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Community Schools Rise to the Top in Winning Promise Neighborhood Grants!

Dear ExampleContactFirstName,

The Coalition congratulates all 21 of the Promise Neighborhood planning grant winners! We are especially excited about the eight awardees who are part of our network and have demonstrated their commitment to Secretary Duncan's vision, "putting schools at the center of their work to provide comprehensive services for young children and students."

The awardees have done just that - they embrace the community school strategy, making sure that the school is the center of the community - a vehicle to ensure that all of the needs of students are met. These awardees have made sure to include partners that are already doing community schools work. Click here to read the brief on the relationship between Promise Neighborhoods and Community Schools. [Image Credit: U.S. Department of Education]

The eight awardees that are part of our community schools network are:
  1. Amherst H. Wilder Foundation (Saint Paul, MN) – The Foundation is in a public/private partnership with Saint Paul Public Schools [view their press release] to implement their Achievement Plus Community Schools.
    Achievement Plus Community Schools are the foundation of a comprehensive urban education reform model that integrates the school community, families, and the resources of public and private organizations to ensure academic achievement for all students. Click here to see their results. Learn more about their community schools: Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School and John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary School. Click here to view the video of the John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary School.

  2. California State University – East Bay (Hayward, CA) – A key partner in their application is the San Francisco Foundation. Integral to the Foundation’s education agenda is the community schools strategy. Lisa Villarreal, the Education Program Officer at the Foundation is also the Vice-Chair of the Coalition for Community Schools Steering Committee. California State University has strong connections to their East Bay Community Schools network.

  3. Westminster Foundation (Buffalo, NY) – Central to this application is the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. Their Closing the Gap (CTG) initiative is a Full-Service Community Schools strategy funded by the Department of Education's Full Service Community Schools (FSCS) program. CTG is an United Way of Buffalo and Erie County Education Platform initiative that is a school-based partnership of education, human and community services that promotes resiliency, helps students to succeed academically, and provides necessary family supports using a fully integrated service model.

  4. Youth Policy Institute (Los Angeles, CA) YPI is also a Full-Service Community School program grantee. The YPI Belmont Full-Service Community Schools Program provides wrap-around education and community services to assist youth and families attending four schools in the Pico-Union/Westlake community of Los Angeles. They offer streamlined access to existing resources at each school, as well as new programs for students and families, such as: mentoring and youth development, academic tutoring and enrichment, service learning, parenting education, adult education, among other services.

  5. United Way of Central Massachusetts, Inc. (Worcester, MA) – The United Way [view their press release] has a deep history of making sure that schools are at the center of communities. We are confident that in partnership with Mayor O’Brien, a long-time advocate of community schools, this initiative will ensure that schools become the hubs of their Promise Neighborhood. In response to winning, O’Brien said, "We're excited about this, because these funds are going to be used to help kids and families and to help us create a better model for community school partnerships." The United Way, led by Tim Garvin, who was among the leaders who created the Gardner Community School in Boston, will continue to lift up the community schools strategy in their Promise Neighborhoods planning. Read more...

  6. Berea College (Clay, Jackson, and Owsley Counties, KY) – Owsley County is already implementing the community schools strategy in their elementary and middle schools. Owsley County schools serve approximately 900 students in their elementary and high school combined. Their Superintendent, Melinda Turner states, “The school is the community.” Owsley is highlighted in a recent report about rural community schools [The Rural Solution] from the Center for American Progress.

  7. Athens Clarke County Family Connection, Inc. (Athens, GA) – Athens Clarke County Family Connections, an affiliate of the Georgia Family Connections Partnership, will work in partnership with the Communities in Schools (CIS) of Athens. Georgia Family Connections Partnership has a strong history of ensuring that kids are healthy, ready to start school and do well when they get there, and they also work to make sure that families can become stable and self-sufficient. The CIS model, surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The National Communities in Schools organization is a long-standing partner of the Coalition for Community Schools. Read more…

  8. Neighborhood Centers, Inc. (Houston, TX) – Houston has a long standing relationship with the local Communities in Schools which implements the community schools strategy. Neighborhood Centers will also partner with the local United Way. Over 30 local United Ways across the country are utilizing the community schools strategy to realize their education goals.

According to the Department of Education, the grantees have included 96 schools in their proposals, 95% of grantees partner with a school district, and there are on average 12 partners per grantee.

All of the Promise Neighborhood winners understand the power of connecting the academic, social, emotional, physical and civic development of our young people in the communities in which they live. With community schools at the center, they can do just that. We look forward to working with awardees and applicants to make community schools the center of every successful Promise Neighborhood.

For the U.S. Department of Education’s Press Release, click here.


BREAKING NEWS…Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA, 32nd District) will be introducing the DIPLOMA Act in the House on Wednesday, September 29, 2010! Click here to view full press release. If your organization would like to endorse the DIPLOMA Act, please email Shital C. Shah, Manager of Policy & Partnerships, at



Coalition for Community Schools Team

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