IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD
HKGTS’s main goal is to work directly with families whose children are having significant problems in attending school regularly and to help them overcome the obstacles that they face in getting their kids to school every day and on time. These obstacles can include lack of transportation, work conflicts for the parents, sickness in the family, kids not liking school, concerns about safety in the neighborhood, lack of clothing, lack of coordination between divorced parents and apathy, family discord, as well as other issues.
Partnerships: To get started in 2019, HKGTS formed partnerships with: 1) The Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit to identify volunteer coaches chosen from various congregations once a school program is established, and 2) The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to help identify schools to participate in the program.
School Selected: Once a school is selected, we meet with the principal to secure his/her approval to work with the parents of his/her students. They then send an introduction letter to those parents they identify, describing how HKGTS works, the support we will provide and to expect a call from us.
Attendance Coaches Selected: Once we have a partnership with a school there is a commitment to establish the HKGTS program in that school, we then contact the pastors of the churches in vicinity of the school to see if they would like to participate. Once we have established partnerships with local churches, the pastors hand-pick people in their congregation who have raised their own children and would be willing to be trained to become certified coaches. All coaches are volunteers.
Attendance Coach Training: All volunteer coaches then go through a rigorous coach training process – organized and conducted by HKGTS staff – focusing on a range of coaching skills including:
How to gain the acceptance and trust of the family
How to identify specific day-to-day obstacles within the family
Working with parents to develop and implement solutions
Establishing a plan including follow up and accountability
Coach-Parent Partnerships: Following completed training, HKGTS-certified attendance coaches are assigned a group of up to ten families to work with and begin calling on those families. Coaches describe the HKGTS program and goals to the family, work to understand any issues the family is facing that keep their children from school, and strive to connect the families with resources or other assistance to address their issues. Throughout the year, HKGTS provides ongoing supervision of the coaches and offers them support with bi-weekly meetings.
HKGTS also works with the attendance agent of the school to keep track of attendance by the student. The attendance agent participates in the coaches’ meetings. Other participants at these meetings include: John Broad, HKGTS President, Pastor Richard White of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (HKGTS Vice President and also the First Vice President of the Council of Baptist Pastors). NOTE: Other churches will be invited to participate as the program expands.
Seven trained coaches
& one coach in training!
Upon completion of the pilot program, there will be a ramp-up of coaches, families and schools this Fall.