Partnerships crucial to easing educational pains of pandemic, ‘Let Us Dream’ conference concludes

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:55 PM EST
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(WBNG) -- Binghamton University, Broome-Tioga BOCES and other educators celebrated the community with a four-hour-long virtual “Let Us Dream Conference” on Friday.

The goal of the conference was to empower people of diverse groups to participate in building a better tomorrow, specifically in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants got the choice to break into one of three different panel discussions about education, health and socializing.

In the education panel, six local professionals from different perspectives went around to answer questions about schools after COVID and the healing process, and the impact it’s had on learning, mental and physical needs. Speakers noted the burnout rate is at an all-time high in schools.

One of the first questions was: What is the impact of federal funding?

Whitney Point Superintendent Jo-Ann Sexton, who was one of the panel speakers, shared her perspective from a rural, low-income area.

Sexton discussed some problems the school district has faced and what they’ve done in response, relating to other districts in the area.

Other speakers answered the question regarding the utilization of federal funding with positive reactions. They said it allowed purchasing additional resources and increase services to support new adjusted things. Districts shifting funds to new services. Partnering to sustain moving forwards when federal funding becomes unavailable.

One speaker said it helped to open the door for healing.

Another question was: What is happening to alleviate the trauma of the pandemic? Among the speakers, most of them stressed the importance that partnership has in combatting life and education during a pandemic.

Broome-Tioga BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Services & Leadership Kerri Bullock said there has been an increase in support resources across the districts linked to BOCES. She said it helped a lot.

“I think partnerships have been huge to be able to support the various needs of our students,” said Bullock. “During the pandemic, I think we’ve all had to rely on each other and work more collaboratively together.”

The conference was meant to provide an opportunity of sharing the varied community-service possibilities and intervention models that the local community is using for growth and improvement.

The conference is hosted by Binghamton University’s College of Community & Public Affairs, SUNY Broome Community College, Lourdes Hospital/Ascension, the Institute for Justice and Well-Being, the NYSED Central/Western Community Schools Technical Assistance Center, Binghamton University Community Schools and the Let Us Dream Organization.

Let Us Dream is a non-profit organization comprised of diverse programs for the holistic development of local community leadership.

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