Austin Voices for Education and Youth creates community collaboration to strengthen families, support kids and improve schools. It has been a busy year, with AVEY working with 18 campuses in Austin, Dallas and Houston.
HopeFest '19 a Huge Success!
Over 3,500 attendees and 170 exhibitors and performing groups came together for HopeFest '19 on Saturday, October 26 at Northeast ECHS for Austin's largest campus-based family event! Sponsored by Austin Voices in partnership with local school and community groups, HopeFest has been making a difference in the lives of families for 14 years. Thousands of services, including health and dental screenings, health insurance enrollment, housing, employment, fresh food for 750 families, 525 families registered for Christmas assistance, 500 free trees given out . . . the list goes on and on. HopeFest also serves as a showcase for Northeast ECHS and feeder campuses, as well as a community celebration. For a complete report on this amazing event, click here.
Webb Middle School Creates Alternative Plan
In September, AISD announced that, as part of its "School Changes" district-wide plan, Webb would be closing and consolidating with Dobie Middle School at the Dobie campus. No prior conversation about this possibility had been held with the Webb campus or community. As a school that has faced closure twice before, and one that has become a model of school turnaround, Webb is used to turning bad situations into opportunities for change. AVEY had already begun working with Webb on an updated community school plan in April, with parents, teachers, students and community working together through the summer. The plan was ready to go when AISD announced the proposed closure and consolidation. With a few additions, the innovative plan was sent to AISD Trustees and administration on October 29th. Click here to read the Webb plan, and learn how you can be part of the conversation about Webb's future.
A Safety Net of Family Supports in North Austin
Since starting our first Family Resource Center in 2007 at Webb Middle School, AVEY has worked to support struggling families so that children are in school, every day, ready to learn. This is only possible when families have what they need to be stable stable and secure. FRC social workers, directors and staff help families with housing, access to healthcare, employment, counseling, utility assistance, food, clothing, adult education . . . whatever families need to move from crisis to stability. Over time, AVEY has started eight FRCs, six of them in north Austin. These six provide a safety net of support for approximately 1,800 AISD families every year. This year, through a grant from the Texas Education Agency, AVEY is partnering with AISD on the NACER project to expand its reach to eight additional elementary schools in North Austin. Click here to learn more.
Partnering to Support Family Mental Health
AVEY partnered with AISD School Mental Health Centers and Univision to sponsor the second annual Mental Health Summit at Navarro Early College High School on Saturday, November 2. 100 parents and students gathered to break down barriers and connect with mental health resources. Keynote Speaker Leslie Montoya from Univision was followed by 9 breakout sessions, with 15 partner agencies connecting to families through a mini-resource fair. One family shared about how the event gave them courage to seek counseling. Thanks to our partners at AISD and Univision for this great event!
Other Quick Updates . . .
AVEY has a full slate of adult education classes and workshops this Fall, many of them in partnership with other agencies. Click here to learn the latest.
- AVEY is working with two Dallas ISD campuses (Dade Middle School and Burleson Elementary) on developing community partnerships and parent engagement.
- The Navarro FRC held a successful family resource fair as part of the school's Homecoming festival on October 5.
- AVEY was out listening to the community this summer with four apartment-based "block parties," also bringing mini-resource fairs to hundreds of families.
- AVEY completed a "deep dive" project with Burnet Middle School, presenting a comprehensive community school plan to parents and teachers on October 8.
- AVEY co-sponsored with READ the 3rd annual Rundberg Trick or Treat, recruiting dozens of businesses along Rundberg to set out tables for a safe Halloween route for kids.
- AVEY is presenting on its work this fall at national meetings, including an NEA convening in Tampa, the Council of Great City Schools in Louisville,, and the national Promise Neighborhood Conference in Virginia.
- Congrats to our FRC teams at Martin, Burnet and Webb for successful community school planning dinners this Fall. Dinners are coming at Cook ES and Navarro ECHS in November.
- AVEY continues its partnership with Central Texas Food Bank to provide twice monthly food pantries at Burnet, Dobie, Navarro and Webb FRCs, as well as a once-monthly pantry in the St. John neighborhood. 550 families per month make use of the pantries, which help stretch family budgets and provide fresh fruits and vegetables.
- AVEY is providing monthly training to staff at the 11 campuses in the Northeast Vertical Team on family support systems as part of the NACER grant from TEA.
- AVEY continues its partnership with the Just Keep Livin' Foundation to support after school programs at Northeast and Akins High Schools.
AVEY sponsors dozens of events every year, both large and small. The easiest way to keep up is to follow us on Facebook or through our website (austinvoices.org).
Saturday, November 9 from 10 am to 2 pm
Eastside Memorial High School
ENCORE COLLEGE READINESS CONFERENCE
Saturday, November 16 from 9 am to 2 pm
Webb Early College Prep Middle School
BURNET HOLIDAY FAIR
Saturday, December 14 from 10 am to 2 pm
Burnet Middle School
COMMUNITY SCHOOL PLANNING DINNERS
Cook Elementary School Thanksgiving/Community Dinner-Nov. 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Navarro Early College High School-Nov. 20 from 5:30 to 7 pm
COMMUNITY SCHOOL ALLIANCE MEETINGS
These are multi-campus "collective impact" monthly partner meetings open to the public.
November 6, noon to 1:30 pm (first Wednesday of the month)
Martin/Eastside-Thursday, November 14, 8:30-9:30 (second Thursday of the month)
Navarro/Burnet-November 13, 8:00-9:30 am (second Wednesday of the month)
November 19, noon to 1:30 (third Thursday of the month)
Support the Work of Austin Voices!