Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hi! Come on in.

Many thanks to the Linda Borg and the ProJo for pointing out this blog today. For those of you who have arrived here as a result, welcome! This post is just that, a welcome mat and an invitation in for a cup of coffee to suggest ideas, topics, and questions appropriate to this blog, or just to say hi. The comments are open below for just that (click on the link at the end of this post that indicates the number of comments that have been made, and have at it).

A couple of notes:

1. A slight clarification: the ProJo article says, "Davidson joined the PTO, which became instrumental in bringing additional resources to the school and bringing more parents into the fold." Actually, the PTO was very much already, for many years prior to the day that I showed up and asked what I could do, very much instrumental and integral to King's successes. The school benefits from a PTO that's been established for a long time, at least 25 years. Someday, I really need to take some time to understand this particular organization's history. I've met lots of people who were active in the PTO whose kids are in high school, college, and beyond, and along with the whole MLK community, I am grateful for all they did to establish a strong school-family partnership. If you want to know more about King's PTO or contact its current leadership, please visit

2. Tuttle SVC, written by Tom Hoffman, also focuses on public schools in Providence and Rhode Island. Definitely check it out for another perspective. How about others? Am I missing other blogs focused the the schools and school systems that serve young people and their communities in Providence and Rhode Island? Tell me and I'll link to them over on the right.

Welcome, tell me what you think, and please stay a while.


  1. Great article focusing on the many positive efforts of caring parents who believe in public school education. There should be many of these articles, so the charter school parents and private school parents know that we exist.

  2. I work with Rebecca Boxx at the PPSD on a project in S Providence called Comprehensive Community Schools Intiative. It is figuring out how to engage and activate families in the vicinity of five underperforming elementary schools. Parents in those neighborhoods have some barriers to participating in ways you discuss. I would suggest that even at King there are families living inMt Hope with similar barriers to engaging as you know parents should. Would love to tell u more.

  3. Thanks, Diane! Glad you're here - let's talk! Simon, thanks for pointing out the Full Service Community Schools initiative. There's more info here on partner organization Dorcas Place's web site: and an extended interview published this month by the Coalition of Community Schools with PPSD Superintendent Tom Brady and Full-Service Community Schools Director Rebecca Boxx. It's here: (be forewarned - links to a PDF file).

    Simon, what's the nature of your work with the community schools initiative, and what school(s) do you work in? I'd love to know more. I totally agree that families not only in South Providence but--as you point out--neighborhood all over the city, including Mt. Hope/other parts of the East Side, face participation barriers and as this blog continues, I want to focus deeply on what those are, their effects, and what we can do to change the conditions that families face to improve school-community partnerships. It's an issue that MLK Elementary's PTO faces and we're always working to find ways to be as inclusive as possible, including changing the way we've traditionally done our work in order to reach more families. I will definitely shine the line on what we're doing at King and what other parent organizations are doing to address family participation barriers. Thanks, and please share more!

  4. I work for RI Department of Health. We know of every child born in RI or getting immunized here since Jan 1, 1997 in a tracking system known as KIDSNET. It can be helpful as a tool for outreaching to families with young children who have not registered for school yet. Could be a way to bring these local families into activities that will help them prepare their infants and toddlers for success at kindergarden. less than one in three children enter school in Providence with any structured early child care or education. When looking at kindergarden readiness scores, the children with such an advantage score much higher. Children not ready to learn in kindergarden are more likely to fail to read in third grade. This is most powerful predictor of school failure.