A Bed For Every Child: a community partnership in Springfield delivers beds to more than 90 children

Across City Connects schools, community partnerships have a profound impact on children lives. One example is flourishing in Springfield, Mass.

Last year, as we’ve blogged, after a local family’s home caught on fire, Stephanie Sanabria — the City Connects coordinator at Springfield’s Early Childhood Education Center — worked with a team of community partners to secure a bed for the family’s daughter. A few months later, more beds were delivered to Springfield for more children. Behind the deliveries is an initiative called A Bed for Every Child run by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless.  The Pioneer Valley Chapter of credit unions helped out with fundraising.

As Julie Donovan, City Connects Program Manager in Springfield, explains, “this initiative is critical for our families. Our students need a good bed to lay in every night, so that they can get the proper sleep — the proper rest to achieve their full potential — and come to school ready to learn.”

Because of local tragedies as well as hurricanes that hit Florida and Puerto Rico, the need for beds has grown. As Sanabria, who has been nicknamed the Bed lady, recently told us, referrals for families often come through word of mouth, especially now that many Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees are receiving housing. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 10/15/18

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

Are students getting too much homework — or too little?

All 50 states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have turned in their plans for ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act).

San Antonio is integrating its schools by income.

Social/emotional learning in Chicago.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

Helping hands and Peace Paths to problem solving

For City Connects coordinators, supporting students and helping them succeed sometimes means giving them the tools they need to share their thoughts or figure out ways to solve their own problems.

That’s part of what Coordinator Josh Richardt is doing at Catholic Central Elementary School in Springfield, Ohio.

To help students share what they’re thinking but might not say, Richardt uses the Helping Hands Locker. It’s a centrally located, locked locker where kids can deposit messages about their experiences. Richardt explains the concept to students, and then he gives them prompts. One can be a piece of paper that says “I wish my teacher knew…” Students can answer in writing or with a drawing. They can also indicate how they want the information handled, meaning shared with a teacher or just with Richardt himself. Kids are sharing information about disagreements on the playground or about mean comments that someone has made about them. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 10/8/18

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

Students who attend City Connects elementary schools have lower high school dropout rates than students who do not.

The Trump administration invests $71.5 billion in the U.S. Department of Education.

Trauma-informed schools and clinics help students cope with disasters and toxic stress.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 10/1/18

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

Providing mentors for new teachers helps boost their students’ math scores. 

A bill in Congress would address the shortage of teachers who work with English language learners

In San Antonio, Tex., school Superintendent Pedro Martinez is conducting a radical school integration experiment.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 9/17/18

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

Salem, Mass., is using the City Connects model to close achievement gaps in all of the city’s pre-K-8 schools.

The Center for American Progress creates early learning fact sheets for all 50 states.

Census figures show small declines in the poverty rate.

How some school districts are helping foster children thrive.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading

A new school founded by NBA Superstar LeBron James provides integrated student support

LeBron James. Source: I Promise School Twitter feed.

 

We’re happy and a little amazed to welcome a superstar to the world of integrated student support: LeBron James.

This summer, James, the world-famous National Basketball Association player, launched the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. It’s a collaboration between the LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron Public Schools.

A key component of the school is providing students with services to mitigate the effects of poverty.

As an EdSurge article explains, “Social media lit up praising the litany of services the school will offer to students and families alike: among them, free uniforms, bicycles and helmets, transportation, breakfast, lunch and snacks… It will also serve families with supports like a food pantry and GED programs and job placement service for parents.”  Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 9/10/18

Here’s the new edition of The Weekly Connect. Check it out and sign up to have it delivered to your inbox!

These are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

A new study suggests that New York state should increase its per-pupil spending.

Colorado voters will get to weigh in on a ballot initiative that would raise taxes to fund full-day kindergarten, special education, English proficiency, and preschool.

Facing a teacher shortage, Oklahoma is licensing hundreds of under-qualified teachers.

To read more, click on the following links. Continue reading