Community centers, students partner to create win-win for all

Published on April 25, 2022

a group photo

Fort Worth’s Park & Recreation Department has joined with the Fort Worth Independent School District to create a new opportunity that benefits students and Fort Worth’s community center staff.

FWISD is providing special education training for city employees. The city offers students volunteer opportunities that can be exchanged for a community center fitness membership.

FWISD will provide a variety of special education trainings for city community center staff members. Topics include classroom management; techniques to engage children with autism, attention deficit disorders and defiant disorders; and de-escalation techniques.

The city, in return, is offering gold-level fitness center memberships at no charge for FWISD Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities students and graduates who complete a minimum number of volunteer hours.

This partnership will create successful, inclusive environments for city and FWISD staff, community members and students by promoting community connections, social outreach, training and development opportunities. Program activities will support social-emotional behavioral development for the volunteering students.

“This is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Kelli Pickard, assistant director of Fort Worth Park & Recreation. “Our staff receives beneficial training, FWISD’s student volunteers get on-the-job training while developing relationships in the community, and then get to enjoy the reward of a free membership. Our staff is not only grateful and excited about the trainings, but they are also looking forward to working with the students.”



Photo: R.D.Evans Community Center hosted the first Gold Club volunteers in March. Supervised students created volunteer accounts on a computer, toured the facility, received an orientation, then got to work. Afterwards, the center staff provided a snack for volunteers.



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