Today’s blog post is by Erin Ocobock, Resource Development Specialist for Communities In Schools of Jacksonville, Florida.
Communities In Schools is about more than checking on students’ grades and attendance to see if they are staying on track for graduation. It’s about providing resources to help students choose success by offering support in every way we can. One way we can accomplish this is by appealing to adults who have the potential to be a positive role model on students’ educational achievement.
On Wednesday, October 10, Communities In Schools of Jacksonville hosted their 5th annual Muffins For Moms Breakfast at Biltmore Elementary School. This event provides an opportunity for mothers, grandmothers, sisters and other positive female role models to join students in the school for breakfast and enjoy quality time together.
More than 50 students and adults who attended the event in the school’s media center were greeted by all things “girlie”: pink tablecloths, sweet pastries, soft jazz music in the background and a powerful female role model: Santhea Brown, the first lady of Jacksonville. As the Mayor’s wife and a mother of two, Mrs. Brown knows a thing or two about educational issues and being involved with your child’s school. She spoke to the families about the importance of making a connection between school and home, and about how important it is for family members to be there for a student and be active in his or her education.
To the surprise of the staff, and Mrs. Brown herself, the Mayor decided to stop by in support of his wife’s presentation. The Mayor’s office has been a major supporter of Communities In Schools of Jacksonville, helping to secure funding for an after-school program and partnering with the affiliate on a mentor initiative, The Mayor’s Mentors.
Site Coordinator Bramley Ross has hosted Muffins For Moms once a year for the past three years. She also hosts its counterpart, Donuts For Dads, which will be held this year in January.
“These events have been such a success. After each one, family members always ask when the next one will be!” Ross said. She creates a relaxed atmosphere, making it easy for students and adults to be comfortable and excited to spend the morning together, taking in the words of encouragement from an influential guest speaker.
“The family members and students love being able to have this time at school to spend with one another – time that they might otherwise not have due to jobs and other life responsibilities.”