Committed to a brighter future for children, neighbors and communities.

We consider a healthy neighborhood to be one that is safe, clean, and diverse; one in which it makes economic sense for people to invest and one where neighbors manage change successfully.

We consider a healthy neighborhood to be one that is safe, clean, and diverse; one in which it makes economic sense for people to invest and one where neighbors manage change successfully.

To Involve or to Engage, that is the question?

Through our work with local schools, the terms involvement and engagement are heard quite often. While they may be similar in meaning there is a strong distinction between the two that must be clearly defined if we are to be most effective when interacting with parents. To best show the distinction between these terms I want to refer to the words of Educator, and Author Larry Ferazzo. “When schools involve parents they are leading with their institutional self-interest and desires When schools engage parents they are leading with the parents’ self-interests (their wants and dreams) in an effort to develop a genuine partnership. When we’re involving parents, the parent is generally directed towards completing tasks selected by the school staff — or the parent may be a client who receives services and information. When we’re engaging parents, the parent is considered a leader or a potential leader who is integral to identifying a vision and goals. He/she encourages others to contribute their own vision to that big picture and helps perform the tasks that need to be achieved in order to reach those goals.”

While both involvement and engagement are beneficial and needed at the school level, too often do we sacrifice the impact of engagement for the easiness of involvement? Recognizing the need for stronger family engagement at our local schools, the Grassroots community organizing team has recently started work with staff at Alta Vista Elementary to train teachers on best approaches to conduct high impact family engagement strategies on their campus.
Content covered during the training included; Reasons for Family Engagement, 4 Core Beliefs that school’s should possess when engaging with families, the roles of parents at the school and how they can support their children’s learning through setting high expectations for their child and serving as advocates. These topics, along with several others, were derived from resources such as the Flamboyan Foundation, a leading organization focused on addressing inequities within education and the book “Beyond the Bake Sale” which highlights strategies for achieving effective family engagement

Going forward Alta Vista teachers, are ready to implement what they have learned and team up with parents to form a core group to develop family engagement strategies that they can begin to implement campus-wide during the 2019-2020 school year. Several strategies are being considered going forward including; how to create a welcoming environment for all visitors to the school, and activities that help parents and community members gain a better understanding of the learning that is happening within the classroom.

It is our belief that through this approach, we will not only see stronger family engagement, but we will also see stronger partnerships between teachers, parents, and the community making for a more successful school.

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Grassroots Community Development
Grassroots Community Development2 days ago
Are you a homeowner in the City of Waco and have some leaks in your roof? Well, Grassroots may be able to help. We are in Phase VIII of the Grassroots Community Development Roof Repair Program for City of Waco Residents. These services are supported through a grant from the City of Waco. This program is at no cost to low-income families who meet the application qualifications. The Open Enrollment and Application process deadline is November 2nd. So fill out your form NOW.
Please click on the link below to print our application or stop by Grassroots office to pick up an application. Our office address is: 1624 Colcord Ave, Monday- Friday 8-5pm
For more information, please call Project Manager Brian at 254-235-7358 ext 210.
Roof Repair Application: https://grassrootswaco.org/.../Phase-VIII-Full-Roof...
We also want families to be aware of the dangers of lead-based paint. Please read the following handout about the issues with lead-based paint in your home. Check out this link for more detailed information. https://www.epa.gov/.../lead_in_your_home_brochure_land_b...
Grassroots Community Development
Grassroots Community Development5 days ago
Grassroots is proud to introduce you to the new members of our board:
Crystal Diaz Espinoza is the Director of Enrollment, Career & Alumni Services at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University. She has a master’s degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs from Baylor University and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee. She comes to Grassroots with 12 years of experience working in areas of enrollment management, leadership and professional development, and diversity, equity & inclusion. Crystal also serves as a race equity consultant for Waco Foundation which helps to bring together community leaders to engage in race equity efforts within their organizations and the greater Waco community. More importantly, she is married to a native Wacoan and is the mother to a beautiful 2-year-old. In her spare time, Crystal is a BIG sports fan and of course loves to cheer on and support all Baylor Bears sports. She and her family also enjoy going to the Waco Farmers Market every weekend and supporting the continued growing number of local businesses as much as possible.
Jud Griffis is a 4th generation Waco resident. He was born at the old Hillcrest hospital and graduated high school from Reicher. Jud received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Baylor. His father has also served on the Grassroots board. He has been a full time real estate investor for over 20 years. Jud is married and he and his wife have 2 daughters and a son. His experience and expertise is in financial analysis and general business acumen. He has served on and chaired many boards; Compassion Ministries Board, Waco Building Standards Commission, Waco Historical Preservation Commission, and was the Waco Montessori School Treasurer. When Jud is not analyzing numbers or researching investments, he enjoys mountain biking in Cameron Park with his son and horseback riding with his daughters.
Grassroots is delighted to have Crystal and Jud become members of the board and look forward to working with them.
Grassroots Community Development
Grassroots Community Development6 days ago
On September 3rd, we were honored to be highlighted as one of the TFNB Banks Charity Champions at the Baylor football game! Read more about the experience here, https://grassrootswaco.org/blog/tfnb-charity-champions/