The Cafe Institute is guided by a vision of “highly engaged communities maximizing their capacity”. Café’s asset-based orientation; a belief that ‘the cup is half full’ is fundamental to an approach that focuses on strengths and possibilities, highlighting unlimited opportunities to support literacy and learning.
Café facilitates the integration of the capacity-building elements of an asset-based community development approach to support educational communities in meeting their goals.
What are the possibilities? We see the development of strong, healthy communities when our children are fully supported to reach their potential. Many homes, schools, and communities are rich with untapped assets and resources, whether they be talents, expertise, volunteers, equipment, funding, or natural environments. Being purposeful about highlighting and connecting these diverse assets can greatly impact the quality and richness of the learning experience. Bringing people together and harnessing the power of relationships is key to engaging all assets. When people first come together in conversation and dialogue around things they care deeply about, anything can happen…
With these considerations, Café supports parent and school leaders, teachers and community educators with mentorship, facilitation, resources, and most importantly the space to explore together such questions as:
Why is it important to focus on building strong learning communities?
What’s already working in support of learning?
What are the possibilities for coming together in support of our children?
Café’s Guiding Principles
- Each educational community has a unique combination of strengths and assets that can be fully mobilized to achieve educational goals.
- Working together, parents, schools and communities can build an environment of active engagement, where citizens can make a positive contribution toward education and social and economic development.
- Every learning community context must be understood within the environment of the local community, administration, and policy framework.