage families and neighborhoods to play an active role in the education of our children. No teacher can be expected to educate a child on their own. And neither should any parent, administrator, or mentor. Working together we can have a meaningful and positive impact on children at every stage of development.

Build and Strengthen Mentoring Programs​

FCPS has seen great success with programs like Real Men Read, a read-aloud mentoring program in our K-5 schools. As a Deacon at downtown’s First Presbyterian Church, I worked with other programs like the Born Learning Academy--an afterschool dinner and learning opportunity for families--that seek to engage families and communities. Over the past four year's, I've served as a volunteer with Transylvania's 100 Doors to Success Program, which matches Transylvania students with alumni mentors in the community. As part of the emphasis on college or career transition in high school and, borrowing from this concept, I propose implementing a mentoring program that matches our high school students with alumni mentors in the community. In this way, students can start building community connections and receive additional support and encouragement in pursuing their goals.

Engaging Parents and Guardians

There are often too many barriers to parent and guardian engagement in our public schools. We should look for more ways to engage parents who may otherwise be unable to find transportation to their child's school or may not know how to begin their involvement. We are educators and we can play an important role in educating community members on how they can keep in touch and stay involved in their child's learning. In addition, scheduling parent-teacher conferences at various times to accommodate different work schedules as well as offering transportation to and from conferences and school events for parents are ways we can do more to stay connected to more of our families. Another approach is meeting our families where they are--taking school events and opportunities to interact with teachers out of the school building and into the community.

Too Small to Fail

The most critical years in a child’s development occur before they begin Kindergarten. As a member of the Board of Education, I would find ways to enhance access to early childhood education in our district. Ideally, we would implement universal pre-K, but a good place to start would be forming partnerships with national organizations like the Too Small to Fail Initiative and community organizations like the Carnegie Center to support parents and families in preparing children for school. This would include providing access to varied reading material, connecting students and families with summer programs to avoid the “summer slide” -- which impacts lower income students more than others -- and supporting homework help and after school activities to ensure learning continues outside the classroom.

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