GAFSC Summer events heat up the streets in Petworth
Twice each summer, GAFSC takes over the 1100 block of Allison Street NW to host two of our largest community outreach events: the Annual Family and Community Cookout (June 14th ) and the Back to School Block Party (August 16th ). This summer, our 15th Annual Family and Community Cookout proved to be one of our biggest ever thanks in part to partnering up with the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s Beat the Street initiative. At both events, hundreds of residents came out to enjoy the festivities, receive services and obtain information on community resources. Many types of organizations came out to share information and provide services ranging from health, social service, education, training, advocacy, etc. Some of the organizations that participated included: Adventure Dental, AmeriHealth, DC Public Schools, Health Services for Children, DC Prevention Center Wards 3 & 4, Job Corps, Washington Humane Society, DC Department of Health, Child and Family Services Agency, Colgate, HIV/AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Empowered Women International, Mary’s Center, Paul Public Charter School and many, many others.
Below are some highlights from our summer outreach events:
- A total of 750 children, youth and adults participated
- Partnered with DC MPD for a bigger impact
- 100 bags of groceries were given to families in need
- Book bags filled with school supplies distributed to 130 students
- Performances by local artist, such as Chi Chi Monet and the Starz Band
Empowered Women International community presentation – Thursday August 22nd
Empowered Women International (EWI), an organization that helps immigrant, refugee and low-income women create sustainable livelihoods, did a presentation for women in the GAFSC community. Currently with offices in Virginia and Maryland, EWI has plans to locate an office in DC and has partnered with GAFSC to inform residents about their program. The presentation highlighted EWI’s comprehensive 3-month entrepreneurship training program which is followed up with 1-year of business mentoring. This program is designed to build confidence, business and leadership skills in women who often undervalue their talents. Reneta Bennett, one of EWI’s graduates spoke with attendees about how the program helped her to launch her own company, Pressing Through Mentoring, which provides spoken word workshops to youth to encourage positive expression. Afterwards, each of the attendees shared their business ideas, networked and took home application materials. The next EWI session begins in late September. For more information, visit www.ewint.org.
GAFSC wins one of six OSSE Community Schools Incentive Initiative grants
The Georgia Avenue Family Support Collaborative (GAFSC) was awarded a grant to establish Roosevelt SHS as a community school. The grant, given by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), will allow GAFSC to work with Roosevelt to effectively coordinate community services and extend to students and families support that goes beyond the classroom. Our intent is to coordinate and align services that address the priority needs of and build the capacity of the students, families and community surrounding Roosevelt, which is located in the Petworth neighborhood of Ward 4. This intention will guide our partnership development and sustainability strategies as we focus on the other key objectives of the community school model—academic achievement; reduced absenteeism; and strengthened relationships between students, parents and communities. To ensure the long-term success of the Roosevelt Community School, this consortium is also committed to building a bridge to students and parents at schools that feed into Roosevelt. GAFSC has proposed to offer the following services under this grant:
- Mental Health First Aid Training
- Teen Suicide Prevention
- Care Coordination and Diversion Program
- Case Management Services to address truancy
For more information about the award, see our write up in the Washington Post.
Families and Community Together with Schools (FACTS) program
In August 2013, the Georgia Avenue Family Support Collaborative (GAFSC) received funding from the Justice Grants Administration (JGA) to launch Families and Communities Together with Schools (FACTS), a program designed to reduce truancy. The purpose of the JGA funds is to enhance the attendance of students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade by initiating an interagency team of community-based and school-based professionals to address the complex needs of students failing to attend school regularly. Through FACTS, the Collaborative will serve students in grades k-8 with five or more absences and their parents in the following schools: Takoma Education Campus, West Education Campus Whittier Education Campus, Truesdell Education Campus, LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, Shepherd Elementary School and Sharpe Health. GAFSC will conduct the following activities through the FACTS Program:
- School engagement and partnership building – Ongoing meetings and planning sessions with school personnel that introduce our services, establish methods for student referrals and ensure that the program offerings meet the needs of their students.
- Family engagement – Formal and informal meetings with referred families to introduce them to the program, discuss reasons for referral and determine how GAFSC can best support them.
- Family case management – Through face-to-face contact, GAFSC will conduct a needs assessment, facilitate goal setting and provide connections to community supports.
- Parenting education – Skill building workshops to help parents enhance their relationships with and to improve pro-social behaviors in their children.
- Children’s character education groups – Youth enrichment groups to address academic and/or behavioral problems of referred students.
- Family fun nights – Recreational activities to bring together the families, students, school and community to celebrate student progress, cultural diversity and students’ special interests and talents.