It is important that learning communities include community partners in the visioning and planning process. Among the many benefits of strong school – community partnerships is that students get access to new learning opportunities, like these:
At Marysville Early College High School, community partnerships have led to expanded learning opportunities for students. Marysville Exempted Village School District has established partnerships with Columbus State Community College, Honda Manufacturing of Ohio, Ohio Hi Point Career Center and the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Through internships, mentorships and capstone projects that include these partner organizations, Marysville students have the chance to extend the learning beyond school walls.
To broaden opportunities for student to succeed, Providence After School Alliance in Providence, Rhode Island, is working with the Providence Public School District, teachers, community educators, youth and other partners to link in-school and after-school learning. This is part of a citywide expanded learning initiative to help create a new day for learning. Learn more in this video highlighting work being done in that community:
Hamilton City Schools in Hamilton, Ohio, has a partnership with Grace United Methodist Church to offer the Graceful Steps literacy program. Graceful Steps offers learners the chance to build on literacy skills in a fun, low-risk environment during learners’ summer vacation. This community partnership helps prevent summer slide and, for my own children who are participating in the program, is helping encouraging children to sometimes reach for a book instead of an iPad or video game.
School community partnerships come in all shapes and sizes. The common denominator? They all work to serve students’ needs in a way that is simply not possible without community partners committing to the endeavor of learning.