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NAACP – Manatee Branch Education Committee Community Outreach Initiative

NAACP’s Vision: We envision an inclusive community rooted in liberation where all persons can exercise their civil and human rights without discrimination.


Initiative’s Relationship to Vision:

One of the most important rights we have as citizens is the right to an education. However, not all citizens have opportunities to engage in educational processes. We want to help underserved families in our community engage easily and productively with the public schools. We believe strongly that public education is a foundation of democracy and as an organization we want to work together with our school district to promote community engagement.


It would help parents and caregivers to know the structure and processes of our school district, as they support their children’s education. Further, we wish to understand their knowledge base regarding the education of their children and adolescents. This initiative will support the school district in engaging families in education at a time when public education is under attack and in need of community involvement and support.


Goals:

1. To provide underserved parents and caregivers in our community information and resources to navigate the school system.

2. To obtain feedback from parents and caregivers on what they need from the school district to engage in the education of their children.


Description

NAACP members familiar with educational processes are collaborating with key local churches and other community groups of underserved communities to implement a protocol for gauging perceptions of the community regarding their interactions with the school district and to determine next steps for meeting the community’s needs in educational engagement. A pilot was co-constructed with a partner church, and conducted in February 2023.


The initiative is now out of the pilot stage and is being implemented in other churches and community organizations of underserved families.


The Pilot

The NAACP Education Committee co-constructed the pilot in partnership with Pathways Christian Fellowship, Sandra Holley as contact. ○ A survey was constructed to administer to congregants during a service in February. Responses were anonymous. Questions revolved around families’ knowledge of and experiences with the school district. ○ As a result of the pilot no changes were made in the survey. ○ The survey was translated into Spanish and is now available.


Other Churches and Organizations

Other churches in the community are being contacted to participate, as are other community organizations serving families with children in schools.

The NAACP’s Role

  • ● Design the survey in partnership with Sandra Holley. ● Print the survey to administer to the church or organization. ● Summarize the results of the survey as a basis for planning the face-to-face. information sessions. (Note: Points made will never be attributed to specific individuals or congregations.) ● Provide the speakers and materials for the face-to-face meetings when they are scheduled.

  • ● Run the meeting in collaboration with the church/organization leader in an orderly and respectful manner. ● Share results without identifying specific respondents with the school district and work with them to implement solutions. What We Ask of the Church/Organization ● Agree to distribute the survey and request that members complete it during a regularly scheduled gathering time. ● Agree on a time for a face-to-face meeting, which may include other groups, and place it on the calendar. ● Advertise the meeting to members. Next Steps ○ Based on gaps identified from the survey, an information session will be held for respondents. The face-to-face meeting will also identify needs of the community in navigating the educational system. ○ Next steps in the outreach initiative will be determined based on interactions at the face-to-face meeting(s).

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