Lehigh Valley

Allentown School District, United Way awarded $2.5 million grant

Funding strengthens, expands services

ALLENTOWN, Pa., - The Allentown School District was one of the recipients of a $2.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement.

The grant was awarded to United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) in partnership with the district, Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley, St. Luke’s University Health Network and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley.

Effective Oct. 1, 2018, the grant will provide approximately $500,000 per year for five years. Funding will support new staff and services at Francis D. Raub Middle School as well as Washington and Union Terrace Elementary Schools. More than 2,000 students, 600 families and 150 community members will benefit from the grant.

With this funding, UWGLV and partners will welcome Washington and Union Terrace Elementary Schools as full-service community schools.

The services for Washington and Union Terrace include the addition of a full-time community school coordinator at each school through Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley; a full-time behavioral health clinician at Union Terrace Elementary School; expanded enrichment programs provided by partners like Wildlands Conservancy, Community Bike Works and Da Vinci Science Center.

Expanded services for Raub Middle School, will include a full-time, after-school program coordinator and the addition of an intensive case manager focused on reducing chronic absenteeism, defined as missing 18 school days or more each year.

The grant will also provide funding to build parent involvement and leadership with students and families in all three schools with workshops led by Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley.

Using schools as hubs, community schools organize programs and services in one central place for students and families. These programs and services remove barriers to learning, create positive youth development, and empower parents to strengthen their role as partners in education.

The model convenes companies, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and other community supports to ensure higher success rates for students. As a result, community school students have increased reading and math scores and excel in other academic areas.

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