International Community School (ICS) is joining a small but growing number of public schools that are offering wraparound services. Starting this month, ICS students, their families and school staff members can take advantage of the ICS Community Resource Center. The Community Resource Center is located inside the International Community School and will offer health services, social services, educational workshops and community collaborations thanks to the generous assistance of more than 30 community partners and contributing organizations. ICS celebrated the opening of the Community Resource Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and potluck on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The International Community School is a K-5 public charter school in DeKalb County that serves more than 400 students who represent more than 30 nationalities and speak 25 languages. Approximately, half of the school’s students are refugees. The ICS Community Resource Center is an expansion of ICS’ home visit program, which was created to ensure that all students received an annual home visit from a school faculty member to assess how the school can best meet student needs and to foster a greater sense of school community.
Upon the completion of home visits in 2018, ICS made a commitment to reach students and families in a deeper way. This is how the vision for the Community Resource Center was birthed, and the school began working toward that goal.
“We’re excited to be among the public schools that are offering this vital resource to our school community,” Julie Allen, Principal of International Community School, said. “Our hope is to remove some of the barriers that make it challenging for students to reach their full academic potential and to provide services that improve lifetime trajectories for families in our community.”
Services offered at the Community Resource Center will include: physical, mental, dental and vision screenings; a food pantry; clothing closet; essential supplies; a media center and referral to external services. Families and staff can also attend instructional workshops and discussions on topics such as workforce development, computer literacy, financial literacy, nutrition, health and wellness, parenting tactics, homeownership, immigration/legal guidance, applying for government assistance, multilingual interpreter training and more.
International Community School is grateful to the following community partners for helping make this vision a reality: Vibha, Vibha Youth, Intown Community Church, International Women’s House, Newborn International Foundation, DeKalb County Board of Health, DeKalb County Schools International Welcome Center and IMPACT Hub, United Way, North Decatur Presbyterian Church, Resonate Church, Bridgepoint Church, SHINE Volunteers of Emory, Positive Growth, Goodwill, Georgia State University Police Force, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, Noor Family Services, Catholic Charities, Global Growers, University of Georgia, International Rescue Committee, New American Pathways, SeSo, Inc., Emory University Pediatrics, Georgia Deanne Yoga, Mercer College of Pharmacy, Kids-Doc-on-Wheels, City National Bank, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, The Global Health Task Force and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.