The American School Board Journal’s 2015 Magna Award winners have been announced, and among the five first-place winners in the over 20,000 enrollment category is Vancouver Public Schools’ 2014 Go Ready! Back-to-School Readiness Festival.

The inaugural festival, organized by the district’s Family-Community Resource Center team working in concert with community partners, was designed to help families prepare for the school year. Go Ready! provided more than 2,100 students and families representing all VPS schools with everything from backpacks and school supplies to shoes and haircuts. It also exposed families to the programs and services offered at the 13 school-based FCRCs all year long and, by extension, the wealth of food, housing, health, literacy and other resources offered in the Vancouver area.

A description of Go Ready! will appear in a special section of the April 2015 issue of American School Board Journal, published by the National School Boards Association, a not-for-profit organization representing state school board associations and local school board members. The annual awards recognize best practices in school district leadership.

VPS and the other Magna Award honorees will be recognized at the School Leaders Luncheon Saturday, March 21, in Nashville, Tennessee, during NSBA’s annual conference.

“Removing barriers to learning is a top priority for the district and the VPS board of directors, and we’re honored that NSBA has recognized the value of our efforts. We also hope that this recognition provides other school boards with ideas for providing similar wraparound support to their families,” said Board President Mark Stoker.

VPS Superintendent Steve Webb added, “We thank the American School Board Journal and NSBA for recognizing Go Ready! as a best practice. We also thank our board of directors, staff and community partners for supporting the event. Go Ready! is a clear indication of the great outcomes of schools and communities working together to help families.”

Details about the 2015 Go Ready! Back-to-School-Readiness Festival will be announced later this year.