BRYAN, Texas — The past three years residents have dealt with COVID-19, staff shortages, job losses, natural disasters, inflation, and more. However one woman is addressing a fact that everyone is well aware of: people are still struggling.
Shanette bates is the President of Jane Long Intermediate School's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Since classes have resumed, her students have shared how difficult it's been for their families to get back into the swing of things.
As a result, she along with other Jane Long PTO staff have created what she hopes to become a series, called 'Progress Toward Wellness'. The program recently held their first two-hour workshop Friday evening.
"They need help," said Bates. "It's hitting a lot of the kids hard and they're trying to find themselves and their identities, so we want to take a moment just to acknowledge that's where they're at in life and help them out."
She shared how it will give children a safe space to talk about the problems they're facing. However, it's not just the students she wants to know aren't alone.
"Things such as bullying, inclusion, online safety, domestic violence in the home, things that kids are dealing with in their everyday bases," said Bates. "We have resources set up for the parents to kind of help with the stability within their home that way they can work towards that wellness, work towards it and start here and we can get further with it."
Several community groups, programs and leaders like SARC, Brazos Valley Blessings, Scotty's House, and many more came to show their support and offer resources to families that were in attendance.
"It's not just focusing on mental health but physical health, financial health. You know all the things our community can grow from," said Brazos Valley Blessings Found Amber Robertson.
They do it all in hopes that they can build up their local community for the better.