By Juan Effiom, Friendship Academy of the Arts –
It takes a village to raise a child and the community answered the call.
Friendship Academy of the Arts (FAA) and some of our community partners recently came together to engage FAA scholars in professional day. This “Professional Friday” was the first of its kind for FAA and took place at the end of the school’s first Spirit Week.
Friendship Academy believes every child possesses the potential to learn and learning happens in many ways. This event opened the eyes of the scholars and they witnessed the many career possibilities of the community partners in attendance.
Research shows that parent, school and community involvement plays a big part in students’ academic success and the many successes in their future. When school and community work together as partners this kind of engagement allows FAA the opportunity to expand their curriculum by offering a broader scope of learning activities.
The relationship between Friendship Academy and the community partners has become an integral part of FAA’s daily life and culture. The role of the community partners becomes very important because the partners provide many types of service learning in the form of enrichment classes to enhance the enjoyment of learning but also demonstrates many career possibilities for the future of FAA scholars and their families. The community partners provide mentors to scholars and connect scholars, school and families to other resources that perhaps they provide.
This type of school and community partner engagement creates a winning situation for everyone. Everyone involved in this event feels and believes it was a big success and would like to see it happen again at FAA.
Special thanks to the following community partners: Rhoda Stroud, retired teacher; Sharmaine Russell, Keller Williams Realty – realtor; Vanessa Carr, City of Minneapolis 311; Henry Bridges, MCTC – instructor; Andi Jordt, 5IVE – designer and producer; Mike Borell, 5IVE designer and producer; Alonzo Anthony, safety manager, Minneapolis Public Schools; William Pierce, VA Dept.
Management Center; Rochella Shephard, New York Life Insurance Company; Yolanda Miller, CVS Pharmacy; Shana Lee, Wells Fargo; Tisidra Jones, City of Saint Paul; DeSha Russell, Burnsville School; Ananysia Joseph, McDonalds – manager; Emory D. Carter, Honeywell – aerospace engineer; Tracy Wofford, HCMC – nurse practitioner; Teresa Morrow, Minneapolis Foundation; Dr. Billy G. Russell, pastor and educator; Jeffery Groves, education; Craig Laird, Fed Ex driver and referee; Gail Miller, pharmaceutical technician; Carita Payne, biologist.