medium_SCRA_logomark_4col.jpg

The
Community
Psychologist

Volume 53   Number 1 Winter 2020

School Intervention Interest Group

Edited by Adam Voight, Cleveland State University

Re-Launch of the SCRA School Intervention Interest Group

Written by Sara Stacy, Michigan State University and Adam Voight, Cleveland State University

Background on the School Intervention IG and current role and mission

We are very excited to announce the “relaunch” of the SCRA School Intervention Interest Group. The current mission of the group is to promote interchange about the theories, methods, knowledge base, and setting factors pertaining to prevention and health promotion programs in schools; to discuss the role of community psychology interventions in the context of current issues facing schools and education. The group has been somewhat dormant the past few years, but the 2019 Biennial has breathed some new life into the group.

Meet the Co-Chairs

Sara T. Stacy is a doctoral student at Michigan State University in the Ecological-Community Psychology program and focuses on community and youth mobilization in pursuit of educational justice. She uses Community Psychology theory, methods, and approaches for bridging relationships between schools, community organizations, and the communities they serve. A core feature of this work is to establish participatory processes for equitable decision-making within schools to develop educational systems that meet the needs of the community. She currently serves as an external evaluator for a district-wide implementation of Full-Service Community Schools and co-chairs a community coalition of health and human service organizations focused on partnering with the local school district to address education and youth issues. Her dissertation will identify strategies for enhancing youth voice in decision-making within Full-Service Community Schools.

Adam Voight is an associate professor at Cleveland State University where he also directs the Center for Urban Education. He earned his Ph.D. in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt University. Adam has been a Leadership Development Fellow in SCRA and has been active in SCRA for over ten years. His research is fundamentally interested in K-12 schools’ roles in perpetuating, exacerbating, and remediating social, economic, and political inequities. He has conducted a range of community-collaborative research on school climate and youth civic engagement, including youth participatory action research.

Relaunching the Interest Group

Given their relevant interests and experience in school-based research, intervention, and practice, both Sara and Adam want to support collaboration and connections among like-minded individuals within SCRA. At the 2019 SCRA Biennial, Sara hosted a roundtable to gather individuals working in, with, and for schools to discuss common challenges and directions for the future. Within this roundtable, many attendees expressed interest and excitement for re-launching the School Intervention Interest Group. Following this roundtable, Sara began to explore how this group could be relaunched within SCRA. This led her to connect with Adam, who had expressed interest in reestablishing this group to SCRA Leadership. Together, they worked with Jean to officially relaunch the group as co-chairs! 

Since the relaunch, the School Intervention Interest Group has hosted two Zoom calls. In our first call, we introduced the relaunch and discussed the possibilities and future of this group. In this call, we determined that hosting regular meetings for our group would be a helpful way to get started. Dr. Mariah Kornbluh from University of South Carolina graciously offered to lead our second call, in which we she led a discussion on establishing relationships and partnerships with schools.

Another critical component of our Interest Group relaunch was to establish a pathway for connecting with individuals interested in school-based work within SCRA. To do so, we have developed an email listserv and a website page within SCRA. We aim to use both online tools for growing our network, sharing relevant resources, and promoting collaboration among SCRA members.

Where we might go from here

In our initial discussions this summer and fall, we have imagined several ways forward for the work of group in the short and long term. These include organizing a journal special issue, either in a community psychology journal or in an education research journal. If the latter, we have discussed articulating and demonstrating the value of community psychological theory and methods to the larger field of education research. There have also been discussions about writing policy briefs, infographics, and other products to highlight education issues through a community psychology lens. In addition to writing tasks, we have discussed how the group might contribute to programming at the 2021 SCRA Biennial and how the group might curate resources related to school focused research.

Get involved!

The School Intervention Interest Group would be delighted to have you join our community of individuals conducting school-based work from a Community Psychology perspective. We hope to use the Interest Group to promote collaboration, resource sharing, networking, knowledge exchange to inform the future of school-based work in our field. We invite you to join our group and help us create a space that is meaningful and supportive to many.

To get involved there are several steps you can take today, including:

  1. Sign up for the School Intervention Listserv: Contact Jean Hill (jeanhill@scra.org) to join our email listserv. This will keep you updated on future calls, events, and resources. Additionally, we invite our members to use the listserv to spark email conversations as necessary or desired.
  2. Join our Monthly Calls: We will be hosting monthly Zoom calls to build and grow our Interest Group community. We intend to use these calls to explore cross-cutting issues and themes in school-based work, troubleshoot challenges, brainstorm solutions, and develop relationships and collaboration. If you have a topic you’d like to explore in a future call, please contact the co-chairs or present your ideas in our next call.
  3. Join the School Intervention Interest Group Executive Committee: By growing our Executive Committee, we can increase our capacity to accomplish activities as an Interest Group. If you’d like an opportunity to be involved in a leadership position within our Interest Group, please contact the co-chairs to let us know how your skills and interests might be well suited within a leadership position.

For additional information, please contact the School Intervention co-chairs, Sara Stacy (stacysar@msu.edu) and Adam Voight (a.voight@csuohio.edu).