By Tiffany L. Pruitt, Parent, Family & Community Engagement Specialist
Thanks to the collaboration of local business, community partners, and school staff, Saginaw Public Schools were able to inspire and motivate families not only in the Saginaw Public School system, but throughout the county during its Family Empire Empowerment Day (F.E.E.D.). The event, held at Zilwaukee Pre-K – 8th School on May 24, 2016, pulled together over 300 people for parent workshops, a family and community resource fair, hands on academic and social development learning activities, student entertainment, food, and much more.
This is the second F.E.E.D. event hosted by Safe Schools / Healthy Project this school year and the first time the event received generous sponsorships and donations from local businesses to provide incentives for event participants. Thanks to Molina Health Care of Michigan, who co-sponsored the event along with Zilwaukee Pre-K – 8th School, Saginaw Public Schools were able to purchase bikes, an IPad, flat screen TVS, barbecue grill, and books – all of which were given away to families as prizes at the event. In addition, multiple giveaways and gift card donations ranging from $10 to $50 were also given away as prizes thanks to the donations received from the local Target Store, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Wanigas Credit Union, Meijer, and Lowes. Saginaw Public Schools is thankful for the outpouring of support from our partners and local businesses.
Family Empire Empowerment Day was planned and implemented in response to a number of concerns in the Saginaw community, the need to strengthen families by linking them with the appropriate community resources and more active parenting activities to assist families with helping their children show academic and social/emotional growth.
There were 40 community organizations and agencies that setup informational stations in the school gymnasium and cafeteria for the family and community resource fair. There were also some pre-event workshops and presentations that took place during the morning and carried on throughout the community resource fair hours at the F.E.E.D event. Workshops included: “7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” by the Franklin Covey organization presented by Tara Ouellette, “Simplified: Math & Science Without Fears and Frustration for Families” presented by Dr. Anthony Revis, “Family Restorative Justice Practices” presented by Inez Williams of the Strive Organization, and “A Call to Action: Active Parent, Family & Community Engagement” presented by Barb Flis – CEO of Parent Action of Healthy Kids and a Michigan Department of Education Parent Engagement Consultant. A special presentation and interactive session was also provided by the Molina Group on Community / Family Partnerships from Molina Health Care, and Keva Clark – Lead Family Coordinator for Saginaw MAX System of Care.