We're All in This Together - Third Annual Service Project
In 2021 we began a service project to build Thanksgiving Resource Kits for students and families in need over the holiday break across the district. The kits were designed to include supplemental food and nutrition, activities, books, and other resources from community partners. This effort has had a remarkable impact.. As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s time for our third serve effort!
Did you know that WS/FCS currently supports 226 families and 35 unaccompanied youth dealing with housing insecurity?
A portion of this year's project will support these students and their families in partnership with WS/FCS Project Hope. Families from schools without referrals to Project Hope will also be served. Our goal is to again serve 400 families.
This year we will build and serve two types of kits:
Family Kit containing larger supplemental food items to help create meals for 3-4 days for families up to 7 individuals as well as snacks and activities.
Unaccompanied Youth Kit containing quick and convenient meal items, hydration resources, snacks, and activities. Unaccompanied youth are students without parent or guardianship in their lives.
Recognizing the impact this project has had, a community stakeholder team has already been hard at work! a/perture, Bookmarks, Chartwells K-12, City of Winston-Salem Parks and Rec, Crisis Control Ministry, Food Lion, Forsyth Backpack, Kaplan Early Learning Co., Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, and Renfro Brands. In addition to their time, several of these partners have already committed over $20,000 in resources for this year's kits.
Every little bit of good put together can overwhelm the world. This paraphrase of Desmond Tutu grounds this invite for us all to come together again to celebrate kindness, community, and connection as we serve 400 families for a third year.
The Community Engagement team commits to ensuring our community of students, families, volunteers, and community partners are:
- Welcomed: We respect and appreciate diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. WS/FCS will ensure the appropriate establishment of responsive policies, practices, and pathways of support that prepare students to have respect for people from a wide variety of backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and family structures.
- Valued: We recognize that students have a broad range of learning styles, abilities, and disabilities. WS/FCS will ensure all students are treated with respect and kindness, and that all students have access to inclusive environments and accommodations to experience greater safety, independence, and success.
- Inspired: We honor individuality and commit to nurturing student curiosity. WS/FCS will ensure students flourish through creative discussions and experiences, and when challenged academically.
- Informed: We strive to be responsive to questions and concerns, and communicate important and sensitive information through accessible avenues. WS/FCS will ensure students, families, and community partners are familiar with access points and that non-English speaking families obtain interpretation and translation services.
- Supported: We recognize that education is strengthened by strong partnerships between school and home. WS/FCS will ensure parents and caregivers are actively invited to participate in the success of their student(s) and to support their local school through activities such as volunteering. WS/FCS will also ensure community partners (local businesses, educational organizations, agency and advocacy groups) are aware of local school needs and understand how to best support the district and its schools.
The Community Engagement team, together in intentional collaboration with the community, commit to these principles so that our students can participate in a positive learning environment where achievement gaps diminish, dropout rates decline, and graduation rates increase.
Who We Are
The WS/FCS Community Engagement team coordinates partnerships between schools, families, and community partners to promote student achievement and ensure equitable availability of supportive resources and services. Meet the team using this link.
Parent, volunteer, and community coordinators at each school collaborate with school staff, students and families, and community organizations to ensure proper support structures for students.
What We Do
Collectively, we're the families, volunteers, and community partners (local businesses, educational organizations, agency and advocacy groups) who support and nurture the students, teachers, and staff of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Student success is at the heart of community engagement for WS/FCS. Our goal is to ensure everyone feels welcomed, valued, and inspired to be active partners in student growth and development. When students are engaged - socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically - they are more hopeful about their future. When students and their families have better connections to resources, support, and experiences - in and out of the classroom, and at home - they are more confident and driven to ready themselves for college and a career.
In Summer 2023, WS/FCS was joined by several amazing community partners - SPARK, ImageWorks Display, CLASS: Clemmons-Lewisville Action for Student Success, PepsiCo Adelante Employee Resource Group, Food Lion, School Health Alliance, Cici's Pizza, La Princesa, WS/FCS School Social Workers, and WS/FCS Multilingual Learners - to host a pop-up no cost school supply shop and back-to-school block party in the Peacehaven Estates Community outside of Clemmons. Together we served over 160 pre-K to high school students and their families who will start the year packed for success! Craft stations with backpack tags and keychains, lunch, and an ice cream treat topped off the gathering! A beautiful day for community joy. Read more using this link.