Family and Community Engagement Framework & Toolkit – LaConda Watson

Well hello! My name is LaConda Watson. I
am the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club here in Jacksonville. I’m here today
because I’m so excited about what has happened in the state of Arkansas with
the Arkansas Department of Education with the community and family engagement tool. And so, me being a part of that exercise over the last, I think 20 months,
I think it was a grueling 20 months of getting our heads together, about 80 of
us wanted to get together with Kim Wright and some of her colleagues to talk about
what does the framework for our community, for our children looks like
and so for me as a part of the community not only running the Boys and Girls Club
but being a part of the school district as a school board member as well as on
the board for the Chamber it’s important to me that we engage our community in
such a manner to help them build brighter futures for our future leaders.
As you can see “Empowering Bright Futures,” is what we do here in Jacksonville at
the Boys and Girls Club and I want to continue to see that as we move along. So the framework, the tool that was put together by the Department of Education
gives a plethora of information. I looked through the tool and I could not believe
what I’ve seen from the hard work that everyone put into it not only does it
help with students and helping them to find resources, but also their families,
our teachers and anyone in the business community so for me I would love to
encourage everyone to go through the tool. Look at it, see how you could be a
part of engaging a student and what I mean by that is taking the time out,
taking the time to be a mentor, taking the time to listen. Showing them the
right way that they should lead their life. Living by example is great but also
showing them how to live by example. Using the tool if you don’t know how to
have that communication or have a conversation with a child, I think that
this will help us. I plan to take this to my church and I challenge others to do the same because once you start looking at the benefits
of the human factor, we know that our children are people. They may be little
people but people that eventually will grow up to be adults and those adults
would be those that are taking care of us in the future. So leading them down
the right path I think would be an excellent idea and why not be a part
of that? As we always said and I say all the time, “It takes a village to raise a
child,” and I think using this tool will give you that that example as well.

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