School to open family resource center

Published 10:54 am Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) is in the process of building a resource center for students and their families at the elementary school. The center will be open after hours and will provide all of the supplies needed for students and their parents to engage in school activities.

Dr. Julie Gilliam, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, presented the project at the March 6 school board meeting.

The resource center is being funded through Title I funds, under the Parental Involvement category.

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Gilliam said the elementary school will be the first to receive the center. Once it’s up and running, the school division is set to create a resource center for the middle school.

Family Engagement Coordinator Jennifer Kinne said items in the room will include everything a student needs to complete projects such as poster paper, markers and tape. There will also be computers where students and parents can access the internet and brochures and literature for parents about student learning. The room will be equipped with tables, games, flash cards, story books where parents can read one page and a child reads another page, chairs and movable chairs, called “wobble chairs” for students.

It will include fun furniture and serve as a vibrant place where children and families can participate in the learning process, Kinne and Gilliam said.

“It’s very specifically to have a place for them to go and do things together,” Gilliam said.

There will be family engagement packets. These activities are stored in bags, cover subjects such as math, science and technology and are designed specifically for families.

The center is also set to be the site of the active parenting classes held by the school division.

Once the resource center is established, the school division is set to hold an open house for families and students.

Gilliam said she also hopes to draw parents and families to the center during PECPS’ pre-K and kindergarten registration in April.

School Board Chair Beulah Womack asked about the schedule for the center.

Gilliam said the allocation from Title I allows for the school division to hire a representative to be at the resource center certain evenings of the week. It will also be open during the school day. Parent volunteers are being considered as well.