AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District was awarded $330,000 to build better communication with families whose children attend schools in the Rundberg area. The money comes from the Kellogg Foundation, among the largest philanthropic foundations in the US, which focuses on places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success.
The nine-month initiative includes training school staff and parents on community engagement at Hart, McBee, Padron and Wooldridge elementary schools and at the Lucy Read pre-K Demonstration School.
“So often in education we assume what families need to be successful without asking them,” said AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz. “With the support of the Kellogg Foundation, we can take time to really listen to families and design services to enhance their strengths and address their challenges.”
The district said the community engagement effort will help them better understand the gaps in service and untapped assets within the neighborhood.
“This project aligns with our premise for action … the importance and ability of people-individuals and communities-to craft their own solutions to their problems and chart paths to achieve their visions,” said Kellogg Foundation Program Officer Jon-Paul Bianchi.
In 2012, the Austin Police Department received a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice to help build relationships and revitalize the Rundberg neighborhood. The district said this new grant will build off the momentum created by the Restore Rundberg initiative.