As the Public Information Officer at the Center School District, Prairie Village resident Kelly Wachel has watched at-risk youth who statistics say shouldn’t succeed in school do just that.
And the district’s successes in producing high-achieving students from underserved communities is the subject of Wachel’s new book, “Parents and Schools Together: Blueprint for Success with Urban Youth.” Though Wachel had experience writing for journals and some other smaller publications, “Parents and Schools Together” was her most extensive and challenging writing project.
“The book happened because we felt that our school district’s story had to be written,” Wachel said. “We’ve had so much success as an urban (majority minority and majority free-and-reduced-lunch) district and we wanted to show that urban schools can do it… I felt it was my responsibility to help tell the story.”
Wachel said she hopes the book, which took 10 months to write, will serve as a benchmark for others hoping to make change in urban schools.
“[A]ll kids in our communities are our kids,” she said. “We are responsible for helping all kids learn at high levels. Poverty and high minority populations might not be in our backyards, but they are certainly in our greater community, and it benefits all of us if we understand that we are all linked in some way. I hope readers will learn that it takes all of us working together to produce high achieving students.”
As part of her book’s release, Wachel will be having a book signing party at Rainy Day Books in Fairway on Wednesday.