On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 the Parent Academy of Hernando County held a ribbon cutting at its new community center located at 991 Varsity Drive in Brooksville. The new center will serve the east side of the county and offer the same services that their other center at Fox Chapel Middle School offers.
The Parent Academy’s mission is to provide training and support for the families of children who attend Title 1 Program schools. Title 1 is a federal government program that provides assistance to local schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. There are fourteen Title 1 schools in Hernando County.
Attending the ribbon cutting were Parent Academy staff, Superintendent of Schools John Stratton, school board members Gus Guadagnino and Linda Prescott and several members of the district school board staff.
“The Parent Academy is committed to building strong communities through collaborative partnerships. The opening of the Parent Academy Community Center east will enable us to offer more services and resources to reach our families as we work to link the community and parents for all students to reach their highest potential,” stated Ivette Mendoza, Coordinator of Family and Community Engagement.
Ms. Mendoza, the other five staff of the Parent Academy and volunteers worked for two months getting the building ready. It was formerly used for another school program. They power-cleaned and painted, as well as spruced up the grounds. A number of local corporations helped in the effort. Bayfront Hospital Brooksville donated chairs, Walmart Supercenter #3526 gave them a grant, the Nature Coast Lions Club donated carpeting and Lowes of Spring Hill donated mulch and plants for the grounds.
Superintendent John Stratton remarked, “The talented ladies of the Parent Academy aren’t afraid to dream big. Whatever they decide to do, they get it done.”
The Parent Academy coordinates several events during the year. These include a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Summit, an annual seminar helping this underserved and growing population of new "parents." They also host a Back to School Bash. Another popular event is its annual STEAM Fest to familiarize students and their families with the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (see a detailed article about this event on page 17 in this edition).
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were invited to tour the facility which consists of a large community training room, a smaller gathering room, an office and a kitchen. Family Chiropractic Center for Wellness barbequed hot dogs and served beverages and chips to the attendees. Everyone also enjoyed a delicious cake commemorating the ribbon cutting.
For more information on the Parent Academy call 352-797-7000 or go to https://www.hernandoschools.org/Page/3721 .