Battle Ground Public Schools will host an open house on Wednesday, Oct. 12 to celebrate the opening of its new Family and Community Resource Center (FCRC). The event will be held 2-5 p.m. at the center, which is located next door to Summit View High School and the district's administrative offices at 11104 NE 149th St., Brush Prairie. The FCRC is intended to help meet the needs of families faced with housing instability and similar economic challenges.
In recent years, district staff has spent a considerable amount of time fielding requests for a variety of resources to help those in need. Those requests typically include items such as school supplies, backpacks, winter clothes and personal items that enable students to stay focused on their studies.
Several years ago, the district produced a Family Resource Guide with contact information for agencies and organizations that provide assistance for families and students in need. The opening of the Family and Community Resource Center is a natural extension of the district's partnerships with these resources.
"It can be overwhelming trying to navigate all the different potential avenues for seeking help," said district Superintendent Mark Hottowe. "While our teachers, principals and staff have truly gone above and beyond in helping parents and students, the opening of the Family and Community Resource Center represents a consolidation that will provide a reliable place where families can come to be connected with a diverse array of resources to get the assistance they need most."
While a main goal of the FCRC is to assist families experiencing housing instability, it can also help connect families with many other types of resources and is intended to respond to the changing needs of the community.
"It's very important that the Family and Community Resource Center hears from parents, students, the community, and district teachers and staff about the needs of at-risk students and families," said Jill Smith, Battle Ground Public Schools' Executive Director of Federal Programs and Instructional Support Services. "The goal of the FCRC is to provide help where it's needed the most, so above all, that means we're here to listen."
According to A Way Home Washington,a nonprofit organization that advocates for the end of homelessness, more than 35,000 public school students in the state are in homeless situations. In Clark County alone, there were approximately 2,300 such students during the last school year in which data was available.
"We are excited that we'll be able to connect families with resources to help their children be successful students," said Lydia Sanders, Battle Ground Public Schools' Family and Community Resource Services Coordinator. "We've partnered with other local community service organizations for years, and the Family and Community Resource Center will be a hub from which the district can provide real help to those in our district who are most at risk and in need of assistance."
The FCRC is a continuation of the district's joint efforts with the Battle Ground Education Foundation, an all-volunteer, nonprofit community organization whose purpose is to leverage community resources to help maintain quality education for all students in Battle Ground schools.
The Family and Community Resource Center can be reached at (360) 885-5434 and is open from 8:00 to 4:30 Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 to 6:30 on Thursdays, and 8:30 to 2:30 on Fridays.