The workshop room was brightly decorated with colorful table clothes, and music played as the families entered. Art materials were available for the parents and grandparents to create welcome signs in Nepali, Chin, Burmese, and English while children’s activities were provided by the Clarkston First Baptist Academy.
This was the setting for Clarkston Vision and Voice: Family Leadership Institute, which launched Saturday, January 18, with an orientation for families, mentor/coaches, and interpreters. The orientation was held at the K.D. Moore Community Center in Clarkston.
Vision and Voice is an opportunity for 25 to 30 Clarkston families with children birth to age 5 to participate in a comprehensive workshop held over a six month period. During the workshop, families build on their skills so that they can be more effective leaders of themselves and their families and become more engaged in the community.
The orientation provided an overview of the 5 one day sessions, which include interactive exercises, mini-lectures, small group discussions, and a community project. Topics include developing listening and communications skills, goal setting, community analysis, child development and parenting information and resources, and advocacy training.
During the two hour orientation, the participants viewed a video produced by the Clayton Family Leadership Institute, and through participation in several activities, learned more about how the Institute works. Child care, transportation, and interpreter services are provided so that the parents can fully participate.
Vision and Voice is a project of the Parent Services Project, a community and family support program located in California. The materials are translated into Spanish and many of the previous Institutes have included Latino families. Clarkston Vision and Voice, with CDF: A Collective Action Initiative as the fiscal agent, received funding from the United Way of Greater Atlanta to pilot the Institute for families who speak diverse languages.
In addition to CDF, partners include: The Clarkston First Baptist Academy, Friends of Refugees/Mommy and Me: a refugee literacy program, Refugee Families Services, and Bridge Point Child Care Center.
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