The Hamilton School Initiative was created based on the level of need within the student population and the neighborhood. Hamilton Elementary School’s mission is, “Engage. Educate. Empower.” They do this using responsive, collaborative care to create healthier youth and families.

The initiative empowers people of all ages to achieve personal growth, which looks different for everyone within a school setting. Hamilton is working to close the achievement and opportunity gap for children by working with parents within the community.

In 2019, a grant from the Women’s Fund was used to create a weekend camping/nature experience for six families. The experience provided educational opportunities for both parents and children. Over 30 children participated in the camp.

The camp used the Circles of Security model for families, and Coulee Connections, teachers and other staff facilitated the camp. The mothers who attended the camp had many a-ha moments as they learned and engaged with their children during the camp experience. Many of the children have asked to return again.

Families who attended the camp have become empowered and formed healthy connections. Hamilton School is woven into the fabric of the community, and it is important for families to be heard. Listening to their needs directly, rather than what others feel they need, has contributed to the program’s success..

Since the camp, families have taken the initiative and felt empowered to help each other when they are able.

Hamilton’s environment and culture are welcoming. Inviting everyone in broadens the sense of community by making and strengthening relationships. These relationships create an opportunity for change. Everyone is encouraged to voice their ideas to achieve systemic changes that eliminate barriers and obstacles.