Wednesday, March 20 the Fulton County School System will host its second annual Faith Summit to forge partnerships between schools and the faith community. The free event is for leaders of local houses of worship to join school principals and district leaders in a collaborative discussion on practical ways to provide resources benefiting both schools and houses of worship.
The goal is to encourage community partnerships that improve student achievement, increase community support of schools, and support the district’s Strategic Plan goals of increasing graduation and preparing students for college or work.
Superintendent Robert Avossa says, “Faith houses – churches, synagogues and others, for example – have an incredible impact on the community and can help our schools in meaningful ways. We want to form effective partnerships that are beneficial for everyone.”
In addition to helping schools find success, the Faith Summit will also benefit faith leaders by helping them learn how thier congregations can committ time to start service projects, such as creating food pantries or clothing drives for families in need. Sessions also will be offered on grant writing, volunteerism and school safety, discipline and intervention programs, and support for homeless students and families with special needs.
Superintendent Avossa said the concept of partnerships between schools and faith houses is relatively new, but is one with positive outcomes. Avossa said he learned of the idea while in his previous school district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, and it was successful in increasing community support for schools.
“We found out that houses of worship were just waiting for someone to ask them to become involved,” Avossa said. “They’re organizations just like non-profit businesses. They want to make a difference in the community and help students and schools,” he said.
The Faith Summit is being held at the school system’s Professional Development Center, located at 3121 Norman Berry Drive in East Point. The event is free. Registration is ongoing until March 20 at www.faithsummit.eventbrite.com.