Alignment Bay County (ABC) was established in 2015 and is a 501c3 county wide volunteer organization. Our volunteers and partner organizations seek to better align community resources in order to support the success of our youth from birth to career. We are directed by two Boards. Our Governing Board is comprised of key community leaders and stakeholders and our Operating Board is composed of leaders of partner organizations and local businesses. Part of the ABC system is small working groups called A-Teams, which develop plans to fill gaps in service delivery. As a collective impact agency we work to bring together diverse partners from across the county to work toward the common goal of helping our kids to become successful adults.
2021 Alignment Bay County Governing Board
- - Early Learning and Elementary Literacy Campaigns
- -Teacher Appreciation and Retention
- - Mental Health Resource
- - Student Wrap Around Teams
- - Increase VPK and Kindergarten Enrollment
2019-2020 Community Impact:
In 2020, ABC reached more than 4,000 children in Title I schools that have low FSA reading scores. This effort supports our reading initiative that provides books to elementary children and educates parents on how to assist their child’s reading comprehension. “Good Readers are Good Thinkers” bookmarks were also provided that give parents tools to help their children improve their reading comprehension.
We have enrolled over 200 new mothers into our Little Listeners reading initiative that begins before the birth of the child. The continued goal of Little Listeners is to educate parents about the importance of reading to their children, even before they are born. Establishing a habit of reading with your child is important to creating a strong parent-child bond, improving language development and expanding the child’s vocabulary. This program has expanded to include supporting, on average, 70 parents participating in the Pregnancy Resource Center’s new parent online education program each month.
Our Student Wrap Around Team initiative continues to provide positive results. The purpose of the Student Wraparound Achievement Team, (SWAT), program is to increase educational success for children exhibiting concerning behaviors in the school setting. Partnerships are established to ensure the student involved receives the support necessary to meet educational goals. Referrals for participation are originated by a school official and confirmed by a school administrator. Students considered for participation in SWAT have a documented history of poor academic performance, habitual truancy and/or repeated discipline referrals. The student’s caregiver must be willing to voluntarily and actively engage in team planning and participate in all services to assist the student and the team. Over the last two years, 84 students were referred. 18 of those students either did not qualify or their parent/caregiver declined participation. Of the 66 students in the program, 30% increased their grades from failing to passing, 40% improved their attendance rates and 55% had decreased number of discipline referrals, therefore increasing their time in the classroom.
We continue to work on our mental health initiative to support the mental health needs of our community after Hurricane Michael and now with COVID-19. We have developed a website with a local directory of over 70 service providers as well as other resources. We also are producing a mental health podcast. The podcast features behavioral health experts that provide information and local resources to listeners. These two projects have been in development the last two years, however they will become available to the public during the first quarter of 2021. The goal of our mental health initiative is to bring awareness and acceptance of mental health issues in our community while providing resources for families and individuals.
Teacher retention and recruitment has become a vital issue in our public schools and community. This is an ongoing initiative that will continue into 2021. One project completed within this initiative was a calming room for teachers at an alternative high school. This is a “last chance” high school for students who are at risk of not graduating high school. Teachers lacked a private space to utilize after intense and stressful moments with students. Through donations and community partners, we were able to paint and furnish a space at the school. Calming art, music, essential oils as well as snacks, coffee and tea were provided by community partners. Another completed projected was teacher appreciation for the only elementary school rated as a “D” school in Bay County. A back-to-school breakfast, lunch and “gift” bags filled with PPE and school supplies were given to all staff members prior to the first day of school. The principal reported that because of the pandemic, her community partner that would normally provide a breakfast and/or lunch was unable to. A third project that was started and will be completed in 2021 is a teacher “brag board” project. All 20 elementary schools were provided a bulletin board for teachers and staff to praise each other on achievements. Five $5 gift cards were also given to each school for principals to award a gift card each month to one of the teachers/staff complimented by their peers. These three projects reached over 1200 teachers and staff at Bay District Schools and involved 20 community partners and outside donations.
VPK enrollment has decreased because of COVID 19 and other barriers that families face. We completed an awareness campaign at all summer meal pick up sites within Bay District Schools and partnered with local municipalities to hang banners at parks most utilized by families during the summer months. Banners and signs contained QR code to help families access enrollment website quickly and conveniently.
We strive to provide unique insight to the issues that are faced everyday by our schools and our families to better facilitate community solutions where there are gaps in support for our youth. We are always looking for more community partners and volunteers. If you'd like to be involved with our organization, please contact us today.