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Over 100 People Come Out To Support DC Community Schools

Over 100 People Come Out to Support D.C. Community Schools

On November 17, approximately 100 people came out to support D.C. community schools for an event the Coalition co-hosted to raise awareness and support for the expansion of D.C. community schools, which now number 20. The event, co-hosted by the Coalition, Washington Teachers Union, Latin American Youth Center, Communities in Schools of the Nation’s Capital, and D.C. Education Coalition for Change, featured a panel of stakeholders sharing why they support community schools.

The student representative, Jovani Hernandez of Roosevelt High School, captured the audience’s attention with his remarks. With his teacher besides him, Jovani gave a first-hand account about how the Just Keep Livin’ program, an after-school mentoring program brought to his school by their community school partnership, has truly changed him.

"[It] ended up teaching me that I can do more than I think I can. I used to be this anti-social kid. I would sit in the back and never raise my hand. But later on I started with Just Keep Livin’ and it really helped me out. I developed bonds with my teachers. It was amazing." Hernandez said.

Jovani was joined by other panelists including a principal, teachers, parents and community partners all who described the impact the community school strategy is having on their schools.

Elected officials and city leaders also attended and spoke out in support, including two members of the D.C. State Board of Education and representatives from the Deputy Mayor of Education and D.C. Public Schools. The co-hosts made the public ask for Mayor Bowser to honor her pledge to double the number of community schools during her term, or before 2018.  The D.C. Council expanded funding for community schools this year and also restored the citywide advisory committee to support the work at the city level.

Of the 20 community schools in D.C., 13 are funded by the city through the Office of State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the rest are supported by Communities in Schools of the Nation’s Capital and the United Way of the National Capital Area.


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