At the final session of the Vision & Voice: Family Leadership Institute families used the skills and tools they learned by creating community action plans. Teams of families presented their community action plans on May 3 at the final session and celebration held at Clarkston First Baptist Church’s K.D. Moore Community Development Center.
One team of families from Bhutan presented a plan focusing on the transition of their children from home to Head Start and other early learning programs. During the planning, the families asked:
- What do we want the teachers and staff to know about our individual children’s strengths, gifts, and needs?
- What do we want the teachers and staff to know about our culture?
- What do we need to know about the program’s expectations?
- How can we help make the transition a good one for us, our children, and the staff?
Parents want to let teachers know about the research that supports the use of home language. They also plan to share information about their children as well as their culture. Parents will meet with early learning teachers in May to discuss plans for a dialogue between families and teachers before school begins.
Another group discussed the question: “What does quality early learning look like for our children and families?” The families plan to visit early learning programs and learn more about early learning.
Healthy eating was the topic for one of the teams. The families developed a power point to talk about the importance of healthy eating and to share their idea of distributing healthy snacks to school-age children as they get off the school bus.
The team of parents from Burma is planning a presentation on their culture to staff of an after school program, and another team‘s project is to bring after school families together to build relationships and peer support.
During the celebration, United Way of Greater Atlanta and CDF representatives presented 20 parents and their coaches with certificates for completing the Institute. Translators from International Language and Cultural Services, Inc. were recognized and thanked. Participants enjoyed a wonderful lunch prepared by students at Clarkson High School.
As a result of the Institute, one parent said, “I know I am a leader.”
Partners include: Refugee Family Services, Mommy and Me: a refugee family literacy program; Clarkston First Baptist Academy, and the DeKalb Opportunity Zone.
The Vision and Voice: Family Leadership Institute is an initiative of the Parent Services Project (San Mateo, California) and offered in Clarkston through a partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta, who funded the Institute, and CDF: A Collective Action Initiative who coordinated the Institute.