So far, you and 113 others have collectively raised $27,198 toward our $50,000 goal to help New York City students thrive at school. Pretty incredible! This school year, that has meant more tutoring, academic interventions, attendance initiatives, teacher support, and material help with pencils, books, and backpacks. For many children at our 20 community schools, though, school is also a place they come to for health screenings, counseling, and meals that they might not otherwise have — and those services positively impact their academic performance and well-being. This is part of the concept behind the community school strategy, and is one of the key ways your generosity supports students – especially those most impacted by the pandemic.
Not only do we have community schools in New York City, we also provide technical assistance nationwide and beyond to school districts and communities looking to adopt the community schools approach. News station KQED recently ran an article summarizing how pivotal community schools are (linked here), and emphasized that by providing all these integral services within the community school building, students are not only better supported, they also miss less school and end up having a stronger sense of connection with their school. Many schools that once struggled with low attendance rates and with improving other key indicators of student success start to see shifts once they adopt the community school strategy. But the gains from community schools aren’t limited just to student populations with a high level of need.
Children’s Aid’s Vice President of Collective Impact and Director of National Center for Community Schools Abe Fernández, who leads our technical assistance work, was interviewed in an audio clip accessible directly from the article linked above. Importantly, he pointed out, “If you really invest in this work, you start to see impacts beyond just the struggling schools.” He continued, “Hopefully, you get to a point where you see that this actually is a redefinition of what school should look like.”
The wide range of opportunities that community schools provide to their students not only uplift these students, but are changing the way schooling is perceived as community schools spread nationwide. So many children need more than just backpacks and pencils. And friends like you are helping provide that.
Thank you for uplifting the children of New York City, and investing in a strategy that holds so much promise for students as they continue their academic recovery.