The Marion School District is launching a new initiative designed to bring together community resources to support the basic needs of local children.
The district is partnering with Bright Futures USA for the program. Founded in 2011, Bright Futures USA is recognized as a national leader in the field of community resiliency and engagement. Since its inception, Bright Futures USA has established a grassroots network of more than 70 rural, suburban, and urban communities working together to tackle challenging issues from food insecurity to graduation rates for over 200,000 students across the country.
“We are excited to be able to launch Bright Futures Marion,” said Julie Coveny, the Marion School District’s director of federal programs. “As a public school, we are responsible for providing a safe place to educate our children, and our teachers and staff work hard to do this every day. But when students need school supplies, when students are hungry, when students are experiencing abuse at home, or a multitude of other issues that many of our students live with on a daily basis, focusing on learning is nearly impossible. Bright Futures Marion will help us help students overcome many of those challenges.”
Bright Futures Marion will base its work on three foundational principles to support the growth and well-being of children in the community. First, the organization will work to create communication and resource structures to meet any child’s basic needs within 24 hours. Second, the group will look to build the local leadership and resource capacity to improve problem-solving capabilities needed to address the greater challenges faced by today’s youth. And third, the organization will provide opportunities for young people to serve the community through curriculum-based, hands-on service experiences to grow generations of service-minded citizens.
Over the next several months, Coveny said the district will be reaching out to potential community partners to serve on an advisory board for Bright Futures Marion. Following training with the national organization, the local group will begin putting programs in place over the summer, with the goal of being able to offer services by the start of the 2023-24 school year.
“We were drawn to the synergy that Bright Futures USA has helped create in the communities where they have been involved,” Coveny said. “We are looking forward to bringing businesses, local organizations parent groups, and schools together to take on some of these challenges. When we can bring all of these resources together for the purpose of supporting our children, the benefits will be exponential.”
The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www.msd3.org/ or call 870-739-5100.