Tapping community strengths to support student achievement

Ohio Smart Schools cmtyThe responsibility for ensuring that all Ohio students are prepared for productive and fulfilling lives belongs not just to the education system. It is a responsibility shared by families and communities, businesses and philanthropies, social services and faith-based organizations.

As Ohio comes to grips with today’s grim economic reality, all those with an interest in the success of the next generation can and should play important roles in helping support and improve education.

Whether it’s organizing volunteers to bolster schools’ resources, harnessing the power of support services to remove barriers to learning – or identifying entirely new ways of involving those outside the school doors in education – tapping community strengths will be key to making sure that Ohio students receive first-rate educational experiences despite the current strain on state and district budgets.

Building new partnerships

We are seeking examples and insights into how communities can make the best use of the whole spectrum of resources that could be available to them. While we recognize that economic pressures touch public and private sectors across the state, we believe our schools can benefit from looking beyond the usual sources of support to discover additional assets and build new community partnerships.

We are researching approaches to:

  • Align existing resources: Models that coordinate services and resources already in place for children to ensure that they are working together effectively and reducing wasteful redundancies.
  • Create new partnerships: Opportunities  to tap additional sources of support that could relieve pressure on strained education systems.