Project Director L. Sue Williams recently presented early results of Study Circle 1 to the Kansas Advisory Group in Topeka, Kansas. Here are just a few of the remarks.
RECOGNIZING that home is where our stories begin, OTOK set out to go where home is for western Kansans and their kids. Our mission is to work with local western Kansas communities to reduce the number of their youth at risk for involve-ment in the juvenile justice system.
INVOLVING more than 100 people, we conducted the first of a series of gatherings called study circles in five locations.
MORE than 2000 miles later, we highlight a few of the early results of this spectacular journey.
Each area Study Circle took on a distinct personality and the beginnings, at least, of a culture. This brings both challenges and opportunities.
The three-hour format and incremental timing into segments seems to work pretty well, with base structure while allowing for ample variation.
Each of the study circle groups meet in a sequence of gatherings, known as Study Circles 1 thru 4
Each group is coordinated by an objective facilitator, with support and resources provided by OTOK team members. Juvenile Justice Specialists are available for consultation. We loved spending time on Kansas roads and with western Kansas people.
A significant underlying theme, though not always overtly stated, is the pathways, tribulations, and outcomes for kids. We always bring it back to the kids.
Inevitably, bringing a diverse group of people together, with a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and opinions is challenging. Data work is hard work. Collaboration, coalition-building, capacity growth is extremely challenging, and people are tired. Tired was an unexpected theme.
Our hope is to always bring it back to the kids.