GISD Unveils New Mobile Education Lab

GISD Unveils New Mobile Education Lab
Posted on 12/15/2020
Mobile Education Lab (MEL)

FLINT – The Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) is excited to reveal its new high-tech, mobile resource site to help meet the unique needs of students and families in Genesee County. Local educators have been working with community leaders to come up with a tool to provide more accessible community support across the county. Thanks to their vision, commitment, and collaboration, the Mobile Education Lab (MEL) will soon be on the road and in a community near you.

“The purpose of the MEL is to provide students and families with access to resources that can help combat some of the barriers many face due to the lack of transportation, financial resources, and awareness of available services and support,” said Renae Galsterer, MEL Coordinator. “These factors often interfere with a family’s ability to take advantage of health screenings, literacy, and early childhood programs, just some of the things that could also impact students’ education.” 

The Mobile Education Lab is a school bus that has been transformed both outside and inside thanks to a generous grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. A ribbon cutting ceremony followed by a tour of the MEL will be held on Tuesday, December 15th at 1:00 p.m.

 “At a time when many people feel distanced and isolated, the Mobile Education Lab will provide a way for the GISD to connect with children and families in a meaningful way,” said Jennifer Liversedge, program officer at the Mott Foundation. “GISD staff will meet families in the community, helping with challenges they’re facing during remote learning and connecting them with other supports and resources they need to be successful.”

MEL inside photo The interior of the newly renovated bus now has custom seating and two computer work stations. The bus has been retrofitted with a 40 inch TV monitor which will display videos and information about various programs and services. There is also a similar TV monitor that can be displayed outside of the bus for outdoor presentations. The inside of the MEL is equipped with a generator, Wi-Fi, laptop computers, a printer, a restroom, and a small private meeting room. It also features customized storage and shelving throughout, which will be stocked with materials on housing and food resource information, mental health and healthcare access, and educational resources ranging from Pre-K to post-secondary. Shelf-stable food items, children’s books, toys, and personal care products will also be available to meet the wide range of immediate needs families may have. 

“We really want to be able to meet as many needs as we can in the community,” said Galsterer. “If people need food, we want to be able to provide that. If they want to know about preschool programs, tutoring, or even scholarships available for college, we want to be able to help with that as well. I have been meeting with district superintendents to find out what the needs are in their areas, and once we have that information our goal is to bring the bus to them and provide those resources to the community.”

MEL is already scheduled to make its first official site visit in Genesee County. It will be at Pinehurst Elementary in Mt. Morris on Wednesday, December 16th. Free books and literacy tips will be provided along with cold-weather essentials for Mt. Morris students in need.  

For more information about MEL and available services, or to schedule a MEL site visit please contact Renae Galsterer at (810) 591-3384.