Community Family Resource Open House attracts hundreds

Forest Jones

by Shawn Nowlin

Roanoke Valley students and their parents were invited to participate in the Third Annual Community Family Resource Open House at the Salem Civic Center on March 9. The event lasted approximately two hours and attracted roughly 250 pupils and their guardians. Representatives from more than 25 businesses and organizations were on hand to answer questions on a variety of topics.

The main objective of the gathering was to provide an opportunity for local families to come to one location and speak with different representatives while learning about all of the available resources.

As Director of School Based Services with Intercept Health, Hattie Savage is responsible for managing licensed and licensed-eligible clinicians who provide mental health services within school settings to students ranging from Pre-K to high school. It was Dr. Randy Jennings, Executive Special Education Director, who invited Savage to Monday’s Open House.

David Butler, Youth Adult Services Manager and Technology Instructor at the Salem Public Library, emphasized upcoming programs to many parents that he spoke to. “It was great to see how many community resources Roanoke Valley and our great school system has to offer our citizens,” he said.

Local resident Cindy Wingfield has three kids in elementary school. Her favorite part about Monday’s Open House was seeing her children and their classmates perform children’s’ songs. “It’s important that events like this exist because there is a ton of information available.”

The Salem Museum is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Assistant Director Alex Burke explained to attendees that the museum holds five floors of interactive, family-friendly exhibits.

“We have been in attendance for the past three years to share with families what we offer to the community,” he said. “We provide our visitors with an understanding of centuries of local history. We make history come alive,  are an important resource for students in all grades.”

Dr. Forest Jones, director administrative services, Salem City Schools, adamantly believes that Open Houses are vital to the community.

“I’m thankful to the representatives of numerous organizations that took time out of their busy schedules to come out and support our families and give them information about resources they may not have known about otherwise,” said Jones.