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Kindred Spirit Vol. 9 (Spring 2020)

“[Participating in this group] has reminded me that in times of crises, some people are more affected than others, usually to a greater extent if they are people of color, have lower incomes, less access to “resources” in the broad sense of the term. It has also reminded me that I am not alone.”

— Participant, Ward 1 dialogue group

Our work is more important than ever

During this time of shared vulnerability, Kindred‘s work is more important than ever. As our public social safety net strains under the increased burden, it further reveals significant flaws in supporting access for all residents to basic needs of food, shelter, education and healthcare, Kindred is redoubling its efforts to build a human social safety net to help. Over the past two weeks, we have:

  • Surveyed over 100 families about their needs and identified ways to connect them to each other for enduring support, as well as to available resources
  • Created a fund to raise money to purchase laptops, as well as collected and redistributed technology to families without devices to support online learning
  • Created a Facebook group for Kindred participants and alumni to share resources and needs with one another
  • Shifted our dialogue groups to an online platform so that parents and school staff may continue to meet and support one another
  • Facilitated online processing space for any family needing emotional support during these stressful times
  • Equity committees at our partner schools have leapt into action, gathering food gift cards, technology and working with families to ensure their needs are met

Kindred will continue to identify innovative ways to help families connect directly with one another to deepen empathy and support one another during this time.

Help us bridge the digital divide

Kindred is collecting donations to provide Chromebooks and tablets for families in need. Kindred couples tech distribution with personalized tech support by matching families with tech knowledge to those without. We are pleased to share that we have collected 16 laptops so far thanks to generous individual donors and the Education Trust, which provided gently used laptops to be given to families without them. Dozens of additional families and school leaders have asked for devices.

How your donation will be used:

  • $100 will purchase a tablet (good for early learners)
  • $250 will purchase a Chromebook (necessary for older learners)

Would you please consider making a financial donation or donating devices you or your business are no longer using? Donations of any amount will be gratefully accepted. Please also share this request with others in your network. Thank you!

Kindred releases programmatic survey

Each year since its founding, Kindred has enlisted an external evaluator to assess the impact of our work in schools. We are pleased to share the evaluation from our 2018-19 programmatic year. The evaluation found that 94% of participants were highly likely to recommend participation in a dialogue group to another parent. Additional findings include:

Parents reported that participation in the dialogue group:

  • Changed their behavior, by actively creating more relationships with other parents that were deeper and with a more diverse group of parents
  • Caused them to become more reflective about their own assumptions and behavior towards people who are different from them
  • Increased their involvement in efforts to improve educational equity in the school

Principals attributed Kindred’s work to:

  • Parents being more engaged with each other as a result of participating in the dialogue groups
  • Increased parent-driven activities and advocacy happening in their schools since Kindred started working with their parents
  • Kindred parents are more focused on equity for all students when they engage with the principal

Let’s stay connected!

Pre-social distancing, Kindred families and staff celebrated their hard work together at WinterFest. We find joy in connecting, and we would love to stay connected with you! Please follows us on Twitter and Facebook by clicking the hyperlinked words or the icons below.

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