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Surrounded by Support

07/08/09     American Federation of Teachers

Partnerships between communities and schools connect students with the services they need.

The Summer 2009 Issue of AFT's American Educator Magazine is dedicated to community schools. Educators know that many non-school factors—like untreated asthma, undiagnosed vision problems, and unrelenting poverty—hinder students’ academic success. But instead of tossing up their hands in frustration, educators all over the country are reaching out to community groups that can help solve these problems.  Download full Summer 2009 issue now!!

Randi Weingarten, President of AFT, has made community schools the #1 priority of the AFT. She says, " But there is a lot of evidence that some of the things these schools have do work—such as required parental engagement, additional resources, and environments that are conducive to teaching and learning, and that help combat outside challenges like poverty, poor health, hunger and family instability.

Those services work just as well for neighborhood public schools as they do for celebrated charter schools. I know this, because I’ve seen the role they play in strengthening schools like John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary in St. Paul, Minn. Johnson is a community school that gets the important pieces in place and lined up—great teachers and staff, strong curriculum, fun and engaging activities for summer and after school, and an amazing array of services that remove barriers to success for the kids and their families.

These things make a huge, huge difference. Download full Summer 2009 issue now!!

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