Bradley promotes parent engagement with Mobile Resource Center

July 21, 2011

District 150’s Mobile Parent Resource Center was unveiled on June 23. The Resource Center is a recycled school bus well equipped with materials that will aid parents in their children’s schooling, along with supplies to conduct medical screenings. The bus will drive to students’ homes, allowing for parent-teacher conferences outside school buildings. Bradley University is helping in the development of this project.

“Bradley University, specifically its College of Education and Health Sciences and Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service (IPLPS), is the lead agency for Peoria’s Full Service Community Schools initiative, or PFSCS,” said Julie Schifeling, executive outreach program director for the IPLPS.

PFSCS focuses on Harrison, Trewyn and Manual schools in District 150.

“When Julie Lonteen, the visionary who came up with the idea of the Mobile Parent Resource Center, received the go-ahead from the school district, she presented her idea to the Full Service Community Schools Advisory Council, which immediately fell in love with the concept and began discussing possible resource and partnership opportunities,” Schifeling said.

The project focuses on elementary, middle, and high school students. Bradley students are not yet involved with the mobile resource center, but Schifeling hopes they will be soon. “We are discussing potential internship opportunities on the bus as well as opportunities for field work and community service,” Schifeling said. “This was a true collaboration between Peoria School District 150, the City of Peoria, and Bradley University.”

The bus has not launched into local neighborhoods quite yet, but it will be at area events.

One thing is certain; the Mobile Parent Resource Center will push to get parents involved in their children’s schooling, while also giving college students valuable practical experience.

“We are hoping this project will improve parent engagement at our three community schools by providing programs and services to meet parent needs as well as provide opportunities to connect parents to their child’s school,” Schifeling said.