Meeting families where they are: AAPS Access & Opportunity Team helps distribute food at Bryant Community Center


By Jo Mathis / AAPS news editor

The idea behind the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ Access and Opportunity (A & O) Team is to meet families right where they are to help decrease or eliminate barriers in their lives.

That’s why—on the first Wednesday of the month—the four-member A & O Team meets at the Community Action Network’s Bryant Community Center to help with the Food Gatherers food rescue.

The team also holds meetings with AAPS families at the center seeking additional resources from community organizations or McKinney-Vento services.

“As the community center is walking distance from the AATA bus line, many of our MV families attend the Food Gatherers food distribution at the center,” said A & O Team Director Terra Webster,  noting that MV families also have access to bus tokens and gas cards. “It’s quite common for the team to hold conferences with AAPS families while they’re waiting for their ‘shopping’ number to be called by the volunteers.”

The A & O Team also hosts a community closet or open house every first Thursday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon in the team’s office at Pathways to Success Academic Campus.”In addition to our team being available for parent meetings, we also have other community service reps available to assist AAPS families experiencing hardships,” said Webster, noting that they also provide clothing, toiletries and other basic items for families in need.

This year, the A & O Team has intervened on behalf of students to help them connect with community partners offering:

Auto repair
Insurance/license plates
Beds and bedding
Shelter/housing referrals
Counselor and therapist resources
School completion programs
Employment referrals
Immediate or continued enrollment in school

To reach out to the A & O team, contact:

Advocate George Brieloff,  734-997-3617;
Advocate Jason Gold, 734- 997-3622;
McKinney-Vento & Foster Care Liaison Alicia Maylone, 734- 997-3619;
District Administrator Terra Webster, 734-997-3616;

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