Jan. 11, 2022 | The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) is now part of the Welcoming Network, a group of more than 300 nonprofits and local governments led by the Welcoming America organization. The network “is both a network and a movement, driven by the conviction that communities make better decisions when residents of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives are meaningfully engaged.”
The Board of Education approved the district’s membership in the network at its annual meeting on Nov. 22, 2021. Membership and resources from the Welcoming Network will support WDMCS Intercultural Outreach as it continues to build a welcoming environment for multicultural families and communities for the entire district.
“The resources Welcome America provides to members will allow more learning opportunities as well as connect us with other districts who have the same goals,” said Gianna Pugliese, intercultural outreach coordinator with WDMCS Community Education. “This is a great opportunity for the district as we’re always looking for ways to improve.”
WDMCS will participate in the network’s Welcoming Week activities in September 2022. Welcoming Week “(brings) together neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity,” Welcoming America shares on its website. Including virtual and face-to-face events, Welcoming Week will provide an experience for people of all backgrounds to share their stories.
“WDMCS is home to more multicultural families than a lot of people may realize,” Pugliese said. “We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to ensure WDMCS students and families know we are happy they’re here.”