There has been some good news recently for all supporters of community schools: the U.S. Department of Education has awarded 12 new grants to organizations developing full-service community schools. These 12 grantees will join the 30 others who have received grants from 2008 onwards. The awards total close to $6 million, and will help districts and other groups develop and implement schools that can meet all of their students' needs.
Community schools bring education and community resources together, integrating schools into the neighborhoods surrounding them and providing wraparound services for students and their families. Schools can provide essential services like healthcare, job training, college counseling, literacy classes for parents, and tons of other resources that help students succeed in their educational goals. They also often include a variety of extracurricular activities, like sports and art classes, and frequently start students on the right foot by including pre-K education as well. Schools develop these supports in partnerships with students, families, neighborhoods, and local businesses.