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Community Schools can also provide a strategic entry point for philanthropic engagement, building on the Community Schools’ abilities to target resources for the neediest students and their families at scale, leveraging public funding and services.

For example, in June 2015, Warby Parker announced that it would donate glasses to 20,000 children in Community Schools over the next four years. The City then dedicated $10 million through the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to expand free vision screening program to all 55,000 Community Schools students.

The Community Schools initiative also provides opportunities for partner engagement beyond funding. OCS central staff and CSDs can coordinate support for volunteer engagement, such as service days or ongoing volunteer opportunities, and ensure that in-kind goods and services get to where they are most needed. For example, a recent coat drive with Operation Warm resulted in 11,000 elementary students receiving a coat for the winter.

The DOE’s theory of change for Community Schools drives towards outcomes through four key intervention paths:

·       Continuous Improvement uses data to capture a portrait of the whole child;

·       Coordination delivers the right services to the right student at the right time;

·       Connectedness models academic and personal behavior for students

·       Collaboration supports families as partners in school and student growth

To complement the city’s $100 million investment in Community Schools, we are seeking partners that can support projects aligned with these four intervention paths. The CS team has identified 11 projects for philanthropic support. Some are investments in building the infrastructure and capacity of the Community Schools, such as professional development for CBO and school leaders, and dissemination and knowledge sharing efforts. Others provide direct support and services to Community Schools, such as adult education, laundry facilities for students living in temporary housing, summer service learning, and winter coats.