Colony Park- Back in School Again!!

Thriving Communities Everywhere. No Barriers. No Boundaries.

Colony Park — Back in School Again!!

Thriving Communities Everywhere. No Barriers. No Boundaries.

At Equidad we recognize that quality education — PK through career — is a key tool in eradicating generational poverty and systemic inequities. For many of our children in the Colony Park area it’s not just about excellent, caring teachers, knowledgeable and supportive administrators, it’s also about the absence of basic needs that most other Central Texans take for granted. Colony Park is not only in ATX’s Eastern Crescent — it is also in Travis County’s Vulnerable Population Footprint (VPN), an assessment of a geographic area with high concentrations of population living in poverty and without a high school diploma. Here is some data for Travis County’s VPN:

· 47% of the population under 18 years of age live in poverty

· 60% live at below 200% Federal Poverty level

· 35% have no high school diploma

· 66% Latinx

· 18% White

· 12% Black

· 2% Asian

Equity necessitates that students living in the VPN resources beyond pens and paper (old school). To have an equitable opportunity to attain college or career readiness, the students need a holistic support system. Well, in an effort to provide that system to the children of Colony Park, on August 2, 2019, the Colony Park Neighborhood Association and the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department and its partners, including Cortez Consulting, Central Health, Austin’s Yellow Bike Project, Capital Metro, CommUnityCare, 100 Black Men of Austin, Superior HealthPlan, RBI Austin, Austin Parks and Recreation, Catellus, Bella Beauty College: North Austin, Austin Public Health, Travis County Health and Wellness, UT Dell Medical School, Commissioner Jeff Travillion and Equidad ATX threw a back-to-school celebration for over 1000 children and adults at its annual Back-to-School Bash. Of course the celebration included food and games, but the students were blessed with treats to give them a head start on the new school year: free haircuts, backpacks stuffed will school supplies (700), sports physicals (41), vaccines (53), and bicycles (100). Basic necessities.

On August 2, 700 students and their parents felt and experienced the love of the Beloved Community. That Community wanted the students and parents to know that they are not alone in their battle for against the data points. VPN or not, the strategic partnership of the Beloved Community, excellent teachers, supportive administrators, parents and students will press on towards college and career readiness.

Equidad ATX is a catalyst for collaboration among neighborhood leaders and community stakeholders to accelerate holistic, equitable, transformative and sustainable neighborhood revitalization, and disrupt the structural cycle of generational poverty.