PWC Staff Interviewed by Education Week About Community Schools
In Education Week‘s most recent “Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo” he asked readers: What are Community Schools? Partnership with Children Community School Director for PS 298, Felicia Callis-Guerrier submitted the response below, describing the partnerships and initiatives she’s formed to better support the students and community at the school. Read all of the responses submitted by educators and organizers working in community schools at Education Week.
My school is located in Brownsville (Dr. Betty Shabazz School) in a high poverty, high crime, neighborhood that creates a toxic environment for many of our students. We work with a population that is familiar with trauma. As a community school director, I have partnered with many local community organizations that play a pivotal role in supporting our students and families. Hosting an after school program provides a safe place for students to complete homework, and have enrichment activates that allow creative expressions. These include, sports, dance and art. As a community school we provide eye exams that include free eyeglasses for students in need. We provide dental care that includes not only tooth cleaning, but cavity filling on site in the school. The CBO that I work for is Partnership with Children (PWC). PWC includes a social worker and two interns. PWC addresses the social emotional needs of the students and helps to decrease suspensions, and behaviors that take time away from instruction. Our school also partners with many wellness agencies that provide mental health services from our referrals. Our food pantry helps with food insecurity and our coat and toy drive assist to make the holidays bright and warm for each student. We start each school year off with book bags and school supplies. Our school has HRA in the building twice a week to assist families with obtaining public benefits. We also work with Brownsville Jobs Plus to assist families with job placement training and employment.