KIPP DC is proud to celebrate the contributions of our parents in the community with the KIPP DC Parents of Purpose spotlight. This month we’re spotlighting two Connect Academy parents, AQuia Bratcher and Crystal Vaughn! They’re both instrumental to the strength of Connect Academy’s school community by running their KIPP Parent Organization (KPO) and playing vital roles inside the classroom.
Ms. Bratcher was a passionate advocate for KIPP DC as a parent volunteer for four years before joining KIPP DC in the summer of 2018. Ms. Vaughn has been with KIPP DC for five years, first as an assistant teacher before transitioning to being a Resident in the Capital Teaching Residency program, and finally assuming her current role as a creative workshop teacher. Both help run Connect Academy’s KPO, whose goal is to strengthen the partnership between parents, teachers, and school leaders, improve communication, generate ideas for activities for the school community, and ultimately give parents a voice.
“Our parents are dedicated to their students’ education and want to see the school be successful,” said Crystal. “We all come up with ideas together during our meetings because we want to see the school have fun events for students and we want to see our babies be successful in life.”
Helping students be successful in life also means being ready to offer assistance to our parents when they need it, which the Connect Academy KPO has done through a variety of means. “We’ve had parents that wanted resume help, so I’ve personally assisted in helping create resumes and practice mock interviews,” said AQuia.
“We’ve hosted events that offered low-cost haircuts and hairstyles for children. We also partnered with the KIPP Through College & Career team to host a forum for parents with information on college and careers.”
Ultimately, the goal of KPO’s across KIPP DC is to empower our parents and work together to impact student outcomes positively. “I feel like our parent organizations offer the opportunity to put your imprint on your child’s education,” AQuia remarked. “When you drop your child off, they are walking into a different world than what you have at home, so it’s important to unify those two worlds.”
Crystal added, “The more parents are involved in their child’s education, the more successful they will be because they see that they care and want them to be successful. Growing up my mom was always extremely involved in my education, and I knew I wanted to do the same.”
Parents wanting to join a KPO at their child’s school can get involved by reaching out to these points-of-contact at their child’s school:
Arts & Technology Academy: Trinika McClain or JoAnne Pelzer
Connect Academy: AQuia Bratcher
Discover Academy: Joel Frye
KEY Academy: Kenya King
KIPP DC College Preparatory: Vincent Rawlings
Lead Academy: Trisha Boyd
Northeast Academy: Kim Cooper
WILL Academy: Shari Daniel
If your school is not listed, reach out to Brandon Best, and he will help guide your next steps.