We’re on a mission…to raise the voice and really listen to what 6,000 parents have to say that really matters to their children and families.

The pandemic has led to both academic learning loss and traumatic disruption of relationships and routines for students, which we know will have a residual effect for years to come. There are multiple options for immediate tactical engagement – many of which are being pursued by different entities.

One of the greatest losses has been the disruption of relationships – within the family, at school and across the entire community. It has traumatized families and children and requires a long-term response. Restoration & maintenance of relationships, stability, learning, community – all need to be prioritized, where they were not before.

Families have always been the experts in their children’s lives, but they have spent the past 1.5 school years with them every day, all day, making this even more true now. Yet, many parents feel this is not recognized, and they see significant opportunity to improve the way nearly every system engages them.

To realize the opportunity from this crisis, and achieve transformational change, we need to understand what community members see as the essential elements of successful learning for their children, their families, in their schools, and in their neighborhoods.

While there are many urgent tactical needs, the system change that would have the most significant and lasting effect is one that ROC the Future can actually make happen: the positioning of parents as experts, customers and influencers at the table and driving decisions throughout change efforts. This change would be horizontal across child and family serving systems, and will affect all developmental stages, as we reemerge into in-person learning, and beyond.

Our Wildly Important Goal for this academic year:

By June 2020, ROC the Future will ensure that partner organization engage at least 6,000 families to ensure the year of reentry into in-person life for children is both responsive to their unfinished learning and the gateway to long-term transformation. Family engagement efforts will identify the essential elements of successful learning environments; decide on priority actions; and inform funding priorities.

This process has already begun, and our partners have begun to engage the families they serve in pursuit of our collective goal. Fundamental change like this won’t come easy. Yet, if Rochester achieves this goal, it will represent nothing less than a revolution. One that allows families to claim their rightful place – at the center of the learning and development journeys of their children.

For the Children,
Eldress Campbell