Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the event is on Oct. 5, not Sept. 28.
McKinney ISD is looking to connect families with community resources on Oct. 5.
The district has scheduled a Fall Community Resource Night in an effort to connect families with local agencies that provide community services like early childhood resources, teen parent support and free health screenings.
Michael Winters, senior director of administrative services with McKinney ISD, said that while similar events have been hosted on specific campuses, the Oct. 5 event is the first of its kind to be hosted by the district.
The event is slated to include over 30 agencies that will offer a variety of services including rent and utility assistance, early childhood resources, grief counseling and support and free on-site COVID-19 vaccinations.
Plans have been in the works since August for the event but its inception goes all the way back to May. Winters said during the previous school year, the district noticed some attendance concerns: some students weren’t coming to school or weren’t fully engaged if they were attending virtually.
“What we discovered when we would meet with families was that there were a host of needs that they had, and our department felt that it was necessary to be able to provide a venue where people would know what’s out there, who’s available and just connect,” Winters said.
The concerns came during the previous school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a small percentage when you look at the total enrollment of the district, but enough to be concerned,” Winters said. “We had families that were dealing with issues that dealt with mental health, Issues that dealt with traumatic experiences. Some that had to deal with grief and things like that.”
Winters said the district reached out to local agencies, focusing on areas that seemed to have the biggest need. The event will include attendance from Minnie’s Food Pantry, which is expected to provide around 300 boxes of food.
The event is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 5 at 1201 E. Louisiana St.
“We want to be able to make sure that if there are basic needs that (families) have that need to be met and the district can help them meet those needs, whether it’s through the work of the district itself or whether it’s through connecting with community agencies, we wanted to help families improve and sustain the quality of life that they have,” Winters said.