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Madison Metropolitan School District

Toki Black Parent Group Grows Community Connections

Two years ago, Toki Middle School and the MSCR Meadowood Neighborhood Center formed the Black Parent Group (BPG), a collaborative organization to connect Black parents, school staff, and the greater Toki community. Since its inception, the group has fostered a sense of belonging and created a safe space for parents to come together and truly be themselves.

Assisting the group are Cory Foster, Toki’s student and family engagement coordinator, and Tauri Robinson, MSCR’s Meadowood Neighborhood Center director. The two work together to share both community and school-based resources for parents.

“Tauri and I make sure that they have everything they need to be successful here in the Toki community,” Foster said. “We have had parents stay on in the group even after their student has moved on from Toki because of the community and resources that are afforded to them through this group.”

One of the many positive changes created by the group and Toki PTO includes the eighth grade completion ceremony, Foster said. The groups organized a safe, special way to honor the young scholars amid the pandemic, a tradition that will likely continue for years.

“We put on a celebration for the outgoing eighth graders to let them know we care and we see what they can accomplish,” Tyree Phillips, a member of BPG said. “If we continue this, I feel something great will always happen for our children.”  

The BPG also plans events and activities for Black History Month each February. The group meets twice a month on Thursdays, and interested participants can contact Student and Family Engagement Coordinator Cory Foster to join.