CCPS family resource coordinators host pop-up event at mobile home park

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, July 4, 2023

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With school out for the summer, family resource coordinators with Clark County Public Schools knew they wanted to stay involved.

“We just have to meet families where they are on their turf”, said Ros Gay, the family resource coordinator at Strode Station Elementary School. “That [is] one of the things that [is] our purpose and our goal.”

Thus, a pilot event took place last Tuesday night.

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At the Quick Shop Trailer Park complex located on Thoroughbred Plaza, a pop-up event outside allowed citizens to gather and play games, receive a free dinner, learn about community resources and take home daily living materials.

“We’re trying to create a community bond,” said Casey Davis, the family resource coordinator at Baker Intermediate School. “I’ve met a bunch of incoming fifth graders that are going to be coming to my school, so now they see a face that they can put with [it] when they come to Baker.”

While the pop-up event allowed youth to be introduced to school faculty and enjoy playground equipment such as a slide, swings, and a teeter-totter, adults benefitted as well.

Numerous organizations were present.

The Clark County Equity Coalition, represented by Vache L. King and founder Donna Carter, appeared while offering Oreos, pringles and more.

“We are a grassroots group trying to help the school bridge the gaps for marginalized communities and also for parent communication,” said Carter. “Our goal is really to partner with the school district and the public school system to make sure that all of our children have an opportunity to graduate with a meaningful diploma.”

Bluegrass Community Health Center (BCHC) also made an appearance.

As an organization willing to work with those without insurance coverage or facing other challenges, they sought to spread awareness.

“We do more than forty events in a month,” said Moses Muliro, a community health worker with BCHC. “We have something like eight counties we go [to].”

Just as well, Angela Turner – the director of the Clark County Public Library – was present to hand out goodie bags that included candy, a book, and cutouts for drawing.

With the event open and accessible to everyone, Mariela Flores was one of the local residents who appeared to learn more – along with her four kids and a trio of nieces and nephews.

Asked what she hoped to learn from the activity, she responded: “For [the kids] to have fun, and learn [about] everything they have set up here.”

Other school professionals, including Kirsten Rall and Lais S.A. Hatton, assisted with the event.

“It’s very exciting, because I get to do what I like most, which is to help little kids,” said Hatton, who just finished her first year as an interpreter at Strode Station. “It’s really nice that I’m able to help them to understand better what’s going on in the community and at school.”

“I come into the neighborhood every couple of days,” said Rall, a designated substitute teacher at Strode Station. “Most of the time [in school], I just float between classes and help the students wherever I can.”

After gathering for approximately one hour and learning about the different resources available, guests were treated to their choice of hot dogs or hamburgers, served by Kent Coogle – who has served as family and youth services resource director at Robert D. Campbell Junior High School and will soon move on to become the Community Education Director and English Learner Lead teacher for Clark County Public Schools.

They could also have popsicles if they so desired.

Perhaps saving the best for last, a raffle allowed four boxes of donated household items and other goods from The Barre: A Fitness Boutique, Central Baptist Church and more to be taken home.

Among them were toothpaste, soap, laundry detergent, clothes hangers, deodorant, sunscreen and others.

“I think it really helps to establish those bonds with families that they know that the school is here to support them and that we’re on this journey together,” said Coogle.

With hopes to add another event, Clark County Public Schools will continue looking for new ways to connect with different neighborhoods throughout the community.

“Our focus is the whole family and what they need,” Gay said. “They are here…we want them to be seen.”