Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Students See the Benefits of a Community Effort in Indiana

There’s an old proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Educators at the K-8 Lincoln School in Evansville, Indiana couldn’t agree more. Lincoln is a “community school” that relies on ties between its district—the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation—and churches, social service agencies, nonprofit community groups, and other local organizations that have built a web of support to nurture schoolchildren across the entire district from “diaper to diploma.”

The school and community partners have also benefited from some unusual arrangements, such as a joint-purchasing agreement forged by Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and district Superintendent Vince M. Bertram, who was hired in 2007. Through the agreement, the city government and the school district have streamlined the purchase of such disparate but essential products as toilet paper, gasoline, rock salt, and copy paper, saving both parties hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Partnerships have also helped the district meet the needs of some of its most vulnerable families.

With funding filtering in from the federal Full-Service Community Schools Program, other federal grants, and the occasional private donation, Lincoln has sustained itself as 1 of only 50 schools with a systemic community school strategy.

Read the full article at Education Week

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