Every year, City Connects has a dozen or so Boston College graduate assistants who contribute to our work and share our knowledge.
“One of the best things about having graduate assistants is that they really become true collaborators and members of our team,” Claire Foley, City Connects’ Associate Director, says.
“They are involved in all the different phases of our work: research, implementation, and policy. That includes collecting and analyzing data, literature reviews, organizing a community event, or sharing our research at conferences.”
City Connects selects students from different Boston College programs including Counseling Psychology, Applied and Developmental Psychology, and MESA, the Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment program.
In addition to learning about the City Connects model, graduate assistants contribute their own intellectual curiosity about how the model works and what makes it effective for students.
One great example is Despina Petsagourakis, a doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development.Continue reading →
The challenge is scaling this approach so it can reach more children, work that’s being done by the Center for Optimized Student Support at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. The center is home to City Connects.
The brief points to “a wide range of activities to address the complex and changing needs of children, youth, and families,” including the work that hundreds of schools do to provide “wraparound” services, have a “collective impact,” and fund community schools and “Promise Neighborhoods.”Continue reading →
Fifth grade teacher Julie Roberts has worked at Catholic Central Elementary School in Springfield, Ohio, for more than 20 years. We recently asked her about how City Connects works in her school. Here’s what she said.
“To have someone who can reach out to find resources for kids who need extra help or enrichment opportunities is extremely helpful, because that’s not something that as teachers we’re used to doing very often.”
Enrichment is important because, “It can really help a student bloom if they find something that they’re good at that they haven’t been exposed to before.”
“At first, before we actually did the whole class review, I thought oh my gosh, how am I going to spend all morning on each student? But getting to talk about each student really opened my eyes to things I might not have been aware of, like personal or family challenges.Continue reading →
Because parents are so vital to their children’s education, City Connects Coordinators work hard to engage them – work that helps build a stronger sense of community and that can help parents who are coping with a crisis.
“Just about every month of the school year, there is something we do here at the early childhood center for family engagement,” Stephanie Sanabria, the City Connects Coordinator at Springfield’s Early Childhood Education Center says.
“Because the children are so young,they are closely tied to their parents, so we need parents’ participation and support. You can’t separate that out. That’s why the positive relationship that we form is so important.”
And since Sanabria is in a preschool setting, her family engagement efforts are fun and varied.
There’s Pumpkin Night in October and an evening of building gingerbread houses in December. In August, Sanabria will sometimes accompany teachers on home visits to provide Spanish language support.Continue reading →