Everyone has heard of the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Schools and educators are now proposing that it takes a village to teach a child. Recently a new model of schools called “community schools” are popping up around the country.
What are “community schools?”
Community schools are a partnership between schools and resources from the community. This type of school model improves learning and quality of life for the student while encouraging stronger familial and student bonds with the community. The school is considered the center or hub of the community; anyone is able to enter, whenever.
How are kids being supported?
Both children and parents are benefitting from community schools. Children and parents receive the help they need with problems that may be hindering the child’s success in school. Parents are given resources for lawyers, laundry machines, groceries, technology courses, etc. Children are given winter jackets, psychologists, optometrists, dentists, and other resources. The immediate benefits from these free resources are certainly life-changing. Not only that, children are able to build trust and relationships with professionals in the community. In turn, the children are benefiting and are learning their place in the community.
Do community schools work?
New York City is the forerunner of community schools, with over 247 schools. Since 2014 chronic absenteeism at community schools was reduced by 6.4%. Community schools just this past year in 2018 have reported higher passing grades of the statewide exams than regular schools.
“When schools both ‘support academic success and social, emotional and physical health’ and ‘offer a promising foundation for progress,’ the report concluded, research shows that students’ reading and math scores go up and they’re more likely to graduate. Fewer of them skip school. And they act out less often.”
-New York Times Writer David L. Kirp
Nationwide, more educators are rejecting the “No Child Left Behind” standpoint since it focuses mainly on test scores. A study conducted by Columbia University in 2018 shows that two-thirds out of 3,000 adults support the statement: “students cannot develop basic academic skills without community resources, health and social services.” The United States now is home to nearly 5,000 community schools and school districts.
By supporting the concept of “teaching the whole child” not just the student, community schools thus far have bettered the lives of families as a whole. Providing all the tools for success, not just the educational tools, the child is more likely to excel in school.
At KlickEngage, we are working to ensure that children in low-income communities have equal opportunity to succeed academically. Want to learn more? Ask us a question here.