(Riverton, WY) After several discussions and meetings on the subject of poverty alleviation, Fremont County School District #25 recently announced “Circles USA Fremont County: Building Community to End Poverty”, officially launching on January 10, 2023.
In April of this year, FCSD #25 held an orientation-style “Creative Thinking” meeting introducing Circles USA, with Lisa Ammons of UniteUS assisting in the instigation of a process and program addressing the issue of poverty in the schools and community and forming a network of local and area providers and resources. Since this initial meeting, there have been a series of online meetings with discussion points on the elements of Circles USA, and how the district would be proceeding.
Over the past six months, Ammons, along with FCSD #25’s Poverty Alleviation Systems (PAS) Facilitator Terri Hays, sent out meeting invites and updates to providers and those interested in participating and volunteering in Circles USA.
“It’s about intentional relationships across income lines. Middle- and high-income families enjoy networks of support through their jobs, schools, and neighborhoods; families living in poverty rarely have the resources and knowledge to develop these needed networks. Many who live in poverty are hardworking and motivated individuals and families; when a circle of support is formed around them, advice is offered, and contacts are shared, the fears that keep people in poverty start to disappear.”
The mission of Circles USA Fremont County “is to reduce poverty throughout Fremont County by establishing social networks and friendships, and creating a community who cares and supports our families through their journey to self-sustainability.” Now a part of the nationwide Circles USA network, those interested in what the program is about can be found on the FCSD #25 page at fremont25.org/page/circles-usa. Teams have been and are currently being formed, which include Circles Leaders, Allies, Community Team, Resource Teams, Recruitment Team, Services Team, Jobs and Education Team, Big View Team, and Meals.
“Most volunteers, from Allies to Resource Teams, on average spend 3-5 hours a week….maybe more, maybe less at times. This is manageable and not too tasking for our volunteers. All materials, meals, and so forth are paid by Circles. All volunteers are trained by Circles, and require a background check if working directly with families.”
“Meals are important! Enjoying dinner TOGETHER and socializing at our weekly meetings is part of what makes Circles successful. We rely on community partners, members, and local restaurants to contribute. You can help make a difference by contributing to the weekly meals. We are currently in search of meal sponsors in our community, whether it be a group or organization who would like to prepare a meal and serve it, or perhaps would like to donate a meal and have the Circles Team serve it, or maybe a monetary donation to purchase meals. You can find a meal sponsor sign-up on our webpage.”
Circles Fremont County will kick off on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 at Rendezvous Elementary School. There will be a dinner provided from 5:45-6:30 p.m., with programming for participants afterward. Youth activities will be provided by the Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming for school-age children.
For more information on how to participate as a provider or be a volunteer with Circles USA Fremont County, contact Terri Hays at 307-856-9407 ext 5025, 307-851-2149 or e-mail [email protected]