The past month, I have had the privilege to participate in Community Learning Center Coordinator interviews with Salt Lake City School District and Guadalupe Schools. The interview processes gave me plenty of time to really think about this role and its importance in advancing aligned, intentional work in communities.
The job description includes numerous tasks (a few of which are listed below), just like any other job description, but after reflecting a bit more, it truly dawned on me that this is one job that requires more than meets the eye!
-Work in partnership with school principal and staff
-Organize and staff CLC Leadership Committee
-Complete a school/community needs assessment
-Implement approved action plan by establishing partnerships, co-locating resources (within the schools), and connecting families and community residents to those resources
-Assist in collecting, evaluating, and reporting on outcomes
-Engage community members
A Coordinator requires a very mature set of soft skills that allow them to foster healthy relationships at all levels within a community, remain patient when chaos ensues, organize multitudes of partners, programs, services, and needs of said partners, all while maintaining an upbeat, energetic, positive attitude. Whew! And this is in addition to the required hard skills, such as computer and data knowledge, which are imperative for success in this position.
Sitting for hours at a time posing difficult questions to interviewees about assessing needs, developing relationships, and engaging the community raised my respect and appreciation for Center Coordinators to an entirely new level. The success of the Coordinator is directly correlated to the success of community impact work in a given neighborhood. This position is integral to linking resources to families and kids and to creating an open, welcoming environment where people can join with their communities to make them even greater places to live. This is a major task!
To all of those Center Coordinators, the ultimate “dot connectors” in neighborhoods, I’m honored to work with you!