“Our community partners are so vital to the work of City Connects” Lynne Sullivan, City Connects’ Director of Implementation, says, “so we encourage each district to hold a community partner event each year.”
Whether it’s a breakfast in Minnesota or in Boston, these events let our partners and our staff come together to share both the work they’re doing and their goals for better serving students. They get to chat, brainstorm, and make connections.
“City Connects’ role as a convener is so important,” Sullivan says. “We want to create time for broader discussions. We want to cut through the pandemic’s isolation. And we want schools and community partners to hear directly from each other about what, specifically, they need from each other.
But in the middle of the pandemic, meeting face to face isn’t safe. So City Connects co-hosted a virtual event for our coordinators, our community partners, and the principals of public schools and Catholic schools in the Boston area.
Our co-hosts were the Boston Public Schools’ Office of Community Partnerships and the Archdiocese of Boston’s Catholic Schools Office.
“We convened everyone remotely so they could hear from each other what they’ve been doing during the pandemic,” Sullivan says, “and so they could talk about how they’re planning for the next school year.”
The event included a panel discussion featuring two principals — Efrain Toledano of Boston’s Tobin School and Beth Looney of Boston Catholic’s Mission Grammar School – explaining what they’ll need from community partners when their schools reopen in the fall.
“The principals said to the community partners, ‘Please share all your ideas for how you want to work with kids.’ ‘No idea is crazy,’ ” Sullivan says. “The principals are eager to identify the gaps in services for kids so that they can work with community partners to fill them.”Continue reading “Meeting with our community partners — virtually”