Did You Know That Adding Shaving Cream to Glue Makes Fluffy Slime?

Kristin Bober’s six and four-year-old children found out that fun fact at Vernon Public School’s Family Science – Make Your Own Slime day on Monday morning, July 9, hosted by the Vernon Family, School & Community Partnership Center. Bober shares that, with two young children in Vernon schools, she is “looking for ways for them to establish life-long friends and meet kids across town to build connections in the community and outside of school.”

That’s what Vernon’s Family School & Community Partnership Center (FSCP) is all about. Thanks to a one-year $307,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Family School and Community Partnership Center will be able to continue the work, begun with the Foundation’s support in 2017, to work together with families to support student learning. This includes providing school and district family learning activities, family workshops and connecting families to community resources.

“I attend English-learning classes and received an FSCP brochure in class,” explains Marilis Garcia, also the mother of two children ages six and four. “These activities develop skills in our children to learn in other, different and fun ways outside of school.”

In 2017, with the initial $377,624 Hartford Foundation grant, Vernon Public Schools showed academic growth in the district. School officials believe this was, in part, a result of the new relationships built with families. The district was able to hire a new director of the Family School and Community Partnership Center, establish the center with central point registration, create a new district climate committee, complete “Welcome Walkthroughs” assessment and action plans, conduct family events linked to learning (like the summer Slime Science activity), establish school-based family engagement teams, and partner with 19 community organizations for the Community Service Fair at Rockville High School.

With the $307,000 in new funding, over the next year, Vernon Public Schools is especially excited to strengthen its current FSCP initiatives, including:

  • Growing and evolving partnerships and collaborations with community partners to provide a continuum of supports to all families,
  • Ensuring that information about resources available within the community is shared with the school community and with families,
  • Developing strategies to engage families and the community to increase school attendance, and
  • Participating in community events to strengthen links to learning.

According to Cynthia Zingler, Director, Office of Family, School and Community Partnerships for Vernon Public Schools, “We appreciate the support of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, which allowed us to open the Family School and Community Partnership Center. This funding has provided the district level structures and supports for our efforts and has allowed us to offer online parenting courses and in-person parent workshops on a variety of topics during the 2017-2018 school year. We look forward to continuing to offer a variety of programs for families in the 2018-2019 school year.”

“Vernon Public Schools’ Office of Family, School and Community Partnership continues to build meaningful relationships between and among families, schools and the community. I look forward to more exciting events in VPS that link to learning.” Jackie Coleman, Education Investments Officer, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $720 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.