Regional Community Engagement Coach, Miss Amy Dunn, Connects with Families Across Pennsylvania

Posted by PA Distance Learning on 10/18/21 8:22 AM

 

Miss Amy Dunn arrived at PA Distance with a wealth of experience. With an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of Tampa and a B.S. in Early Childhood and Special Education from the California University of Pennsylvania, Miss Dunn brings substantial knowledge to the new Community Engagement team at PA Distance. Her role as a Community Engagement Coach takes her to cities and towns across Pennsylvania, with a focus on Central Pennsylvania, where our PA Distance families live and work. 

Miss Dunn returned from Tampa, Florida after working with special education students for the past 6 years to be closer to family.  After moving back to Pennsylvania, she began working with PA Distance as the Academic Liaison supporting families and building partnerships with community organizations across the state. During this time, she gained a love for working with families and specifically, those who require additional support to be successful. This interest led her to her new role at PA Distance as a member of the Community Engagement Team.

The PA Distance Community Engagement team was officially formed in the 2020-2021 school year and facilitates open communication between families while offering ongoing support when they need it. As a Regional Community Engagement Coach within the Community Engagement team, Miss Dunn is the bridge between families' needs and academic performance.

"I work to provide families with the services they need and ensure that the academic programs work alongside the social services to make sure the students and families are successful," Miss. Dunn explained. “If students have a safe and supportive environment at home, that directly correlates to their academic success. I work closely with our social worker, Ms. Timmerman, to help families in need.” 

In addition to working remotely with our students at PA Distance, Miss. Dunn focuses on traveling (in the brand new PA Distance Community Connector Vans) to meet families in person, too. 

“We bring special activities and events to the families so they can get involved within their communities and add enrichment to their student’s learning outside of the classroom,” she said. 

From events throughout the state to internal staff training sessions, the opportunities are endless. She continues to be heavily engaged in creating relationships with organizations across the state, like YMCAs, sporting events, STEM workshops, and other enrichment opportunities across Pennsylvania. 

“Our team has a really rich multi-cultural and poverty awareness and we want to bring professional learning opportunities and training to the staff at PA Distance. We want to increase academic engagement among these groups of students,” Miss Dunn explained. “We are currently partnering with a diverse variety of organizations across the state to do so.”

Currently, Miss Dunn and the rest of the Community Engagement Team, have been working with the school principals to plan the latest Open House on October 21, 2021. This year, PA Distance is hosting one virtual and two in-person open houses at our office in Pittsburgh, PA, and at a separate location in Philadelphia, PA. This year's theme is focused on building connections within the communities in which our students live. 

“We are super excited to connect with our students and our families at the Open House and other in-person events this year in order to truly embrace this school year’s theme- Community Connections Matter,” she explained.

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