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Increase Awareness and Knowledge of Family Connection-Communities in Schools

Internship Project
HDFS 5910
Brianna Garcia

Project Summary
The project that I completed for my internship centered around improving the public
image of Family Connection-Communities in Schools by increasing the awareness and
knowledge of the agency and what the agency does. I accomplished this by creating, designing,
and editing several platforms in which FC-CIS uses to transmit information to the public and
potential stakeholders. The main aspect of my project is the redesign of the FC-CIS website. In
addition to the website, I also developed a newsletter that was sent out, and will be continued to
be sent out, to hundreds of community members. Aside from the online aspect of this project, I
edited the brochures used at conferences and related events, and developed a flyer to supplement
the short vocal descriptions given at such events.
The goal of these efforts was to make information about FC-CIS more understandable
and accessible to the public. In doing so, I hope to increase support and fundraising for the
mission, vision, and projects of the agency. This project fits with the agency’s current and longterm goals, which were to rebrand FC-CIS, which was formerly known as “Whatever it Takes”,
and to increase public awareness of the organization and what specifically the organization is
responsible for. I hope to better inform the public about what exactly this agency does and how
crucial it is to the Athens Clarke County and Clarke County School District communities.
Research shows that utilizing the tools of online relationship building can support the
promotion of an agency’s ideas and objectives (Williams & Brunner, 2010). The website and
newsletter that I developed utilized tools that were previously not being utilized by the agency.
The importance of being resourceful with websites and public relations functions cannot be
understated (Williams & Brunner, 2010). Previously, the website lacked cohesiveness and did
not very well convey what the organization does and how impactful the organization is. I added

in-depth information about the structure of the organization and the three things, or pillars, which
the organization had developed. I also redesigned the webpage to be more visually appealing by
changing the interface and adding more images and photographs. Websites have been proven to
be extremely important for non-profit organizations in that there is a lot of potential for
credibility to be gained through the visual representation of the website alone. Credibility gained
with such representations has been proven to engender participation in non-profit organizations.
It has also been shown that “credibility gained from a webpage design may only be as good as
the designs that surround it” and that building credibility “appears to be dependent upon the
design itself” (Kensicki, 2003).
These same principles can also be applied to the newsletter that I created, which
highlights several of the current accomplishments and happenings of the organization itself. My
goal was to keep the public up to date with what is happening at FC-CIS and with what other
organizations FC-CIS is working with. Keeping donors, stakeholders, and community members
in the know will continue to increase support and networking. Research has shown that it is vital
for “organizational members, donors, and volunteers to know what the non-profit is doing” and
“for them to know with what other organizations the non-profit is interacting with” (Williams &
Brunner, 2010).
In addition to fitting the needs of the agency and community, my project also addresses
departmental objectives, personal learning objectives, and CFLE competencies. I have been able
to contribute knowledge related to optimal individual and family functioning throughout the
lifespan by contributing in meetings and brainstorming with strategic action teams, committees,
and other colleagues. I have also been able to present high quality written and oral presentations
with the material I developed at conferences and in meetings. My work on the website,

newsletter, and other materials supports the programs and initiatives that support optimal
development, especially pertaining to early childhood education. As for my personal learning
objectives, I have been able to learn how to work and maintain websites, e-mail blasts, and other
platforms of communication. I have additionally been able to apply knowledge of the agency,
connect with the community, and have created ways for FC-CIS to be even more interactive and
communicative with the community.
The collaboration that occurs within FC-CIS touches on all areas of the CFLE; including
families in society, internal dynamics of families, human growth and development, human
sexuality, interpersonal relationships, family resource management, parenting education and
guidance, family law and public policy, and ethics. We work with multiple different
organizations and have over 100 partners that work in the Athens-Clarke County community and
Clarke County School District. Each of these areas are covered by multiple agencies that we
work with and are discussed at various Strategic Action Team meetings and committee
meetings.
I intend for my project to be sustainable and utilized every day. My goal is for the
website and public relation materials to convey what it is FC-CIS does and for the newsletter to
highlight specific things FC-CIS is currently involved in. The general public will utilize my
project when they are looking at this non-profit. Future interns and colleagues will also continue
to utilize this project by updating the website frequently, and creating and distributing new,
current newsletters.

