As we prepare for the opening of school, we would like to take a moment and reflect on the accomplishments of the past year. In 2013-14, we are proud to have partnered with 56 schools in 6 districts across 3 states, where City Connects staff linked 17,500 students to 105,000 services and enrichment opportunities. We are looking forward to another wonderful year in our Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York sites in 2014-15!
City Connects is an evidence-based system of student support that makes available to all students a wide array of enrichment, early intervention, and intensive intervention services. In each school, a full-time student support professional (a licensed social worker/school counselor) called a School Site Coordinator:
- Works with teachers and others to assess strengths and needs of every student in key areas of development (academics, social/emotional, health, and family);
- Identifies a unique support plan for each student and connects the student to a tailored set of support services and enrichment opportunities;
- Develops and maintains partnerships with community agencies;
- Tracks the support plan electronically for each student; and
- Follows up to assure service delivery and effectiveness.
Each student receives a unique set of services. They may be prevention and enrichment services, including before- and after-school programs, sports, summer programs, and health and wellness classes; early intervention services such as adult mentoring, academic support, social skills interventions, family assistance, and tutoring; or more intensive services or crisis interventions such as mental health counseling, health services, screening or diagnostic testing, violence intervention, or family counseling.
For example, an elementary school student who has struggled with obesity, has challenges with reading, and loves music may be connected to a healthy cooking club, an after-school program with a focus on literacy tutoring, and a summer music program.
Evaluation shows that City Connects’ comprehensive, customized student support has immediate and long-term benefits to students–for more information on the impact of City Connects, check out our evaluation report, The Impact of City Connects: Progress Report 2014.