#KusiekChats – Riverbend ROCKS
Education Grounded in Community: Riverbend ROCKS
As part of the #KusiekChats series about Education Grounded in Community, Ward F public school board trustee candidate Julie Kusiek is joined by Vanessa Desa and Deann Stein Hasinoff of Riverbend ROCKS.* This incredible Edmonton organization shows how vital connections between school and community are for helping students to thrive. Join us as they tell us about Riverbend ROCKS. We’ll talk about how to strengthen school and community connections across Edmonton Public Schools to help families feel supported to succeed.
Riverbend ROCKS (Reaching Out to Community and Kids Society)
Riverbend ROCKS aims to build a web of support that promotes the wellbeing and social inclusion of the most vulnerable in our community by leveraging the resources and capacities of participants, neighbours, community organizations and institutional partners in the greater Riverbend area. In doing so we target our support and opportunities to all members of the family, based on what families say is most important to them, and in ways that build on their’s and the community’s assets and resilience. We also strive to provide opportunities for families and neighbours to connect and build relationships amongst each other, and to recognize and celebrate our diversity as a community. To learn more about the Riverbend ROCKs check out this overview PDF.
Vanessa Desa is a community builder and activist who has lived in Brander Gardens for the last 33 years. She was part of the original kitchen table group that led to the formation of Brander Gardens ROCKS – now Riverbend ROCKS, in 2010. Her career spans work in the non profit and public sector on social justice, equity and inclusion issues related to women, youth, immigrants and refugees. Her passions include gardening, and singing with a community choir.
Deann Stein Hasinoff: Board Member
Deann Stein Hasinoff is a mom, artist and community member who became connected to Riverbend ROCKS through the local elementary school parent council. Both groups seek to create community and provide supports to ensure all kids succeed. For Deann, transitioning to the Riverbend ROCKS board was a natural next step in continuing to engage in community building.