When Building Our Future was formed, the Kenosha Community emphasized that our collective impact work would only go as fast as the community's trust would let it. To this end, Building Our Future staff and partners have convened community members on a monthly basis for the past two years to encourage a feeling of community between schools, organizations, and residents.
The Lincoln Park and Wilson Heights CommUNITY Conversations, facilitated by community members, are beginning to leverage new and existing resources to integrate community engagement in their neighborhood schools.
These CommUNITY Conversations are designed to outlive Building Our Future - they are meant to be a vehicle for local institutions and programs to connect with the community they serve. In this sense, they serve to facilitate the co-creation process - so that new programs and initiatives are created with the community, not for them.
Expanding Access to Books
From both research and firsthand accounts, the network found that many families find it difficult to keep books in the home, making it difficult for children to reach recreationally. In response, the network has organized events to collect books for both the Lincoln Middle School Library and Brass Community School 3rd graders.
The network has also partnered with Bells of St. Mary to donate enough money to maintain Brass Community School's Little Free Library, stocking it with books and lessening the burden on Brass staff.
For more information about either, or to get involved in another way, email Brandon Morris, Manager of Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lincoln Park CommUNITY Conversations meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of the month from 4:30 to 6:00 PM virtually. Sign up now on our Facebook events page.
Wilson Heights CommUNITY Conversations meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 4:30 to 6:00 PM virtually. Sign up now on our Facebook Events page.
“The community engagement work being undertaken by Building Our Future in Lincoln Park is building a foundation for a future with more equitable opportunities within Kenosha County. The momentum built in such a small time frame shows the need for alignment to better serve our families and students.”
Kenosha County Executive
“We can't keep doing the same thing, expecting different results. It takes a village to raise our children and it will take everyone working together to ensure that every
child is given the opportunity to get the best education that is available to them, from cradle to career.”
Executive Director at the Shalom Center