Mariposa Avenue Elementary School celebrates grand opening of its Community Resource Center
While community members and families shopped racks of clothing and shelves of groceries during the grand opening of Mariposa Avenue Elementary School’s Community Resource Center on Oct. 21, Principal Kristin Finney noted the teamwork it takes to make a project of this size a reality.
“It really does take a village,” said Finney. “It wasn’t just me, it was our staff and it was our community partners, and just the energy of wanting to provide a space for the community.”
The resource center is meant to be a space for families and community members to walk in and utilize all the resources offered, and is open before and after school Monday through Friday, from 7:45 to 9 a.m. and 1:10 to 2:30 p.m. The resource center offers the community a workspace with free WiFi and printer access, a clothes closet, a food pantry, and includes a number of toys and books for parents needing to bring small children with them and who don’t have access to daycare.
First-grade teacher Emily Atchelik has already been able to use the resources in the community room for her families.
“I’ve already utilized the community room with some of my students, using the groceries that are offered,” said Atchelik. “It’s really handy to be able to send groceries home with a student if they need it, because it can be a hassle for some families to make it all the way to a food pantry.”
The grand opening celebration included a visit from community partners such as the Heights Church, REACH Area 6 neighborhood representatives, San Juan Unified Board President Dr. Michael McKibbin, and Citrus Heights Mayor, Porsche Middleton.
The school's community partners have been integral in the development of the resource center, helping out with donations of gently-used clothing, books and toys, and food, as well as donating time and resources such as paint or furniture to help finish the space.
Hoping to better serve the diverse community of Mariposa Avenue, there will be several liaisons to bridge the gap and make families feel welcome. Finney hopes that the resource center will also serve as an educational space for students to learn about the different cultures represented at school.
“Now we just need to grow it, and have it be a space in Citrus Heights where people feel welcome and know that they can get some support here,” said Finney.
More information on the community resource center can be found by calling (916) 971-5252.