Today there are multitudes of children from all kinds of backgrounds who need the same investment that I received as a child. I see their faces and I realize how much value they have and how much potential they hold. These kids need consistent, trustworthy adults who will pay attention to their unique strengths and struggles. Student centered learning is more than tailoring our academic approach to the individual needs of children. It is also walking alongside their families to help them grow in resilience, providing the resources needed to overcome learning disabilities, or the support of mental health professionals when they struggle with anxiety or depression. Our schools are places where the whole community can come together to provide resources for our kids and families. This is not a platitude. It is often the very thing that makes the difference. I was the recipient of powerful community support connected through my local school. As an adult, I have watched it change the trajectory of so many lives. It is the thing that gets me up in the morning and it is what gives me vision for the future.
In the News
Sometimes people ask me what is so important about Love Our Schools Day. Can one day on a school campus, really make a difference? Of course, this question is understandable, and yet, the answer still echoes with resounding power. YES! While we are completing simple projects, it is often what happens beneath the surface that makes the biggest impact. Have you ever had a friend or family member come alongside you and help you clean out a room before a surgery or before welcoming a new baby? Has someone helped you install a playground, plant a tree, fix your car? What difference did it make? How did it change not just the practical options you had available, but the way you experienced your world? What did it mean to you to not be alone in that moment?
“A buzz of wonder and excitement that fills the air in Ms. Williams STEM class thanks to School Connect, an organization that connects schools to their local community, businesses, and churches…Heidi Vega says, ‘We work with the superintendents in different districts to identify those local needs, and then we gather up all the stakeholder groups and unite them in different ways.’ Ways like a massive food giveaway for Saint Mary’s Food Bank, a youth leadership summit, donations for a leader appreciation day…
“We are so appreciative of the donation that the family made in honor of their mom, as well as to our partnership with School Connect, because that really is what ignited this,” said Marlene Capristo, principal of Scott Libby Elementary. “Then, bringing in our amazing PTA, we took that vision and created this room. There’s just so much gratitude for all of that coming together to create something for this school.”
Avondale participates in School Connect Campaign “A Community Thrives” To Give Community Support to Under Resourced Children
School Connect is hosting its “A Community Thrives” campaign to connect 70 high-need Arizona schools, including the Avondale Elementary School District, to their surrounding communities.
The Arizona-based nonprofit’s mission is to tangibly connect all 2,485 Arizona K-12 school campuses with community resources and partnerships so that every student has a well-informed village ready to help them reach their potential.
A Glendale-based nonprofit is working to bring together businesses, faith communities, nonprofits and government agencies to help Arizona students in need.
School Connect partners with lower-income schools to provide students with clothing, food, mentorship and emotional support aimed at improving academic success.
Last year approximately 700 Arizona schools were assisted through partnerships serving about 420,000 students.
PHOENIX, AZ – School Connect, the Arizona-based organization that connects schools to communities so that every child has accessible resources, is announcing its ‘A Community Thrives’ campaign.
School Connect is on a mission to connect 70 high-need, Arizona schools to their surrounding community organizations, businesses and faith-based partners to help fill the educational, economic, social and emotional needs of the youth and families that attend these schools.
Through a month-long campaign, the organization will raise funds to provide seven districts with the necessary project money to host CAFE projects to work toward teacher retention, student behavior and academic achievement.
For Susie Smith, Principal of Desert Foothills Middle School, and Andrea Worth, Outreach Director of CalvaryPHX, that starting place was the School Connect Summit in 2018.
Since that day, their partnership has grown in powerful ways! From students gaining interactive playground equipment to teachers receiving coffee gift cards, gift baskets, and community appreciation, Susie and Andrea’s partnership has built an environment where kids thrive!
Every time I have started something new there has been risk involved, but beginning our nonprofit, School Connect, felt particularly that way because I loved the job I already had. The chance to do something really fresh that could make a true difference in schools and communities was so compelling that I took the leap and I never looked back! Taking risks is the only way I have actually moved forward in things that really mattered to me. I had to believe in a vision of what could be, become really clear about what I was trying to accomplish and cast that vision in a compelling way so that others came to believe it as well.
Every year School Connect AZ is inspired by the passion of educators to surround kids with resource rich environments that help our children learn and grow.
The past year has been challenging like never before, but educators have faced this challenge with heroic resolve, and we want to celebrate them!
Do you know a teacher, a student, a principal, a superintendent or a school board member who has inspired you with their ability to beat the odds, solve problems creatively and help their students and community thrive?
Mountain View School Works with its Village to transform the lives of kids and their families.