Coordinators Appreciation Week: Family Support and Fresh Food Access at Hopkins Lloyd
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Coordinators Appreciation Week: Family Support and Fresh Food Access at Hopkins Lloyd

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Glenn Carson

October 1, 2018

Written by Glenn Carson, community school coordinator at Hopkins Lloyd Community School.

September 24-28 is Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week! Learn more about the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership and check back here regularly to learn more about the exciting projects going on at Milwaukee’s Community Schools.

This is my fourth year in my position as community school coordinator at Hopkins Lloyd Community School, hired through United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. I work every day to align school partnerships to our school’s goals to better support the success of our students.  The work of a community school coordinator is not as cookie cutter as one would think, we have our hands in various aspects of the school and community.

Since being in the position here at Hopkins-Lloyd, I have been able to bring partners together to work cohesively within our building and with our students.  An example would be our monthly English Language Arts meetings I host with our four partners leading that work in our building (City Year, Reading Corps, Transformative Reading Instruction, and Core Knowledge Language Arts).  Once a month we look at student data, compare different strategies, create a student data inventory and work on various goals.  These meetings help our partners not only better service our students, but also stay connected to each other and align their work towards common goals.

When I first got to Hopkins Lloyd food access was a big concern for community members and our families.  Our principal, Ms. Harris, and I researched the possibility of getting a food pantry in our school that could service our families and the community.  With our building being as old as it is, we did not have enough accessibility to host food pantries in our building.  We later learned about the Pick N Save Fresh Picks Mobile Food Market.  I reached out and we came to an agreement to host the mobile market each month.  We have now hosted the Pick N Save Mobile Market for over two years on the last Tuesday of each month.  The market provides easy access to fresh produce, meat and dairy items at a 25% discounted price for the community.

One of our most recent programs we started is Homework Diners. Homework Diners are bi-weekly family engagement events that allow students and families to receive homework support from classroom teachers and volunteer tutors while enjoying a free community meal for the whole family.  This is a program myself and Principal Harris saw at a Community School in Albuquerque, New Mexico during a conference.  We loved the idea of parents and teachers working together to help students with their homework and wanted to bring it to our school. We implemented the program last February and partnered with HeartLove Place and their culinary arts students to prepare our meals for each diner.  The program got parents more involved in their students academics and allowed an easy opportunity for parent and teacher collaboration.  Our first Homework Diner for the school year will be Wednesday, October 10.

Being a community school coordinator at Hopkins Lloyd Community School has been a very fulfilling and educating experience.  My favorite part about the position is that the work is never the same, we are always looking for new and innovative ways of growing and broadening the Milwaukee Community School Partnership within our schools. 

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