Staff Attend Bridges Training

posted 7/14/21 -- The path to self sufficiency is different for everyone and it’s rarely a straight line.

LCCAA management administrative staff have spent some time this summer learning more about how to serve the families the agency serves.

More than 30 staff members have attended Bridges Out of Poverty training conducted by Client Services Specialist Amy Steele. The training covered hidden rules, the theory of change and how to guide clients in creating their future stories.

“Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead are designed to work together to create a solid foundation for communities to move people out of poverty,” Steele said. “Bridges training is typically for service providers, businesses, public officials and others. Getting Ahead is the piece we offer to individual clients who are ready to take the big – and small – steps that will change their futures.”

Sharon Henry, a family service worker supervisor with past experience in Bridges, said she hadn’t made the connection between the two programs before, although she has promoted both of them to Head Start families and partners.

“Most of the time, I recommend one or the other,” she said. “Now, I’ll talk about how they support one another.”

Tonya McKissack in LCCAA’s Human Resources Department said much of the information discussed reflected things she has seen in her own life and the world around her.

Head Start Site Supervisor Judie Emerine agreed.

“You picture where you are and how you’ve moved forward,” she said. “It’s helpful to put yourself in the story.”

Head Start Site Supervisor Alicia Risner said she had been aware of many of the issues discussed but in a more abstract sense. The statistics and other information presented made it more concrete.

“I’ve always heard that someone just making minimum wage can’t make it but this made it very clear,” she said. “I have just learned along the way that people do the best they can with what they have.”

The training conducted this month has been for management staff and employees at the administrative offices. Steele has scheduled training this fall for Head Start teachers. This training is available to the community. If your business or organization is interested, contact Steele at 440-204-3121 or [email protected]

“We cannot blame the victims of poverty for being in poverty,” Steele said. “We cannot continue to support stereotypes and prejudices about the poor.”