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PRESS RELEASE: My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge and Community Schools

Contact: Heather Naviasky, (202)-822-8405 x 111

For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. - October 14, 2014

The Coalition for Community Schools applauds President Obama for his announcement of the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge. We strongly encourage the leaders that make up our network of community school initiatives including mayors, county executives, and community partners to accept the President’s challenge. Already, the executives of over 100 places, many of them cities and counties with robust community school initiatives, have accepted the challenge.

Community schools unite leaders to bring the resources of the entire community to meet the challenges our children face, both inside and outside of the classroom. One example is Chicago’s Community Schools Initiative that was started by Secretary Duncan when he was the district’s CEO. The initiative partners with Youth Guidance and their Becoming A Man program, which the President highlighted in his announcement of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Community schools provide a vehicle for these types of programs to thrive and help the youth described in this challenge to succeed.

Community school initiatives around the country have already begun the work of convening key leaders in communities to address the results the President seeks: all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally prepared; all children read at grade level by third grade; all young people graduate from high school; all young people complete post-secondary education or training; all youth out of school are employed; and all young people are safe from violent crime. Leaders in these communities know that strong communities that are safe and nurturing for all children, especially our most vulnerable, require strong community schools.

The Coalition for Community Schools has always made equity a focus of our work. We have a number of resources that may be helpful for communities working toward fulfilling the President’s challenge:

  • Community schools and equity framework and program examples (including Chicago’s Becoming A Man initiative):
  • Scaling Up School and Community Partnerships: A guide that will help leaders think about how to create their Local Action Summit called for in the challenge and sustain a leadership collaborative focused on results:

To learn more about the community schools strategy and how it can help you realize the President’s challenge, contact Heather Naviasky.



 About the Coalition for Community Schools

The Coalition for Community Schools, housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K–16, youth development, community planning and development, higher education, family support, health and human services, government, and philanthropy as well as national, state, and local community school networks. The Coalition advocates for community schools as a strategy to leverage local resources and programs, changing the look and feel of the traditional school structure to best meet the needs of children and families in the 21st century.

About the Institute for Educational Leadership

For a half-century, the Institute for Educational Leadershiphas championed the need for leaders at all levels to shake off their institutional constraints and work across boundaries to address the needs of young people and their families. The work of IEL focuses on three pillars required for young people and their communities to succeed: Involving the broader community with public education to support the learning and development of young people; building more effective pathways into the workforce for all young people and supporting the transition to adulthood; and preparing generations of leaders with the know-how to drive collaborative efforts at all levels. 

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