Tagged “Community Engagement”

School Organizes to Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Wagga Wagga Christian College, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Wagga Wagga Christian College is a coeducational K–12 school which fosters a family environment that develops responsibility and trust between peers and multi-aged young people. In 2007, the faculty determined the need to develop a welfare system to be proactive and responsive, not reactive. As a result the school has refined its transition programs, building stronger links with parents and the community beyond the school; expanded its student leadership program, empowering students at all levels of leadership; and implemented resilience programs, highlighting the safe use of social networks, cyberbullying, and sex education and relationships. Feedback is sought at parent association meetings about the mental health and well-being programs that could be implemented for students and parents.

Connecting to the Community to Promote Well-Being for All

Cedars Christian College, Farmborough Heights, New South Wales, Australia

Over the last thirty years, Cedars Christian College has grown to offer a quality educational experience for more than 600 students from preK through secondary school. The school has a prominent standing in the area and has a reputation for its strong pastoral care programs and links to the community. Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, the school is served by teachers and support staff focused on providing a safe and supportive teaching and learning environment and are committed to promoting the social and emotional well-being of the whole community.

Strong Values Guide School Community to Success

Melrose High School, Pearce, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Melrose High School nurtures and values social and cultural learning abilities and styles. The inclusive environment provides students with a diverse range of learning opportunities with the goal of producing leaders and learners of the future. The school reinforces strong values which are based on "RESPECT:" Resources, Effort, Self, Peers, Environment, Community, Teachers. The values guide the school community in the way they conduct themselves. They also reinforce a safe and health-promoting environment which ensures that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Recognized as a MindMatters School in 2011 by whole child partner Principals Australia Institute, Melrose High School is an outstanding and inclusive government school whose multicultural composition is reflected in the strong cultivation of students as global citizens. The school works closely with its local and extended community to provide a well-balanced and stimulating curriculum with strengths in academic, sporting, and cultural pursuits. Specialist learning facilities, a new gymnasium, and a wonderful array of sporting and recreational facilities enable students to enjoy the educationally stimulating environment and the friendship of a diverse student body.

Strong Policy and Community Collaboration Speak Volumes

Grand Forks, N.Dak.

A four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Grand Forks, N.Dak., strives to evoke positive action through strong policies and community collaboration.

Practices like the Grand Forks Youth Commission, composed of students from middle and high schools who express their voice about community issues; the PASS and Interventions programs, which use innovative approaches to assist in responding to student challenges; and the Grand Forks Helping Hands Summer Camp, which helps young people understand the importance of volunteerism as they provide opportunities for a wide range of children, are all positive change agents that will continue to promote leadership and service among all generations.

Diversity and Mobility Set the Stage for Youth Involvement

Lakewood, Wash.

As a four-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition, Lakewood, Wash., has been a driving force in serving its youth population.

Diversity and mobility have set the stage for the city's ability to provide a multitude of youth-related services that range from mobile food programs, which ensure provisions to youth without transportation, to the Pierce County Bookmobiles that provide educational resources to youth who come from low-income or isolated areas. With more than 200 members of the Lakewood Community Collaboration continuing to address the needs of youth and the wealth of youth involvement in their community, Lakewood is a symbol for positive change.

Addressing the Diverse Needs of Youth

Aberdeen, S.Dak.

From parent–child relationships to healthy eating habits to academic success, Aberdeen, S.Dak., is dedicated to providing its youth with a multitude of opportunities and services to ensure their future well-being and success.

At-risk youth can always rely on the New Beginnings Center to provide care, supervision, and treatment for abuse or mental health difficulties, while the Almost Home Program provides transitional living. Kids Konnection is a program designed to promote and maintain positive interactions with significant adults in children's lives, and Activate Aberdeen strives to tackle childhood obesity through a weight reeducation program.

Academically, students always have support as they strive for success: throughout high school, each student has a personal advocate who provides personalized attention. Because of its immense dedication to all aspects of the youth population, Aberdeen was also recognized by whole child partner America's Promise Alliance in the 100 Best Communities for Young People.

Leadership Models Endorse Positive Youth Engagement

Manchester, N.H.

Two-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People designation, Manchester, N.H., stresses youth leadership through all of its practices and is known nationally for its work in the design, development, and implementation of leadership models.

Whether it is the City of Manchester, through the Departments of Planning, Health, Youth Services, or the Manchester School District, positive and engaging programs are budding around the community:

  • The Weed-n-Seed Initiative has led to the development of programs to reduce the number of youth in juvenile justice and improve youth health.
  • The City Year Young Heroes is a service-learning program that serves as a platform for middle-grades students to understand important social issues while giving them the chance to positively influence their communities.

Young people in Manchester are working alongside adults to fully support the academic, social, and physical needs of everyone in their community.

Midwestern Culture Cultivates Rich Opportunities for Youth

Omaha, Neb.

Incorporating student voice, engagement, and overall well-being into the community are top priorities in Omaha, Neb. Nestled in an environment with strong Midwestern values, the city has a deep understanding and focus on creating a collaborative pathway to achievement so that its youth can succeed.

Interactive leadership programs, like Youth Leadership Omaha and the City of Omaha's Mayor's Youth Commission, have allowed students to examine their community in full and participate in addressing community needs to promote long-term wellness. A dedication to the growth of youth is also evident in volunteering, receiving mentoring services, and gaining preparation for post-secondary education that are easily accessible through local nonprofit organizations, like Building Bright Futures and the Midlands Mentoring Partnership.

Omaha, Neb., is a first-time winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

All Sectors Play A Role in Youth Development

Missoula, Mont.

From the academic sector to the financial and environmental sectors, every part of Missoula, Mont., is dedicated to serving its youth population. Programs like Child Care Resources, the Forest Service, and Graduation Matters Missoula speak to the community's dedication.

  • Child Care Resources provides scholarships for low-income youth to participate in fee-based programs.
  • The Forest Service allows students to learn about the wilderness and take advantage of its proximity to the community.
  • Graduation Matters Missoula is a recent partnership whose focus is to ensure that the whole community plays a role in keeping students in school. Its goal is to achieve a 100 percent graduation rate through promoting academic reentry or completing General Education Development requirements.

Accessibility to all of these programs is a strong priority, and Missoula is continuing to address the needs of its youth through community collaboration. In recognition of its commitment to youth, Missoula is a winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition.

Challenges of Poverty-Stricken Community Diminished Through Award-Winning Programs

Pascagoula, Miss.

No matter the challenge or obstacle, Pascagoula, Miss., always aims for excellence among its youth population. With a 74 percent district poverty rate, the community sees the importance of providing programs that nourish youth on multiple levels—mentally, socially, and academically.

Destination Graduation! is a dropout prevention program for at-risk students that allows interaction with business partnerships and industry and service groups to give students the opportunity to get involved in real-world situations. The program won the 2009 National Dropout Prevention Network's Crystal Star Award, and the community is continuing to provide positive resources. For example, an unused school was converted into a Family Interactive Center where families have a safe place to learn and play together.

Pascagoula was the first certified "Child Friendly Community" on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, in addition to being a winner of whole child partner America's Promise Alliance's 100 Best Communities for Young People recognition for its incredible work.

Share |

Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.

GET STARTED »

LEARN MORE »