As members of the Elders Salon we are seriously distressed by the rapid restructuring at the Family Resource Center. This seems a top down bureaucratic decision on the part of La Luz management—corporate behavior, in other words.
We are led to surmise that the decision was made to meet needs that had nothing to do with the FRC. The idea of a Community School, where everyone is encouraged to participate, giving and receiving, has been violated. The families receiving services there are among the least empowered, least served in our society and are lowest on the economic ladder. Why were they not consulted? The FRC is about empowerment. Why was this violated? The employees at the FRC do not seem to have been asked for input. The volunteers at the center were blindsided. These three stakeholder groups should have been consulted, providing useful input to make improvements or cut expenses, if necessary.
From what I have seen of the duties of the Parent Engagement Coordinator, the position should have remained at full time. Families need this. The addition of a half time position would have been a good step.
Lastly, why is the influence of a positive male role model apparently ignored? Mothers are still the more likely parent to work with the school in their children’s education. We do not have parity in this arena. It is important that children have a positive male role model, and that families can see modeled a positive and effective masculine presence, encouraging male involvement.
Iris R. Lombard *
Joanna Devrais *
Sarah R. Harris *
Gary (Buz) Hermes
(*also volunteers at FRC)