During the month of December and throughout the holiday season, the Gadsden County School District’s Parent Resource Mobile Unit began canvassing the county. An emphasis was placed on visiting local churches serving parents and students at West Gadsden High School.
WGHS Principal Sylvia Jackson, along with Audrey Lewis-Potter and other parent services staff members, Tamika Battles and Melissa Pride, along with Dorothy Woods, Communities In Schools, visited five community churches to ask parents, churches and community members to embrace and assist WGHS students with tutoring, mentoring and volunteering. Every attempt is being made to make parents aware of the supportive options available to their children, such as the after school media center assistance, GEAR UP, 21st Century Community Learning Center programs, online tutoring and much more.
While visiting churches in the Greensboro and Sawdust communities, ministerial leaders allowed this important announcement to be made to their congregations. Afterwards, parents were invited to visit the mobile unit and were given information on academic career choice options, tutoring, positive behavior tips on character, health services, FCAT and ACT testing and scholarships. Students received free books and school supplies as well.
A newly-formed group of males from Greensboro Elementary School, the Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) were in attendance. They helped with setting up the mobile unit while recruiting other males and sharing with them the importance of their roles and the need for more male involvement.
As parents from the Greensboro area shared in this success, many visiting parents from other churches readily made positive comments and asked when the mobile unit would visit their churches. Others expressed that it was the first time that the school system had actually come to them and their communities.
“These types of responses to the Parent Resource Mobile Unit visits made all of the trips each Sunday to churches and community centers worth the time spent by so many community and staff members,” said Lewis-Potter, parent services coordinator, adding that the Florida Department of Education grant-funded purchase of the vehicle has given the county a jump-start in getting the word out to parents and caretakers of students.
“It has also provided an avenue for community members to join in and assist us as well,” she said.
The main goal during the mobile visits is to meet the needs of parents by distributing needed resources. Therefore, if there is additional information needed, call 627-9651, ext. 1265, and staff members will be happy to make it available on the mobile unit. The unit will be making other stops in area communities soon. Watch local newspapers for schedule information.