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Inaugural Celebration Marks Efforts to Get Families Involved

May 2, 2023  

Earlier this year, Cumberland County Schools' (CCS) Communications and Community Engagement Department launched an out-of-the-box initiative to engage families in the education of their children -- The Family Ambassador Program. The new initiative created volunteer positions for one parent or family member at schools across the district to serve as a Family Ambassador. The ambassadors have worked closely with the school leadership to plan and promote family engagement activities and outreach opportunities to families across the school system.

"Your dedication to ensuring that families feel connected and involved in their children's education is invaluable, and it is deeply appreciated," said CCS Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr. "Your commitment to our schools has had a profound impact on the students and families in our community. By organizing events, volunteering in classrooms, and promoting  communication between families and teachers, you have helped to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that encourages academic success and fosters a sense of community."

Dr. Connelly shared these words of gratitude before an audience of nearly 100 CCS Family Ambassadors, School Board members, and district and school administrators Monday night at the J.D. Fuller Recreational/Athletic Complex during the district's first-ever Family Ambassador End-of-the-Year Celebration.

"Our Family Ambassadors are doing amazing work as they bridge the gap between our schools, our families and our district by acting as a family liaison," said CCS' Associate Superintendent of Communications & Community Engagement Dr. Lindsay Whitley. "These volunteers work diligently, engaging families with the knowledge that they have gained through their access to our school administrators and monthly family ambassador classes where experts in their field share new concepts of family engagement with our ambassadors."

Many of the district's Family Ambassadors were appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of the worthwhile program.

"I have really enjoyed the heart of Cumberland County to get the parents more involved," said Parent Lauren Fletcher, the Family Ambassador at Montclair Elementary School. "We're not just the ones at home, but we're an integral part of our children's success."

Kyle A. Greene, a nationally renowned motivational speaker, served as the special guest presenter for the evening. Known as “the Mentality Changer,” Greene’s message inspired everyone in attendance to continue engaging families in the educational process as a way to help students thrive in the classroom and beyond.

This pilot program launched as part of priority four of the district’s strategic plan, calling for the development of a district-wide family engagement outreach program. Since the program's inception in January, numerous programs and activities have been successfully planned and executed across the district to improve family engagement and increase student success. 

For more information about CCS' Family Ambassadors Program, visit the CCS Website. Also, check out the video below that expresses the district's 'thanks' to its Family Ambassadors for their work that often goes unrecognized.

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