Family League of Baltimore Awards School Climate Challenge Grants
Governor’s Office for Children Funding Awarded to Nine City Schools
BALTIMORE (March 15, 2016) – Family League of Baltimore today announced the recipients of nine School Climate Challenge grants designed to create welcoming, safe and engaging school environments for Baltimore City students and identify best practices for creating positive school climates.
A total of $25,000 in funding provided by the Governor’s Office for Children was awarded to the following nine Baltimore Community Schools: John Eager Howard Elementary/Middle, Arlington Elementary/Middle, Booker T. Washington Middle, Commodore John Rogers Elementary/Middle, Forest Park High, Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary, Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle, Patterson High and Holabird Academy.
“Decades of research show that a high quality school climate improves academic outcomes, fosters youth development, promotes healthy relationships, reduces violence and improves student engagement,” said Family League CEO Jonathon Rondeau. “Through these challenge grants, Family League will glean best practices to inform our work with Community Schools, the Positive Schools Center and the Baltimore School Climate Collaborative.”
School climate remains a focal point for Baltimore City school districts and school leaders. According to the Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC), one of the major challenges with the heightened emphasis on test scores and academic results is also remembering the importance of the personal contact that is so essential to school climate and helps provide a space where children feel comfortable taking risks, exposing vulnerability and building their sense of self. BERC research has determined that effective school climate strategies with low or no cost to the school include posting student data, displaying student work in the school building and giving personal affirmations.
With this research in mind, the challenge grants focus on one of two areas: improving end-of-year attendance by integrating youth enrichment activities provided by the community or out-of-school time partners in the regular school day; or implementation of an evidence-based strategy focusing on creating a welcoming environment, safety, or health and wellness.
Family League will support and monitor the implementation of these grants to understand the key components to each project as well as to measure the impact. These stories of implementation will be documented and shared publicly through our website and social media.
About Family League of Baltimore
Since 1991, Family League of Baltimore has mobilized resources, empowered communities, and built the capacity of organizations to provide children and families with high quality programs and services that help them reach their full potential. We use our deep experience in resource management to collaborate with stakeholders to improve opportunities across our city. Family League currently implements the community schools strategy in 56 schools within the Baltimore City Public School System. Our goal is that by 2030, all children in Baltimore will be born healthy, succeed academically, graduate high school and transition into higher education and the workforce. Learn more about Family League at www.familyleague.org. Join us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Baltimore School Climate Collaborative
The Baltimore School Climate Collaborative uses a comprehensive strategy informed by youth, families, and school community members to advocate for effective policies and promote the use of best practices, so that students attend every day and graduate prepared for college and career.
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