Worley Street Roundtable brings together educators and parents

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COLUMBIA - The Worley Street Roundtable met Sunday afternoon to share ideas on how to better the Columbia community.

Parents and educators alike showed up to share a meal and talk about issues facing the school system and more. 

"Our whole idea is getting back to the heart of Columbia. Columbia is at the heart of Missouri and the heart of the U.S. What we are here for is our children. We want to see what ways we can solve issues with our famililes, our community and within our schools," Dr. Adrian Clifton, co-founder and executive director of the Worley Street Roundtable, said. 

Everyone at the meeting had the chance to write down issues they wanted to address. Some topics of conversation included how to bridge the gap between schools and parents, how to build up students of color, affordable housing for the homeless and more. 

"Columbia Public Schools has been a major partner with us," Clifton said. 

Hickman High School Principle, Tony Gragnani, was one of the attendees. He said one of the main reasons he came to the roundtable was to see how he can provide more resources and support for his students. 

"We are looking for opportunities to build up students of color. We are especially looking to build people up through AVID," Gragnani said. 

He said it is important to reduce the barriers between the school and parents by knowing how to connect families to the right resources and programs. 

"I like the message of family and networking resources. It makes the community stronger," Gragnani said. 

Clifton said the reason they have a family meal is she wants the meeting to feel like a family reunion.

"Just like the family table we are going to pick an issue and talk about it today. Then we see who we can use as a resource and connect you to solve whatever problem that is," Clifton said. 

Clifton said the roundable does many things behind the scenes to help the community including tutoring, offering people transportation and more to make sure the community feels loved.

"When you come and break bread with us, we consider you part of the family," Clifton said. 

The Rountable has met for three years now. Clifton said she encourages anyone to come and be a part of the monthly gathering.