From the archives: our community partners

While the blog is on summer vacation, we’re sharing past posts and social media coverage about the many ways City Connects helps students thrive. 

This week’s roundup looks at how City Connects works with community partners around the country to bring the right services to the right students at the right time. 

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City Connects and Catie’s Closet: working with a community partner that’s just down the hall
City Connects Blog, January 24, 2019

Last school year, Lincoln Elementary School in Springfield, Mass., had a custodian’s closet that was nothing special.

This year that space has been transformed – painted, carpeted and decorated – and turned into Catie’s Closet, a cheerful place where students can get donated clothes and toiletries.

Continue reading “From the archives: our community partners”

Food, fun, and family engagement at Belle Haven Elementary School

How do you turn lessons about food into life skills? Ask City Connects Coordinator Keisha Anderson. 

Anderson, the coordinator at Belle Haven Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, teaches students about nutrition using her own upbeat energy, a cooking competition, and the help of a community partner. 

Anderson worked with Donna Kuykendall to ensure that an afterschool nutrition program was both informative and fun. Kuykendall works as a Regional Program Assistant for Central State University Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

When Anderson and Kuykendall put their heads together, they came up with two culminating events: a “Chopped” competition and a family dinner.

Making nutrition fun is a crucial part of addressing challenging health issues, Anderson says. 

“Belle Haven’s students are disproportionately and negatively impacted by health concerns that can be prevented through healthy eating and movement. High blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes can be prevented based on what we eat and how much we move.”

Continue reading “Food, fun, and family engagement at Belle Haven Elementary School”

The power of partnership: City Connects and The Salem Pantry

Salem Food Bank partnership

Robyn Burns’ first day of work as the first full-time Executive Director of The Salem Pantry was March 25, 2020. 

“When I was hired prior to the shut down, I thought I was joining a small organization. I wasn’t yet thinking about the impact of a global pandemic,” Burns recalls.

The Salem Pantry had been around for thirty years as a volunteer-run organization, Burns explained to the Salem News during a video interview in April of 2020, when she and the rest of the world were forced to think about the pandemic. 

The pantry was doing a small mobile food distribution program through pop-up sites and running a backpack program in Salem’s public schools, sending kids home with backpacks full of food.

Continue reading “The power of partnership: City Connects and The Salem Pantry”
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