Community Schools in DC? I’m for it!

During my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to intern at the Coalition for Community Schools here in Washington, D.C.  As a supporter of comprehensive programs like the Harlem Children’s Zone, I was eager to learn more about efforts to increase the number of community schools nationwide.  In the District, Chavez Schools received one of the federal government’s Promise Neighborhood grants.  Read more about the plan to create a Promise Neighborhood in Ward 7  here.

More recently, I  read an article printed in the Washington Examiner by Lisa Gartner about D.C. exploring the possibility of creating community schools.  I’m very interested in knowing which neighborhoods are chosen as well as what community school model will be implemented.  Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The Community Schools Incentive Amendment Act would create grants of up to $200,000 per year to schools that develop a plan approved by an advisory committee made up of leaders from D.C. Public Schools, the parks department, the health department, and other agencies. The council has scheduled a community roundtable on the bill for Wednesday.

Lawmakers say the idea is to turn schools into community hubs — free, public space for health clinics and tutoring sessions alike. At-large Councilman Michael Brown, who introduced the bill in 2010, said he hopes adult-education classes in nutrition and literacy would result in better-fed students with more involved parents.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc/2011/12/dc-explores-using-grants-create-community-schools/2000826#ixzz1gYhgU6Gc

What are your thoughts on community schools?

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One thought on “Community Schools in DC? I’m for it!

  1. CLFT (@CHLOvoyance) says:

    Hi Ms. Darla,

    I too am a big fan of community schools. Some people in my fellowship are working on this project with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) as they begin to get the ball rolling on their 4 promise neighborhood/ full service community schools as well. Their community schools will also offer free medical, dental, and vision services for kids, as well as have a grocery/market aspect to address the food desserts that exist in areas like West Oakland. Really cool stuff! There are definitely some systemic barriers to progress with getting all of these city and state agencies to cooperate and share resources, so it’ll be interesting to see how much they’ll be able to accomplish in the next few years. You can visit the link below for a preview of what’s happening in Oakland if you’re interested 🙂
    (http://www.urbanstrategies.org/programs/schools/CommunitySchools.php)

    -CLFT

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