Academy Mobilizes Community Teams
Thirteen community teams met for three consecutive Wednesdays in Newton this July to learn about and initiate community development activities. The community teams were participating in the Community Development Academy, a collaborative program developed by K-State Research and Extension, USDA Rural Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, and the Kansas Department of Commerce. Dan Kahl, Liaison between KSRE and the Center for Engagement and Community Development, was one of the academy facilitators.
Community teams were asked to identify community assets, identify key stakeholder groups for projects, and to map out plans for their community development process. Participants also learned about 21st Century community leadership from Ron Wilson of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development, and were asked to take leadership initiative by pulling together a steering committee to begin their planning and action work. The workshop concluded with a resource fair of service and resource providers for community development.
After just three days of participation, the teams left the workshop having the materials and process knowledge to initiate and sustain a successful public engagement process for community development.