WSD launches ‘Federal Programs Roundup’

The Weiser School District hosted an informational ‘Federal Programs Roundup’ on Monday, Jan. 22, attracting community members seeking information about the district’s federal program opportunities, which are now being paired up with community resources. The event creates a ‘one-stop-shop’ for available resources. Above, attendees visit with Karen Penner and Weiser Public Library Director Timbra Long, far right. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
The Weiser School District hosted an informational “Federal Programs Roundup” Jan. 22 at the Weiser High School auxiliary gym.
 Spaghetti, served up by WSD Food Services, was provided to members of the public at no cost.
 About 20 area organizations participated, providing people with information about programs and resources available in the community, including scholarship, educational instruction, training, and assistance opportunities, among others. 
 “As you can see, with the numerous participants, we have come together to show what is available in the community and surrounding area,” said WSD Superintendent Kenneth Dewlen during the event.
 District Federal Programs Director and Pioneer School Principal, Dave Davies, said the intent behind the roundup is to foster awareness of community resources that complement those already offered through the district.
 “There are supplementary programs that help enhance the regular educational programs in the school district,” he explained. “And what we do through those federal programs, be it Migrant (Resources) or English Language Learner or Title I … we try to connect with different community partners that actually help enhance those programs.”
 He said federal programs, such as the district’s Head Start or Migrant Head Start programs, for instance, pair up well with community resources like the Weiser Public Library or Weiser Memorial Hospital. 
 “We want to try to build these connections … and then have one spot, like a community school approach, where we bring everyone together so people can come see all of these resources that are available through the school district and community itself. We want to partner because we want to build a stronger community.”
 Davies credited WSD Clerk Kyla Dickerson and Deputy Clerk Barbara Choate for introducing the concept.
 “We recently had a federal program audit and through that audit, we learned that we hadn’t involved the community in a lot of the things we were doing,” Choate told the Signal American when asked where the idea originated. “We are doing really good things, but we were kind of keeping it to ourselves. There is a need for a little bit more publicity about all the things that the school does.”
 Programs represented at the Roundup include Migrant Resources, WICAP Head Start, Idaho Migrant Council, District English Language Services, College of Western Idaho – Adult English Language, Program College of Western Idaho – Adult GED Program, Weiser Police After School Program, Weiser Memorial Hospital, ROSE Advocates, Boys and Girls Club, Weiser Public Library, Special Education Services, Title I, Gear Up, College and Career Counselor, Weiser School District Career Technical Education Programs, Weiser School District Food Services, Fiscal Responsibility for Use of Federal Lands, and Imagination Library.
 Attendees were asked to complete a survey about the event, using computers made available on site.
 The inaugural Roundup was the first of what administrators intend to make an annual or, potentially bi-annual event, according to Davies
 “It’s something we would really like to continue,” he said. “Hopefully this is the first annual and, maybe, depending on the response we get, maybe we’ll have one in the fall and one in the spring, so we can get the information out there.”


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