Visual Aid
For my visual aid aspect of my project and presentation, I will compare the updated
version of the website to a PDF file of what the old website looked like. During the presentation,
I will split my laptop screen to where students can compare the new website and the format of
the old website. This is the link to the new website: http://fc-cis.org. This can be compared to the
old format. The screen is intended to be set up as follows:

In addition to redesigning the website, I also edited the brochure used for FC-CIS and
developed a concise flyer to be used at conferences and events. The goal of both the brochure
and flyer is to provide a general outline of the agency, because it is such an intricate and complex
organization. The brochure is meant to be handed out to people and the flyer is meant to stay in
place and serve as a visual for the speech. I will incorporate these visual aids into my activity and
use them as the handouts. For the activity itself, I will demonstrate the “elevator speech” I
scripted for conferences and events, since I was responsible for presentencing FC-CIS on several
occasions. I will have the flyer next to me during the speech, as a visual aid. At the end of the
short speech, I will provide the audience with the brochure, which contains more in depth
information that they can read and ask questions if need be. I will then invite me peers to ask me
questions about the agency, in similar fashion to how attendees ask questions at conferences and
related events.

Visual Aid & Handout For Activity – Flyer

Family Connection-Communities in Schools of Athens is a partnership of
more than 100
n organizatios w orking with families to improve outcomes
for all children in Athens. More than 40 programs have been created in
Athens through our planning process.

We do whatever it takes as a community working together for the
success of all of our children!
Collaboration
FC-CIS is a partnership of more than 100
n
organizatio s. We emphasize:
n
Preventio an d early
n interventio
Identif
y inn
g, training, and engaging parents
as neighborhood leaders and full partners
Creating a results accountable framework
through which stakeholders design,
implement, and evaluate solutio s for
childhood success

Site Coordinators in the Schools
Our CIS site coordinators work in the schools to
connect students and families to crucial
community resources and services to meet their
needs.

Neighborhood Leaders
Our Neighborhood Leaders program provides
training and support to bring parents and other
caregivers to the table as full partners in working
to improve outcomes for all children in the
Athens community.

Handout – Brochure
Teen
Pregnancy Is
Down By 67%!
“This is the most important thing going on in our
community.”
– Mayor Nancy Denson
“This is probably the best thing I’ve ever done
personally and professionally, and it’s the best thing
that’s happened to the District.”
– Clarke County School Superintendent
Phil Lanoue

Substantiated Child
Abuse & Neglect is
Down By 88%!

Doing whatever it takes for the success
of all children in Athens!

“It has taught me that you’re never too old to learn,
and you’re never too young to learn.”
– Neighborhood Leader Shawanda Johnson
“The most effective crime prevention program in
Athens is Family Connection’s work to prevent teen
pregnancy.”
– Police Chief Jack Lumpkin
“. . . the strongest reduction in dropout rates of any
existing fully scaled dropout prevention program
that has been evaluated.”
– ICF International
“It works because of the team, because of everyone
pulling together.”
– Clarke Middle School Site Coordinator
Lindsey Cavin
“In all areas, I feel that my school is doing a better
job at building partnerships with our families and
our overall community. My CIS coordinator is
responsible for that progress. No doubt about it.”
– Clarke Middle School Principal Tad MacMillan
“Family Connection-Communities In Schools does
vital work at the neighborhood and school level,
augmenting and improving life prospects for less
advantaged children and addressing their needs
outside of school.”
– Bertis Downs, Flagpole magazine

Clarke County students have achieved the
LARGEST REDUCTION IN THE
ACHIEVEMENT GAP OF ANY SCHOOL
DISTRICT IN GEORGIA, with all subgroups
improving significantly.

COLLABORATION

FAMILY CONNECTION-COMMUNITIES IN
SCHOOLS OF ATHENS
Post Office Box 1904
Athens, Georgia 30603-1904
706-369-9732
info@fc-cis.org
fc-cis.org

We are Family Connection-Communities In
Schools of Athens and we do whatever it takes as
a community working together for the success of
all of our children!

SITE COORDINATORS

NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERS

Reference List
Kensicki, L. J. (2003). Building Credibility for Non-Profit Organizations through Webpage
Interface Design. Journal of Visual Literacy, 23(2). Retrieved from http://proxyremote.galib.uga.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com.proxyremote.galib.uga.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=12939244&site=eds-live
Williams, K. B. & Brunner, B. R. (2010). Using cultivation strategies to manage public
relationships: A content analysis of non-profit organisations’ websites. Prism 7(2).
Retrieved from
http://www.prismjournal.org/fileadmin/Praxis/Files/Journal_Files/Williams_Brunner.pdf