2425 Jefferson Street, Napa, CA 94558
McPherson Neighborhood Inititive
Principal: Tamara Sanguinetti
Lead Agency: Family Resource Center
Community Schools Leadership:
Community School since: 2007
Student Services: Integrated art program facilitated by Boys & Girls Club
Support Services: Adult education classes including adult literacy, community leadership, parenting, technology and ESL, counseling, dental care, access to children’s health insurance,
Parent Services:Affordable housing assistance, job application support, legal services, yoga classes, adult nutrition and exercise classes,
When Angel Lopez was growing up in Napa, attending McPherson Elementary School, there were very few resources available to his immigrant parents to get them connected to his education. Now that Angel is a single-parent of two young girls, McPherson has a world of resources, allowing him to get financial support and be more hands-on with his kids’ education.
Two years ago, Angel was severely injured at work with his grounds maintenance job. Angel had to stop working due to the injury and has been raising his daughters on workers’ compensation ever since, so money is very tight. Luckily for Angel, McPherson has a Family Resource Center (FRC) with a full-time staff to help him with his finances and connect him to other resources provided by the school. “The County was a dead end for me and closed the doors on giving me any assistance,” said Angel. “But at the FRC, they helped me get on food stamps and apply for Section 8 housing. More importantly, they gave me classes on health, parenting and how to support my daughter when she’s taking standardized tests.”
The FRC has a parent “university” with more than 40 classes throughout the year, and over 300 parents participated last year. There is also a volunteer program aimed at getting parents into classrooms so they can better understand their child’s school day which draws 250 participants. Angel has been one of them.
“With the classes and volunteering, I have knowledge of what my daughter is doing in school – I’m not limited,” said Angel. “It’s so different than when I was growing up because my parents couldn’t help me with my homework. The FRC is a program you can invest in because it’s about the future of my children.”
The FRC is part of the Community Schools Initiative which United Way co-sponsors. Community Schools provide support to struggling families so children can focus on school. Many students from low-income families go to school hungry, sick or poorly prepared, resulting in poor academic progress. The Community Schools Initiative transforms public schools into neighborhood hubs that bring health care, food pantries, after-school programs, parent education classes and other services directly to school campuses. There are seven United Way Community Schools in the Bay Area.