Newsletter 2020: January Events in Brief

Full Speed Ahead in the New Year

2020 has barely begun, but we are already building on our successes from last year and drafting plans to make this year the most effective yet for improving the school experience for students in our community. 

Tracking SCS and Reimagining 901

On January 8, members from Stand for Children, MICAH – Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope and 90-ONE Organizing Network for Equity attended the Shelby County Commission’s Education Committee meeting to learn more about the progress of Shelby County Schools’ (SCS) comprehensive facilities planning.

Many waited for a couple of hours (and even longer) before being told that the presentation from SCS administrators would be postponed for two weeks due to the long and important discussion about county support for transit. 

That quickly, we were reminded why advocacy for our students takes such diligence. Two weeks later, we returned and heard the planning updates from SCS administrators including what they learned from the Reimagining 901 Community Input Sessions. 

Have you taken the facilities survey yet? Take it now and pass it on!

Planning for Action

Our Momentum Memphis Task Force Meeting on January 13 was well attended, and we discussed several ideas for collaborative action in the campaigns each task force is planning. Stay tuned for the actions that you can take in our efforts to improve school facilities, graduation success, and resources for students. If you’re ready to contribute your voice, skills, and resources, join us on the first Monday of the month for task force meetings. 

In the Community

Stand staff attended A Trauma Responsive City ACE’s Summit 2020 on January 18 to learn the importance of making Memphis a trauma-responsive city and sharing information about how to get involved with Stand. Many thanks to Pastor Charlie Caswell, Legacy of Legends CDC, and Rotary-Family Youth Initiative for providing this important programming to increase knowledge of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and we can confront the trauma issues across our community.

Freshman Success Network Spotlight: Hamilton High School Freshmen Academy

Stand for Children’s Center for High School Success works with 20 high schools across Shelby County to support them in focusing on supports for students in their make-or-break ninth grade year.

In its second year in the Memphis Freshman Success Network (FSN), Hamilton High School has not only increased its on-track rate from quarter 1 to quarter 2 of the current school year, they have also achieved a year over year increase of up to 25% — showing that effective implementation of our ninth grade on-track initiatives yields positive outcomes.

We are proud to support Hamilton in this work, and appreciate the strong leadership and engagement from Principal James Bacchus and the entire Hamilton Freshman Success Team led by Mrs. Cicely Brooks. Read more on the blog and check out the recognition of this great work in the Tri-State Defender.

SCS Paraprofessionals Literacy Appreciation Luncheon

In December, with support from The Urban Child Institute, we were able to sponsor an appreciation luncheon for a wonderful group of SCS 2nd grade paraprofessionals.These paraprofessionals had shown their commitment to supporting their students through participation in early literacy professional development that gave them additional understanding of foundational literacy skills that they could take into their classrooms.

Efforts like this are important to meeting the SCS Third Grade Commitment, and we salute these paraprofessionals and the SCS Early Literacy Team that provided the opportunity!

Momentum Memphis Organizing Fellowship

We’re now accepting applications for our Momentum Memphis Organizing Fellowship!

In the three-week program, you’ll deepen your understanding of educational issues and grassroots organizing, develop new skills to build power and make lasting change, and have an opportunity to network with other change agents in our community! Space is limited, so apply today! 

Take The Facilities Survey!

Every student in our community deserves a school environment that is safe, comfortable, and conducive to learning. Shelby County Schools is currently developing its first-ever comprehensive facilities plan to present to the community and the Shelby County Commission. Take our SCS Facilities Survey or the SCS Educator Facilities Survey to help us gather critical input to guide our advocacy as this plan is being created.

With one month of action under our belt and exciting advocacy plans on the horizon, 2020 is already shaping up to be a good year. Get involved and help us keep the momentum going!

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