Through the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Power of Families is a grant-funded project of the Center for Community School Strategies. As families and community schools advocate and lead together, the Power of Families Project will serve as a catalyst for stronger family representation within school administrative decision making, as well as equitable resources and systems that promote the success of all children.
The Power of Families Project will expand the capacity of Tulsa area families, friend and neighbor care environments to provide successful equitable early childhood experiences for children who are not able to access formal early childhood programs and/or whose first language is not English. As a result of participating in the Power of Families Project, families will show measurable results of increased knowledge and understanding of resources and develop a dense social network within local schools that will support them in their care giving and advocacy for their child.
The Power of Families Project is administered by the Center for Community School Strategies, a program of the Community Service Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Paige Whalen, Christina Starzl Mendoza and Maria Elena Kuykendall oversee program implementation and support the promotora team.
Promotoras are lay community advisors who receive specialized training to provide basic information in the community. The Power of Families Project employs a team of four Promotoras.
At the Center for Community School Strategies, we believe in the power of families. Families are acknowledged and respected as the child’s first teacher and are valued as a foundational asset in promoting children’s success.
The Power of Families Project will increase individual caregiver’s understanding of their child’s social-emotional development, physical/motor development, improved pre-literacy and language development as well as provide safe spaces for positive interactions with the children in their care. As families gain confidence in their ability to advocate for community changes, targeted schools within the Tulsa Public School District and Union Public School District will have the structural framework to respond to the needs of families and their children.
In developing relational trust through authentic experiences, the Center for Community School Strategies and the Power of Families collaborate with families to listen and address their needs as families play a leadership role in their children’s’ cognitive, social, and emotional development. The Power of Families will work with a team of Promotoras, or lay community advisors, to cultivate relationships with families and build their capacity with information, training, and resources.
Through the guidance of our families’ voices and by honoring their culture and choices, we intentionally partner with local, culturally responsive community-based organizations to provide equitable opportunities for the successful development of children in Tulsa area schools.
Promotoras are lay community advisors who receive specialized training to provide basic information in the community. Promotoras serve as liaisons between their neighborhood, schools, and community based organizations. As liaisons, they often play the roles of an advocate, educator, mentor, outreach worker, and role model.