LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — The city of Lake Worth Beach is recruiting parents, community members, and business owners to join an education task force. The group will help the city learn exactly what's happening in their schools and how they can help students succeed.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: State Of Education
"I think the potential for a positive impact is incredible," said Lake Worth Beach parent Christine Sylvain.
Sylvain is excited about a greater focus on education in her community.
"Having a dedicated team of people looking to bring in resources, to support students," Sylvain said. "There are plenty of students who come from under-resourced families in our community who are extremely bright who need maybe a little more incentive or support."
Sylvain has worked with many of them through her non-profit organization, Path To College, which supports those students in their journey to higher education. She sees the need for even more community involvement.
"This past year has been particularly devastating for our schools all over," said Palm Beach County School Board Member Erica Whitfield, who represents and lives in the area.
Whitfield has been pushing to create an education task force in Lake Worth Beach after watching the concept have success in other Palm Beach County communities.
"Lake Worth, particularly, has had a lot of struggles," Whitfield said. "A lot of immigrant families live here that have always needed extra help. We have a large homeless population here in Lake Worth Beach. So I feel like this is a perfect place for community support to rally around and put our arms around the children."
Newly-elected Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Kim Stokes has been key in getting the task force established. She's also a parent and former teacher at Lake Worth Community High School.
"I noticed that we didn’t have as much community involvement or parental involvement as some of our other schools out west," Stokes said. "So I just felt like it was really important to me. Education is my passion."
Stokes said the seven-member group representing each school in the city will report back to the city commission on specific issues they see so the commission can better advocate for students.
"Until we get into the schools and really have an understanding of what the needs are, we’re not going to be effective," Stokes said.
"There's just a lot of heart at the schools, a lot of really passionate people," said Sylvain, who hopes this task force will help bring that to light.
More than 20 people have already applied to be on the education task force.
Applications are due on Thursday, July 15 and interviews will take place on July 20. For more information and to apply, click here.