Our schools need strong community and neighborhood support to be successful. And healthy communities and neighborhoods require good schools. Partnerships between schools and their neighborhood communities are essential to the success of both.
It is this philosophy that underlies the city of Sacramento’s innovative and award-winning “Community and Schools Partnerships Program.” The purpose of this program is to: (1) develop and strengthen partnerships between the community and the schools to the benefit of both, and (2) build on or improve existing school facilities to meet community or neighborhood needs. The Community and Schools Partnerships Program provides capital funding for improvements to schools—improvements that meet neighborhood and community needs.
For example, the Pocket Area Community lacks a community center, and the Genevieve Didion School lacks a gym or multipurpose room. Rather than having the city build an expensive new community center, it makes much more sense to build a new gym/multipurpose room at Didion School and make it available to the neighborhood as a community center. The school and the community benefit, and the cost to taxpayers is much less than building two separate facilities.
Examples of projects funded by the Community and Schools Partnerships last year include rehabilitating the gym at Leonardo Da Vinci School for expanded use for city-sponsored indoor sports and recreation programs; funding for a facility devoted to community teen services and programs at Goethe Middle School; renovating school fields at Kit Carson Middle School, to be made available to the community in the afternoons and weekends for youth sports; improvements to create a seamless schoolyard/neighborhood park at John Morse Elementary; creation of a joint-use school playground and neighborhood park at Harkness Elementary School; and providing space for a community program for teens with developmental and physical challenges at C.K. McClatchy High School.
Last year we awarded 17 Community and Schools Partnership Grants throughout the city of Sacramento, totaling $1.8 million, and additional funding is needed to continue the program.
Join me on Tuesday, May 21, 7 p.m., at City Hall, 915 I St., in urging the mayor and City Council to allocate $1.8 million in cable franchise revenues to the Community and Schools Partnerships Program so that we can meet neighborhood and community needs by improving or building on our schools.