Team West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning and their plan of action for the proposed Circle of Support program.

Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Education hosted their annual Family Engagement Summit: Powered by Teach to Lead in Baltimore, MD. The goal of this year’s summit was to ‘bring together teacher leaders, family members, and other school and community stakeholders to collaborate, problem solve, and develop action plans to benefit students and schools’.

Under the leadership of Maria Walker, director of Drexel University’s Action for Early Learning program, Baring House director Angelique Maury and program manager Leslie Rinehart were brought on to help put the rest of the team together. Baring House pre-K teacher Noel Alford, Baring House and Caring People Alliance West Philadelphia Community Center parent DeShawn Sherell and teacher at Caring People Alliance West Philadelphia Community Center Evonya Taylor made up the rest of the team.

After submitting their proposal, team West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning was selected for participation at the Summit. Participation was very competitive and only 7 teams were selected nationally.

Team West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning working on their proposal.

During the weekend’s events, the team had an opportunity to develop a strategic plan for their proposal, The Circle of Support Program, which will co-train teachers and parents in resiliency strategies to lessen the impact of trauma on families and staff. The proposal used the Devereux Center behavior support tools as part of the Circle of Support Program. Once implemented, the new program will benefit both Baring House and West Philadelphia Community Center and serve as a way to offer additional support for teachers and parents.

Team West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning enjoying a meal after the Summit.