The changing of the leaves reminds me that a new season is upon us. I am particularly excited and encouraged by all of the positive changes we are making at CDF.
CDF has not changed our vision nor our approach. We hold fast to the belief that residents will support what they create. Additionally, our very active Board of Directors and staff members are committed to listening, building relationships, working alongside residents, co-designing and creating innovative and effective projects, practices, and policies!
So, what did change? The primary change is that we have narrowed our focus and will be concentrating on early learning and education, birth through l2th grade, in the coming year. Second, we are at a much reduced staff so we are fortunate to share our office space with the Somali American Community Center, one of our partners.
And, what are we continuing? CDF will build on the W. K. Kellogg Foundation initiative Clarkston Families Decides and expand our work engaging families and partners. Here are some of our current activities:
- The Clarkston READY School (located at Clarkston Oaks) is alive with the sound of 3 year-old children from Iraq, Syria, Palestine, and Somali singing, talking, and reading in multiple languages! We are looking forward to partnering with Scottdale Child Development Center, R James Property Management and other apartment owners plus Early Learning Property Management to expand the READY School approach in other apartment complexes.
- The Early Learning Community Trust Project chosen in 20l4-20l5 is well underway! Students are close to completing their l20 hours of classroom instruction at Georgia Piedmont Technical College and are ready to take their exam and volunteer/work in a child care center for their practicum. The goal is that each of the students will be awarded a Child Development Associate credential, and will teach in a Clarkston early learning program.
- The Clarkston Afterschool Collaborative Steering Committee has been meeting regularly to plan community workshops for afterschool staff, launch a new website, and implement the afterschool mini-grant. The CASC was selected as the 20l3 Community Trust project.
- The Community Projects designed by residents who participated in the 20l5 I am a Leader Workshop are fun and they are providing opportunities for learning and connections. The cultural potlucks have been a big hit and will continue quarterly at the Clarkston Community Center. A “Welcoming Committee” has been formed at Clarkston First Baptist Academy, and the Refugee Literacy Program (formerly Mommy and Me) has launched “Assemblies” where families design programs of interest – like knowing about Yoga and discussing educational issues with ideas to be shared with the Clarkston Education Task Force.
- We are pleased to be working with the Clarkston Education Task Force and with the many committed teachers, elected officials, parents, and others whose vision is for a world class, and a multi-lingual education system with strong family and community engagement. And CDF will continue to work with the Georgia English Language Coalition to promote policies and state initiatives such as Talk to Me Baby and the importance of home language.
The past has been made possible through your help and support. We invite you to be part of the CDF future by making a donation today. You can donate online directly through our website at HERE. Your support – no matter how big or small – matters.
Here’s to a great year ahead,
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