In June, I wrote about a Public School Insights piece on a program in Boston connecting schools and communities.
Last month, Public School Insights did a follow-up interview with people in two schools who were responsible for making the program work. It’s worth reading the whole post, but here’s one question and answer that struck me:
Public School Insights: You mentioned earlier, Kathleen, that you have been able to tailor the services that kids receive to their needs and their families’ needs. How do you get into a position where you really get to know families and interact with them? Do you find that a critical piece of the work you do?
Kathleen Carlisle: I think that is an absolutely essential piece, but it is a piece that takes a lot of time and hard work. When I walked into the office, I did not know anyone. I didn’t have a rapport with them. I did not have trust. It took years to build relationships with parents and students. And it took years of effort and results before I built those relationships to the point where they feel comfortable calling me, e-mailing me, coming to my office. So it takes time. And it takes a willingness to reach out and get to know people and understand them.
Sounds like a very realistic perspective….