The Youth Service Bureau (YSB) hosted the monthly Family Enrichment Night on July 2, 2014. Over forty parents and children attended the event at the Center for Health and Healing. Activities and games were designed to promote family unity. It was a great opportunity for us to continue building relationships with parents and children and help families and make new connections with other families and community members.
In June, Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative submitted an application to the City of Richmond Recreation Department to promote work with Collaborative parent leaders. The project will include parents in leadership roles to address objectives of the BBK Health and Wellness working group. The project aims to provide resources for the continuation of parent-led efforts at Belding Garcia Park, as well as other health and fitness initiatives that may occur under this partnership in the future.
Community Engagement and Advocacy Team Hosts Farewell Celebration and Welcomes New Member to the Team
On June 27, 2014, the Community Engagement and Advocacy Team (CEATeam) hosted a potluck luncheon with BBK Backbone staff, departing and former CEATeam members, Youth Service Bureau staff, and community partners to thank and celebrate the former and departing CEATeam members for their contributions to BBK Collaborative work in the community. Dulce Galicia, CEATeam Coordinator, assigned an animal totem to each member and shared with participants the strong and powerful characteristics of each as she saw those powerful characteristics in each of her staff members. Parents contributed delicious delicacies to the potluck, some tears were shed, and a great time was had by all.
In June, over 80 parents and children from the Iron Triangle took a field trip to Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, a storybook-themed children’s park. It was a wonderful creative opportunity to support early literacy development and promote literacy practices between children and parents. We are thrilled to partner with Fairyland to support Richmond families!
At the school board meeting on June 25th, 2014, the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) was approved. BBK and Iron Triangle parents attended the meeting to speak with school board members and remind them not to forget about Iron Triangle schools such as Nystrom, Peres, and Lincoln.
Parents from the BBK Zone came prepared with questions about how they can continue to engage in the school system and with their children’s education. They also presented input on how funding should be utilized to provide quality educational opportunities.
On June 17th, we were excited to celebrate the summer opening of Elm Playlot with Collaborative member organization Pogo Park. The newly renovated space, located at 720 Elm Avenue, includes a zipline, ball wall, and disc swings. Pogo Park will implement further design additions throughout the summer with volunteer opportunities available. Pogo Park will also staff Elm Playlot 9am-5pm on weekdays and supervise structured play activities and arts and crafts projects. Free, healthy lunches will be available for all children up to 18 at noon and snacks will follow each day at 2pm.
The West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Summer Food Service Program provides nutritious and free meals to students at various sites throughout Richmond until August 15th. BBK Collaborative is already busy supporting this health and well-being initiative at Belding-Garcia Park where BBK Parent Partner Saray Rios Hacegaba tallied as many as 128 lunches in one day. Children and parents are showing up to enjoy the outdoors, participate in sports and fitness activities, and share time with their classmates. Lunches are available each weekday at this site from 11am-1pm.
Parent leaders from Chavez Elementary are leading the efforts to implement a program of sports and fitness activities for children and adults at Belding-Garcia Park this summer from July 1 until August 15, including Zumba, soccer, and kickball.
At the monthly BBK Family Enrichment Night on June 4, 2014, the BBK Backbone team and community members celebrated fathers and positive male role models within Iron Triangle families. The event included story time, goodies for fathers, and an activity to create thank you cards for the supportive men in our families of origin and choice. Finally, children made their mark decorating the Family Enrichment Night welcome sign with their handprints. Eighteen people attended this month’s event.
BBK Parents Engaged and Empowered to Impact the Local Control Accountability Plan and Impact Schools
The BBK Community Engagement and Advocacy Team and Parent Partners have been actively working with Iron Triangle parents and residents to build capacity for community engagement and elevate parent and student voices within schools. The West Contra Costa Unified School District will be receiving additional resources through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). These two new important district funding and planning tools allow parents and community members to actively participate in the decision-making processes that decide how school funding will be used at the district and school levels.
BBK staff and BBK Zone parents attended public hearings at DeJean Middle School in May and June to engage in discussions with school board members about how the district will be spending their LCFF money. In April, BBK parents and students came together to learn and talk about the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Important topics for discussion included parent and student roles, opportunities for engagement, and budgeting considerations. Healthy Richmond and the Latina Center hosted meetings and other participating organizations included YES, Youth Together, and CCISCO.
Parents at Chavez Elementary School are working closely with Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative Parent Partner Saray Rios Hacegaba to create positive changes for students in their school community. In February, parents attended two “Unity in the Community” sessions at Chavez in order to discuss neighborhood and school safety and build trust with the Richmond Police Department. Residents also received training on neighborhood and park watch.
Chavez Elementary School parent leaders are also working proactively with Saray on various projects to improve the school and community. Neighbors are picking up trash in the area surrounding Chavez Elementary to ensure that it is safe and clean for students and parents have also attended local neighborhood council meetings.
Parents are also working in collaboration with Saray and the Jewish Coalition for Literacy to establish the Chavez Elementary Parent Tutoring Academy to help improve student literacy outcomes. The Academy aims to build parents’ confidence as leaders and educators and train them to effectively tutor students in kindergarten through 2nd grade, with a focus on meeting the literacy needs of students that are reading below grade level.
The Parent Partner, Saray, is also engaging with parents to learn about full service community schools, Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). A parent from Chavez was nominated to and appointed as the LCAP committee president.
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