Community Homeworks and Kalamazoo Literacy Council Partner to Empower Edison Neighborhood Residents
Some exciting things are brewing here in the Edison Neighborhood! The Kalamazoo Literacy Council (KLC) and a group of residents in the Edison Neighborhood are working together to transform their community into a learning neighborhood with the “EDISON: EDucation IS ON Project.” And now, Community Homeworks has been invited to join the effort as a community partner.
KLC and the group of residents have already completed classes on the area’s history and received tours of Western Michigan University’s campus. The project has shifted its focus to empowering the residents, who are now called the Edison Resident Scholars, with leadership skills and training them to become change-makers in the community.
One topic that has come up within the group is the need to address home repairs. The Resident Scholars recognized that many homes in the neighborhood are older and that home repairs can often be expensive and daunting. There was also a desire to be able to contact neighbors for advice regarding repairs. Community Homeworks received similar feedback from its participants and the two organizations partnered to try and create a solution.
The result? The emPOWERment Workshop Series! The staff at Community Homeworks used resources from their established Education Program to create 30-minute workshops that provide a peek into various topics and focus on household safety. CHW’s Education & Volunteer Coordinator, TiAnna Harrison, took the lead in creating the content for this new series.
“I created the program for people like me who needed an easier way to understand,” said Harrison. “I wanted to create a workshop that taught people how to stay safe and not get overwhelmed by the content.”
CHW’s Education Manager Jason Byler kicked off the first class, Electrical 101, with enthusiasm and small electrical props on July 27th. This workshop focused on providing a basic understanding of how electricity works in the home and highlighted ways to be safe with electrical usage. The Resident Scholars received handouts on common things to check for in their homes concerning electrical safety and were able to ask questions relating to their specific home needs. Future classes will include hands-on basic electrical training, understanding mold in the home, and drywall repair.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the partnership between Kalamazoo Literacy Council, Community Homeworks, and the Edison Neighborhood Resident Scholars!