by Kelly Mattox, Director, Family Resource Center, PUSD & Rebecca Wood, VISTA, Family Resource Center, PUSD
The Prescott Unified School District opened the Family Resource Center in 2016. Since then, the center moved to the new district office, stuffed hundreds of backpacks and provided ongoing services to over 500 students and families.
“Students are so excited to be ready for school and the center is here to help all year long,” said Assistant Superintendent Mardi Reed. “Even teachers can reach out on behalf of students as the year progresses.”
Started as a three-year AmeriCorps VISTA project, the center has bloomed into a community of support, with a mission of empowering students to succeed by providing resources to the whole family.
“I don’t think there is a more generous community than Prescott anywhere, at least in regard to supporting our schools,” said Joe Howard, PUSD Superintendent. “The donation of school supplies has always put support where it is needed in terms of helping kids and families that simply don’t have the resources.”
As classrooms are modernizing, the needed supplies for students are ever-evolving. There is higher demand for such items as headphones, calculators and shared classroom supplies.
“It can be a strain on the center to buy these items when we survive largely on community donations,” said Rebecca Wood, AmeriCorps VISTA, working for PUSD to oversee the center. “But we believe even if a supply goes to a classroom, it is also going to a kid.”
The Family Resource Center is open throughout the summer to assist families getting ready for back to school. Call (928) 830-7658 to make an appointment.
If you are interested in donating please call or stop by the PUSD office at 300 E.Gurley St.
- Calculators (basic and high-tech)
- Colored pencils (24 pack)
- Copy paper (plain and/or colored)
- Crayons (Crayola 24 pack)
- Dry erase markers (black and blue)
- Hand sanitizer
- Ticonderoga pencils
- Walmart gift cards (these cover what is missing)
In December 2018, the Coalition for Compassion and Justice, in partnership with PUSD’s Family Resource Center, will be presenting “Hannah’s Heart” fundraiser. Set in Great Depression-era Prescott during the holiday season, “Hannah’s Heart” is a play based on the book of the same title written by local author Diane Iverson.The play will have three performances and all proceeds will go toward the Little Tree House and PUSD’s Family Resource Center.
The Family Resource Center acknowledges the unique barriers to quality, ongoing education that face low-income, homeless, or underserved families. All funds received by the center go directly back to providing ongoing programming and support for all PUSD families.
PUSD INDIAN EDUCATION PROGRAM
Native families of the Prescott Unified School District are eligible for additional services for their Native students enrolled in the public school system. These services include tutoring, Native Family Nights, cultural education, field trips and regular parent committee meetings to stay informed.
“It is important for us to have a space to come together and teach our children about our culture and traditions,” said Jess Kota, PUSD Indian Education Parent Committee Chair. “It is too often our children learn the negative aspects of our community in the public eye, Indian Education is a space for us to learn all the positives so we can grow strong and confident in who we are as native people.”
The Indian Education Program is supported by grant funding. The current program is overseen by Kelly Mattox, grant specialist with PUSD.
Mattox shares her vision, “My hope is to build and sustain PUSD’s Indian Education Program for students of all indigenous tribal affiliations, bridging gaps for learning and sharing.”