PAVE group focuses on education

By Peggy Miller

Partners Advancing Values in Education (PAVE) was created in 2012 to help bridge the communication gap and to help reach consensus between what the citizens of Winston County and Winston County Partners for Community Living (WCPCL) believe to be the best path to take to get the schools on the road to success.

The committee has met regularly throughout the school year since its creation to address concerns of the community and to deal with issues that arise pertaining to accreditation. The committee is made up of community leaders, school staff, parents, and other concerned citizens in the county. The committee is a diverse group that represents all county districts, and all socioeconomic and education levels.

Where did PAVE get its start? In winter of 2011, a process called, “Turning the Tide on Poverty” was introduced in Winston County. This process was designed to engage community members in meaningful discussion, thoughtful planning, and place-based action to loosen the grip of poverty in the communities of Winston County. The project was sponsored by the Southern Rural Development Center in conjunction with Everyday- Democracy, The Farm Foundation, and The Kettering Foundation.

By 1st quarter of 2012, “Turning the Tide on Poverty” project began by organizing community members into Community Circle groups, representing all communities in Winston County, in an effort to jointly explore the causes of poverty and find ways to help families and individuals move from poverty to prosperity. Community Circles were usually made up of 8 to 12 people from different backgrounds and met once a week for about 6 weeks in two-hour sessions. Each Community Circle group was led by a neutral facilitator whose job was to help the group stay on the topic and work toward shared understandings. The hopeful outcome for the Community Circles was that they would:

a) Create a shared vision of what was desired for their community. b) Gain a better understanding of poverty and identify what contributes to it. c) Get people moving together in a positive direction to address poverty and its causes.

Objectives were met by the end of the 6 weeks period, at which time participants, facilitators, and coaches came together for a Community Action Forum where Priority Action Ideas were shared. Action Teams were formed to move forward on the “Heavy Hitters.” Louisville Municipal Education System was at the top of the list of Priority Action Ideas. Partners Advancing Values in Education (PAVE) is the Action Team formed to move these Action Ideas forward.

PAVE’s Mission PAVE is to serve as liaison between the Louisville Municipal School District and the Winston County Community. Its goals are to: 1) To improve the relationship between the community and the school district. 2) To advise the school district in ways and means to improve all district schools. 3) To keep the citizens of the Louisville Municipal School District informed about all schools. 4) To improve the instructional delivery in all schools for all students. 5) To advise the district in methods to effectively move out of “Academic Watch” and into a self-sustaining district. 6) To advise and work with the school district to develop a sound structure for the future of the district. 7) Aims to improve schools.

PAVE was formed to be an Advisory Committee for the Louisville Municipal School Board, originating from the “Turning the Tide on Poverty” project of 2012. Its members are Tracy McCully, Peggy Miller, B.J. Kellegan, Rosie Harris, Janice Hopkins, Joann Brandt, and Frank Cooper. Parents and concerned citizens of the Winston County community are welcome to join this committee. For meeting times and other information, please contact Frank Cooper at 662-736-2547. PAVE is affiliated with the Winston County Partners for Community Living (WCPCL).