ERIC Number: EJ974525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar-14
Ore. Community Schools Show Staying Power
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v31 n24 p1, 16-17 Mar 2012
For Lynch View Elementary, a K-5 school in suburban Portland, the school day doesn't end when the bell rings at 2:22 p.m. As one of 64 "community schools" in Multnomah County, the school also provides homework assistance, academic enrichment, free breakfast and dinner for students, a weekly food pantry, a host site for local medical organizations to provide health screenings and dental care to low-income residents, and a place where needy families can connect with social services such as rental or utility assistance--all with help from a range of nonprofit and county agencies. Partnerships between schools and community organizations have existed for years. But the "community school" model, as a strategy to scale up throughout a school district, is getting renewed attention from policymakers, including President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. And some of those schools are just coming into being with the help of federal seed money. In Multnomah County, which includes the city of Portland, the SUN Community Schools program--which stands for Schools Uniting Neighborhoods--has survived changes in city and county leadership, shifts in school superintendents, potential budget cuts, and downturns in the economy, yet still managed to grow. SUN is an example of not just how such programs can be launched but also how they can be sustained over the long haul. One common element is that community schools with staying power have to promote a shared sense of responsibility among many different organizations. In Multnomah County, nonprofit organizations, school districts, the city of Portland, and the county "are all financing work that relates to the well-being of children and their families."
Descriptors: Community Schools, Nonprofit Organizations, Community Organizations, Enrichment, Social Services, Elementary Education, Partnerships in Education, Models
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; New York; Oregon