Austin Voices for Education and Youth creates community collaboration to strengthen families, support kids and improve schools. We believe our public schools can serve as powerful hubs for bringing neighborhoods, families and students together to achieve positive change.
Austin Voices focuses its programs in four strategic areas:
AVEY works with community stakeholders, including students, teachers/staff, parents and community members to support great education for all children. Efforts include community-based strategic planning and partner development.
Historically, Austin Voices has had Stand Up Clubs at various high school to develop student leadership. Currently, we are revamping the Stand Up concept and are looking to re-establish clubs in 2020. Currently, we support the Just Keep Livin’ programs at Northeast and Akins High Schools. AVEY also supports the Ambassadors leadership program at Eastside Memorial.
The goal of our Family Resource Centers is to strengthen at-risk families in order to support stable and successful students. AVEY 8 FRCs provide wraparound services for families, as well as adult/parent engagement and monthly community partner meetings.
Schools are strongly affected by local and state government. We help communities support public education through policy change. Our programs have mobilized thousands around the issues of public school funding and accountability/testing.
“Austin Voices for Education and Youth is the most successful model for building community schools that I’ve seen in my three-decades career in public education.”
Northeast Community Schools
AVEY has been working to transform schools in the St. John area of Austin since 2007, including Reagan (now Northeast) Early College High School, Webb Middle School, Dobie Middle School, Barrington, T. A. Brown, Hart and Pickle Elementary Schools. Through a grant with the TEA in 2018, AVEY also began workin with the remaining Northeast Vertical Team campuses (Graham, Walnut Creek, Webb Primary and Winn), focusing on expanding family supports and basic needs for families. AVEY believes in strong community-based school improvement, not cookie-cutter reforms that are brought in from the outside.
Navarro Community Schools
In Summer 2015, Austin Voices was awarded one of 11 federal Full-Service Community School 5-year $2.5 million grants to support four schools in the Lanier (now Navarro) HS feeder pattern: Navarro HS, Burnet MS, Cook Elementary and Wooldridge Elementary. The goal of the grant is to strengthen families, increase academic success for students and build community engagement for the Navarro Vertical Team. AVEY was also able to establish a new Family Resource Center at Navarro High School, in addition to its existing FRC at Burnet Middle School.
Eastside Vertical Team
In Spring of 2011, Austin Voices began working with Eastside Memorial High School to facilitate community and parent engagement, as well as strategic planning. In 2013, that work expanded to the whole vertical team of schools: Eastside Memorial HS, Martin MS, Allison ES, Brooke ES, Govalle ES, Metz ES, Ortega ES, and Zavala ES. In the winter of 2013, Austin Voices facilitated the community meetings that led to the selection of Talent Development Secondary/Johns Hopkins University to work with Eastside Memorial as an academic partner over the next three years. While AVEY is no longer formally funded by AISD to support the Eastside Vertical Team, we still stay involved through supporting events like Harvest Fest and STEAM Fest, directing the Family Resource Center at Martin Middle School, and advocating for individual campuses as opportunities arise.