By Tara Fort
Kelly Mattox, Grants Specialist and Family Resource Center Coordinator for Prescott Unified School District (PUSD), knows her role is important in securing housing and education assistance for District families in transition. In her position since 2016, Mattox says, “I am always about personal growth and learning, and especially about giving back. The community should know that the District helps take care of kids whose families do not have permanent housing. Through funding and donations, the District supports those who need it most.”
In addition to partnering with other local agencies, the District is supported through the U.S. Department of Education’s McKinney-Vento Act. Mattox says, “The federal McKinney-Vento Act allows school districts the ability to put students in school immediately by providing transportation and meals including breakfast. We give them a safe place to go every day, where they know they will have security in a chaotic time when some may not know where they are going after school.” This year, Mattox qualified 95 students, ages K-12th grade. Mattox also works closely with the school nurses, who are often the eyes and ears of the student population and states, “We are all very in tune to what is needed in the community. Any specific information we receive about these families is protected and confidential—we do everything to ensure there is no bullying or stigmatizing. I think we all agree on the concept of families in transition is a growing concern nationwide.”
A Prescott resident since 1994, Mattox and her husband operated an Allstate Insurance Agency when they moved here from the Bay Area. They raised two sons in Prescott and after closing the agency, Mattox re-entered the workforce as the HR Benefits Coordinator for PUSD. However, it has been this new calling that Mattox has found most gratifying. “In my current position, I get close to families and students, and when you help them find a house it is exceptional.” She receives help from volunteers who work in the Family Resource Center sorting clothes and helping at special events. For those who want to donate, Mattox says, “We love receiving Wal-Mart gift cards. The gift cards are the best way to take kids shopping so they can buy clothes that allow them to fit in with everyone else at school.”
Superintendent Joe Howard says, “Kelly Mattox is the perfect person to manage our Family Resource Center, as well as Homeless and Indian Education programs in the Prescott Unified School District. She is a straightforward, compassionate and caring person who has a balanced perspective on relationships with kids and families, as well as organizational skills to create and host events that make an impact on lives.”
For more information about Kelly Mattox, the PUSD Family Resource Center, or how to volunteer, call 928-830-7658 or visit www.prescottschools.com.