Center for Family and Community Engagement

Philosophy on Family and Community Engagement

Family and community engagement is critical to the overall success of children and youth. We believe that a well-designed engagement model consistently and substantially increases parent engagement in the education of their children by empowering families to provide them with a variety of meaningful supports. These include programs such as parenting education, food and clothing resources, and access to school and community resources.

Ultimately we believe that when our families, community, and schools work together, we create greater school and life outcomes for our children. We value meaningful parent and community partnerships in which there is mutual trust and respect, continuity, shared responsibility, two-way collaboration and support in the learning, development, and overall health of all learners.

Family and Community Engagement 

The District’s Family and Community Engagement model is a shift from the previously implemented Community Schools Model. As the District assessed the needs of students and campuses, it was determined there was a need to recalibrate and implement a broader framework, with a larger reach, to address student and family needs. The new framework will serve the entire District, while continuing to wrap around students, families, and campuses with more intensive needs. The Center for Family and Community Engagement is the hub where families new and old can come to connect with any of the departments and programs in the district as well as beyond the district. As the population expands, we want to ensure that our resources and supports expand so every student has what he or she needs.

Through the Center for Family and Community Engagement, we focus on meeting the needs of the whole child supported by our three pillars: academic support, socioemotional support, and food security. We strive to ensure ultimate success, not just in school, but also in life.

Framework for FCE

FCE Framework

Initiatives since rebranding the FCE Framework:

Additional resources and services on the horizon:

  • Academic and/or SEL parent workshops
  • A school/community resource guide with ongoing updates
  • Assistance identifying and/or accessing satellite sites for academic and extended day support
  • Collaboration with community mental health providers regarding trauma-informed practices



Dr. Marshall K. Berner Center for Family and Community Engagement

703 S. New Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Bridging the Gap between Families, the Community, & Schools

Center Named after Retired Superintendent: Dr. Marshall K. Berner, superintendent of the Champaign Unit 4 School District from 1967-1979 and namesake of the Center, was honored posthumously.

Cleveland Hammonds, former Champaign Community Unit School District #4 Assistant Superintendent, Richard Foley, Judge Harold Baker, David Session, and Richard Alexander, former school board members, and Murphy McKinney, Alvin Griggs, and Hester Suggs, former District principals, were among the individuals nominating Dr. Berner for this recognition. The late 60's and 70's were tumultuous times known for divided opinions on topics related to civil rights and desegregation. Dr. Berner demonstrated courage and outstanding leadership as he led the board, community, and school system through the desegregation process in Champaign program.

Meet the Staff

Katina Wilcher

Katina Wilcher, Director:

Lori Thompson

Lori Thompson, Office Manager:

Anita Nance

Anitra Nance, Student, Family and Community Engagement Liaison:

Rita Graham

Rita Graham, Records Secretary:

Yvette Hall

Yvette Hall, Records Secretary:

Verdell Jones

Verdell Jones, TISA:

Rich Kelly

Rich Kelly, TISA:

Rickey Parks

Rickey Parks, TISA:

Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith, Community Outreach Coordinator: 

Amanda Gray

Dr. Amanda Gray, Title I Parent Liaison:

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