Grant-Paid Positions

My Brother's Keeper | Family and Community Engagement (MBK FCEP)

Grant Period: 2021-2025

Update, October 1, 2021 - The Elmira City School District in partnership with Corning Incorporated, the City of Light Church, the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office, and the Southside Community Center has received grant funding for the Building Relationships Integral to Development of Genuine Engagement (BRIDGE) Project, which will support implementation of a comprehensive District-wide network of school, family, and community engagement practices and strategies. The BRIDGE Project will improve outcomes for disadvantaged youth, specifically young men of color and students from low-income families, and will develop systems for measuring impact and sustaining ongoing achievement.

Programming will include one-on-one family mentoring, community Listening Sessions, Parent Academies, and Resource Hubs, provided through the collaboration of district building administrators and staff, BRIDGE Navigators (family mentoring advocates), the district’s Family and Community Outreach Coordinators (FCOCs), School Resource Officers (SROs), and project partners. Mentors need to be able to commit to at least 6 hours a week, participate in a paid mentor training program and pass a background check.

Program Background

In the summer of 2020, The District founded the Elmira Express Equity Initiative, a taskforce of staff, administrators, parents, teachers, and community partners, driven to act by the mutual recognition that cultural, personal, and structural barriers continue to inhibit opportunity and access for students and families. To bridge these barriers, the taskforce developed a strategic plan that has transitioned into the blueprint for the BRIDGE Project. These strategies will provide the process and organizational conditions necessary to increase the capacity of both school staff and families to engage in authentic partnerships that will support student and school improvement.

Project components draw from evidence-based models and expand district infrastructure to catalyze systemic, integrated, and sustained change in district practices and perspectives—embraced and driven by district leadership—that will build relationships founded on trust and respect and transform school climate through family development/engagement and culturally responsive education training for all staff and administrators; reimagining of the parent-teacher conference model to embrace collaborative problem-solving and skill-building; revision of curriculum; and expanding of opportunities for family decision-making and leadership through Parent Action Councils.

The BRIDGE Project will advance the goals of the MBK FCEP grant: to develop the knowledge and skills of school/district personnel, as well as families and community members; to increase required trust and relationships necessary to address student learning needs and abilities at each grade level; provide access to multi-level networks that foster respect and trust in building family relationships with the school and school community; create an environment where partnerships thrive in a comfortable, culturally diverse, and engaging atmosphere; and build child-centered roles for the school, family, and community that values student learning and social and emotional development as equal education partners.