Larry Means, Mayor of Attalla, recently visited the Gadsden City Schools Parent Teacher Resource Center. Means was excited about the availability of resources for students. During his visit, Means received a “prescription education packet” made for his granddaughter, who attends an elementary school in the district.
Any student enrolled in a Gadsden City School is eligible for these services. Parents or guardians that are interested in the program and want access to free educational materials to supplement their child’s classroom studies can call or visit the center Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The supplemental academic resources go along with local curriculum and State Courses of Study. Qualified teachers help parents pick out the most helpful resources and answer any curriculum-related questions. Through “make and take” workshops, parents can take training classes throughout the school year.
In 1986, Belinda Reddick and Charlotte Campbell established The Parent-Teacher Resource Center after they visited one of the U.S. Department of Education’s Model Parent Centers in Norfolk, Va. The Center was housed in the Gadsden City Schools’ Annex and Gadsden High School from its opening until 2007.
During this time, the parent participation numbers ranged from 25 to 500 each year. Participation increased to thousands of parents from only 25 by using bulletins, referrals and advertisements to spread word of the program. In fact, during the 2013 school year, 4,300 prescription packets were made for parents to help their children at home.
In 2007, the Resouce Center was moved to the “old Social Security Building” at 201 College Street, located across from the post office. Also in 2007, the U.s Department of education awarded a grant to the Board of Education to make sure these education programs would continue for 300 years, according to the agreement. After that time, the building will become the property of the Gadsden Board of Education.
The Parent Teacher Resource Center receives funding from both state and federal funds to meet their fiscal needs. Superintendent Ed Miller and The City Board of Education oversee the program. Mr. Tony Reddick supervises the program, and Nancy Blackwood is Director of Title I, federal funds. Jamye Ingram, Kaci Summerall, Carol Roberts, Kay Tinker, and Teresa Martin design the materials and select the right ones for parents and their children. Parents of Gadsden City schoolchildren are invited to request prescription packets for their children, or to get in touch with the staff, who will contact their child’s teacher and have the materials put together.
For more information, drop by or call 256-549-2961 or 256-549-2930.