Last month, Texas CASA’s Learning and Development Manager for Pre-Service Training, Margaret Halpin, shipped out 35 boxes for a new professional development series Inspired Facilitation: A Reading Collective for Fearless Facilitators to local programs all over Texas! The idea for the Inspired Facilitation Reading Collective came from the Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) Library and Book Club in 2022. Margaret was so impressed by the thoughtful selection of books and constructive conversations in the CFE Library and Book Club that she decided to do something similar for the CASA Pre-Service Trainers. “I wanted to find a creative way for our training community to dive deeper into some of the heavy topics in pre-service that can be difficult to discuss. I want to support our trainers in feeling confident in responding to hard questions by bringing forward leading thinkers on some of these complex topics,” Margaret said.
The curated collection of books sent to the Pre-Service Trainers features leading thinkers and bestselling authors sharing strategies for honing their facilitation skills and rumbling with some of the more nuanced topics often encountered in pre-service training. The books in the reading collective are as follows:
- Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation: 11 Key Concepts You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know by Sam Killermann and Meg Bolger
- Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle
- The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker
- High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley
- The Poverty Paradox Understanding Economic Hardship Amid American Prosperity by Mark Robert Rank
As participants read and reflect, the group will gather for dynamic discussions drawing on the books and exploring how the information connects to activities and learning objectives in pre-service training. This series is also designed to help Pre-Service Facilitators work towards meeting the twelve hours of continuing education required by National CASA standards.
The Inspired Facilitation Reading Collective has already been well received by many of the programs. Amy Harding, Volunteer Coordinator/Case Supervisor from Hill Country CASA states “Margaret, thank you for the special box of books and treats that arrived today! I am looking forward to the inspired facilitation reading collective, books and discussions. I appreciate you and all of your support.” The first meeting for the Inspired Facilitation Reading Collective will be held in October and participants can’t wait to get started! “Pre-service training helps to shape the ‘heartset’ of the volunteers in the way they interact with families,” Margaret said. “We have such an incredible depth of knowledge, wisdom, and passion in our statewide training community and my hope is that these books and discussions will add to that abundance of expertise and create opportunities for us to learn not only from these authors but from one another.”