KIPP Corazón Academy (KCA) elementary school is known for having a deeply connected school community. At the center is the Family Leadership Council (FLC), which has been pivotal in fostering a strong sense of belonging among students, families, teachers, team members, and community members since the school’s founding in 2017.
Since its inception, the FLC has demonstrated how important it is to have an engaged school community to ensure the academic success and overall well-being of our KIPPsters. The FLC—which started with five dedicated members—currently has 20 active members that meet monthly to plan and execute events and fundraisers for the entire school community. The FLC also has a GroupMe group chat with over 50 engaged parents and holds yearly elections for president, fundraising chair, and communications chair positions to ensure the council operates smoothly and efficiently.
FLC members volunteering at this year's Corazón Carnival
To help with recruitment efforts, teachers share the FLC’s mission of building a strong school community culture with parents during Open House events to inspire them to get involved. Each homeroom also has a designated parent representative who attends the monthly meetings to help coordinate efforts with teachers to help maintain FLC involvement.
School Leader Michelle Cornejo (who started as a founding KCA teacher) and Business Operations Manager Carolina Hernandez (a founding KCA parent) began overseeing the FLC in 2020. Because of their backgrounds, they recognized the importance of involving parents in campus events, so they started actively involving members in planning school events, such as door decorating competitions, heritage month celebrations, and classroom potlucks.
FLC members Rubi Flores (left) and Pricilla Esquivel (right) at this year's Corazón Carnival
The council quickly embraced its new role at KCA and introduced two signature FLC events, including the Corazón Community Tianguis, an open-air market made up of community vendors, and the Corazón Carnival, an end-of-the-year celebration for students that includes games, inflatables, food, and petting zoos.
In addition to its signature events, the FLC was responsible for fundraising and hosting events like Muffins with Mentors and Truck-or-Treat. This year, the FLC raised over $13,000 in chocolate sales and provided complimentary breakfast and lunch for KCA educators during Teacher Appreciation Week.
FLC members (left) volunteering at this year's Muffins with Mentors event (right)
The FLC illustrates how impactful it is for an engaged school community to work together to create joyful, academically excellent schools for our KIPPsters. What began as a small group of parents coming together to organize fundraisers has grown into a group that empowers parents, promotes family engagement, and creates memorable experiences for the entire school community.
Programs like KCA’s Family Leadership Council are just one of the numerous ways KIPP SoCal is committed to creating school communities grounded in love.