CMCA awards MSD with Community Partner of the Year award

From left: CMCA Community Organizer Tad Dobyns, CMCA Volunteer Coordinator Kelley Lucero, MSD Media Services Director Becky Payne, MSD Dean of Instruction Dee Peneston, CMCA Executive Director Darin Preis.

From left: CMCA Community Organizer Tad Dobyns, CMCA Volunteer Coordinator Kelley Lucero, MSD Media Services Director Becky Payne, MSD Dean of Instruction Dee Peneston, CMCA Executive Director Darin Preis. Photo by Dean Asher.

In recognition of their work together on a student photography project designed to shed light on social issues, Central Missouri Community Action has awarded the Missouri School for the Deaf with its annual Community Partner of the Year award.

CMCA officials presented a plaque, flowers and other mementos to MSD staff Monday morning to thank them for their help in executing PhotoVoice, a photography project for middle-school students to take pictures illustrating social issues such as poverty, food availability and health in their communities.

Tad Dobyns, CMCA community organizer responsible for executing programming in Callaway and Audrain, helped students from MSD, South Callaway and Audrain youth programs take part in the project. He said without MSD Media Services Director Becky Payne and Dean of Instruction Dee Peneston's help, the project would not have been a success.

"With PhotoVoice, it was two-layered," Dobyns said. "Dee was here throughout the process providing translation ... and Becky came in when it was time to lay out the pictures and do our sponsorship boards, which was huge. With that, she did those not only for Callaway, but also for Audrain.

CMCA issues the award each year to just one partner agency in its eight-county service area. Executive Director Darin Preis said that MSD would also be nominated for the state-level Community Action Partner of the Year recognition.

"A few years ago when we redid our strategic plan, we realized we couldn't be as good at addressing issues as we need to be without the support of the community and our partners," Preis said. "MSD stood out throughout our eight counties. It's about spreading understanding of the realities of poverty through learning."

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