Community Partners: City Connects and Big Brothers Big Sisters

To get the right services to the right child, City Connects relies on hundreds of community partners – from nonprofits and health centers to businesses and cultural organizations.

One of our longstanding community partners is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

Big Brothers provides mentors – or “Bigs” as the organization calls them – who serve as role models and friends for children (or “Littles”) in a one-on-one relationship.

The partnership between City Connects and Big Brothers strengthens this practice.

“We really work collaboratively,” Nora Leary explains. She’s Big Brothers’ Vice President for Program Services. “I think our goals are very similar: to help the kids in Boston Public Schools succeed, not just educationally, but also in all the other spheres of their life.” Continue reading

A City Connects summer

Now that it’s summer, children have said goodbye to their teachers and friends, but City Connects keeps kids covered because our coordinators connect them to summertime services.

These connections provide opportunities to play, grow, heal, work, and learn. For City Connects students in Boston, Mass., they include:

SummerWorks – a summer jobs program run by the nonprofit community organization ABCD

West End House Summer camp

The Steppingstone Foundation’s College Success Academy

Comfort Zone Bereavement Camp for grieving children

Little League Baseball Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 6/26/17

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:

The City Connects blog looks at how City Connects works inside community schools to help them get the right services to the right children at the right time.

The Educational Equity Index measures which cities do the best job of educating low-income students.

Members of Congress have a plan to boost federal spending on special education.

New Jersey, Illinois, and Louisiana are using ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act) to help English-language-learners.

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

The Weekly Connect 5/15/17

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:

Three studies provide insights that states could use to curb absenteeism.

Bullying has a harmful, lasting impact.

School advocacy groups are worried about how the House’s Health Care bill could impact Medicaid.

Increasing graduation rates for English Language Learners.

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

The power of existing community resources

Pictured left to right: Dave Plantier, President & CEO of MassMutual FCU and CCUA Social Responsibility Committee member; Shavon Powell, Bed for Every Child recipient; Stephanie Sanabria, City Connects Coordinator – Springfield Public Schools; and Lynn Liquornik, VP of Lending at MassMutual FCU and Pioneer Valley Chapter President.

At City Connects, our coordinators implement our innovative model: a system that brings the right services to the right child at the right time.

On a normal day, this can mean working with our community partners to connect children to tutoring, dental and health services, after-school programs, and counseling.

But on some days, coordinators spring into action when there’s an emergency.

That’s what happened recently when the Powell family had to deal with an apartment fire. Continue reading

The Weekly Connect 5/8/17

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 federal budget deal includes small funding increases for special education.

Researchers say that decades of studies point to one conclusion: Kids who attend public preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten than kids who don’t.

Low-income minority students lag in high school graduation rates, and

Research suggests that bullying is declining in most schools.

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

The Weekly Connect 5/1/17

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:

The Springfield Public School system – a City Connects district – has seen substantial drops in the number of suspensions and school-based student arrests.

President Trump has ordered a study to determine whether the federal government has overstepped its legal authority in K-12 schools.

Performance in preschool math is a predictor of success in K-12 academic achievement.

More national medical associations are endorsing later school-start times for teenagers.

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

The Weekly Connect 4/24/17

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:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) asks states to come up with per-pupil spending figures, but the law provides no guidelines, so state officials will have to sort through the many costs of school operations.

Today’s first graders are better readers than the first graders of a decade ago, according to an Ohio State University study.

The Boston nonprofit Economic Mobility Pathways, or EMPath, (formerly the Crittenton Women’s Union) uses the science of how poverty affects the brain to shape how it delivers social services to clients.

Kids are more likely to intervene when they see bullying occur if their parents have told them to, instead of telling them not to get involved.

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