Professional development amongst our afterschool peer groups proves vital to achieving the best standard of practice we can for our youth. Recently, Operation Shoestring has stepped up to the plate and benchmarked community programming in front of a national audience. This month, we’d like to highlight the efforts of this organization and their recent work in Mississippi.
Operation Shoestring showcased a workshop in a national conference called Foundations Beyond School Hours 2023. This conference is touted as the “premier gathering of education practitioners and thought leaders”. Aimed at providing professional development opportunities to those that work with youth, this conference set the stage for this Jackson organization to shine.
Led by the amazing team Star Pool (Parenting Coordinator), Lakesha Partee (Project Rise Afterschool and Summer Program Coordinator), and Tolando Jones (Community Resource Coordintor), this workshop delivers the heart of Operation Shoestring’s value–supporting and facilitating the strength of the whole family into the foundation of any work that you do.
Conference attendees experienced how afterschool and summer programs can have mirroring or complementary family support workshops to help build that whole community concept–that empowerment that is the driving force of Operation Shoestring. By building the family unit into the programming, this workshop demonstrated that you can catalyze success for the child within the home and the greater community.
Established more than 50 years ago, this program presented a standard for success for what afterschool and summer programming could look like in Mississippi and even across the nation. We are grateful for their contributions to our community and look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next.