Approximately 35 people attended the first "Community Conversation" hosted by Project HOPE recently. The event focused on ways the school and community could work together to close achievement gaps for students.

Project HOPE has first 'Community Conversation'

Project HOPE held its first "Community Conversation" in Newcomerstown on Thursday, July 30, with approximately 35 area residents attending the event. Participants held small group discussions that focused on ways the school and community could work together to close achievement gaps for students.

Erin Peoples, Project HOPE coordinator, said she was very pleased with the turn out.

"I am very excited about the ideas and enthusiasm that was generated at our first Community Conversation," she said. "We had a wide range of people attend, residents, parents, school employees, business leaders, service organizations and clergy members."

The Project HOPE organizing team will be meeting in mid-August to analyze information gained from the Community Conversation. They will focus on three or four priorities to move forward with and will begin planning a second

Community Conversation where participants will formulate a plan that focuses on those priorities.

"We have a lot of ideas to work with," Peoples said. "Now we will narrow down those ideas so we can focus on what actions we can take to bridge the gap between our school and community."

Everyone is welcome to participate in the next Community Conversation.

For information, contact Peoples at 498-9433.

The event was paid for with a grant received by the Newcomerstown Teachers' Association through the Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association.