Jeremy Lewis joins CDF as founding Executive Director.
Dear new friends,
It is great to join the good work already started by the Clarkston Development Foundation.
As Bill mentioned, my background is in community development and organizing, by listening to the community and working with the capacities already present. At CDF, we will seek to find ways of partnering with existing organizations, as well as with other potential partners who may be in a position to assist Clarkston in achieving the direction and goals it has for itself.
The gifts, talents and abilities of the residents are broad and far-reaching. We look forward to building upon the energy already present in Clarkston as we each seek to work toward the continued development of a vibrant and diverse community.
Our initial focus is on working with 25 families, serving both refugees and Americans in the four initiative areas referenced below. In these areas, we are looking for ways to work with the community and to add more families as our capacity allows.
1. Early childhood learning program.
a. The Parents-as-Teachers program provides PAT Parent Educators who visit residents’ homes to help families in the early learning of their children (ages birth to five). The program is moving ahead to the implementation phase.
b. We continue to have encouraging conversations around the possibility of an early learning school/center, but it is too early to speculate on what may happen.
2. Health services. Continued conversations with a local health clinic around a possible satellite facility to be located in the Clarkston Community. We will continue to explore these possibilities.
3. Family outreach and advocacy. We are hiring a person to work alongside our PAT program to help connect and coordinate support services for the approximately 25 families involved in PAT. We hope to announce our new hire in the next few weeks.
4. Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Gardening. We are looking forward to finding appropriate and effective ways for CDF to support and encourage these efforts, led and directed by the interests of local community members and organizations.
In addition, we are about to prepare a detailed list of current community organizations and activities. We know there is so much good work going on, but we also know the importance of listening and looking at what is already taking place before we get out in front of ourselves. Our goal is to get a better sense of the overall direction of the community, and then to let our involvement and direction come from that.
I am really excited to be working with you toward the continued building of community in Clarkston.
With gratitude for your work and in anticipation of getting to know each of you,
Clarkston Development Foundation