The sweet spot in any engagement project is when it inspires grassroots involvement and leadership. That’s what has happened with the Auburn Community Cafes, a project that grew out of the ABC Cayuga project I am managing for the Allyn Foundation.
The ABC Cayuga project team identified the Cafes as key to its efforts to build social connections and social capital among Auburn parents. The Gavras Center and Auburn YMCA took the lead on writing and winning a state grant to recruit and train parents to run the Cafes, and to provide the parents with money to arrange for things like food and childcare at the Cafes themselves. Since then, the parent volunteers have completely taken over, making the Cafes their own.
Last night, the parent volunteers pulled off their second Cafe, which was a smash success, drawing about 60 participants and inspiring many meaningful conversations. Check out the Auburn Citizen’s great coverage, and congrats to the Auburn Community Cafe parent volunteers!