More Schools Open Their Doors to the Whole Community
Resource type: News
The Wall Street Journal | [ View Original Source (opens in new window) ]
Victor Gonzalez, 12, is examined by a dental hygienist at a Grand Rapids, Mich., school this month. Photo: Patrick Record for The Wall Street Journal
By Caroline Porter
WYOMING, Mich.—On a recent weekday here, a steady stream of people dropped by one central location for food stamps, family counseling and job ideas—their local school.
While instruction has ended for the summer, these classrooms remain open as part of a wider trend around the country of “community schools,” where public and private groups bring services closer to students and residents year round and, in some cases, help boost student performance.
With backing at local, state and federal levels, the decades-old idea for improving schools and neighborhoods is gaining ground despite some funding uncertainties and doubts about community schools’ success.
The largest coordinator of such programs, Communities in Schools, saw a 6% increase in its reach in the 2012-13 school year, covering schools with a total of more than 1.3 million students in 26 states.
Coalition for Community Schools is a grantee (via Institute for Educational Leadership) of Atlantic’s Children & Youth programme in the United States, which funds efforts to support and expand community schools.