By Linda Dillman
A group of Indian Trail Elementary school teachers in Canal Winchester are putting more community into community schools with informal presentations throughout the school district.
The Let’s Connect initiative was born in the 2017-18 school year through a core gathering of 10 instructors who label themselves the “Founding Mothers.”
“We want to build relationships first,” said Indian Trail teacher Devin Fairchild. “So many parents might not know what ‘best practices’ are and we thought they might want to learn with us. When we first talked about this, we discussed sharing with our colleagues, but we felt there was a need to share our strategies with parents.”
The first Let’s Connect night was planned for the Georges Creek Community Center where teachers—who donated their time—along with their own family members, shared their love of education with local children and their family members.
“We wanted something small and informal,” Fairchild said during the April 16 Canal Winchester Board of Education meeting. “This is a collaborative effort. We hope this will take off and we can do it on a regular basis throughout the community.”
Activities included story time, make and take sessions, and refreshments from area restaurants. Every child received a new book. Representatives from the Columbus Metropolitan Library system were on hand to help families sign up for library cards.
“Our goal is to go and say ‘hi’ to the families and answer any questions they might have,” Fairchild said. “If only 20 are there, it’s 20 people that we’ve reached. We want to take this on the road to connect and build relationships within our community.”
According to Fairchild, the teachers hope to make Let’s Connect a regular traveling event in neighborhoods that are part of the Canal Winchester school district.
“We want to get feedback and then schedule another event in June in a different community,” said Fairchild.