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At the heart of the Community School model is the notion that much of what influences a young person’s education happens outside the classroom. From access to quality health care for the whole family to steady employment for parents that pays a livable wage: all these issues can impact a child’s capacity to succeed in school, and in life.

As part of the Coalition for Community Schools, United Way is leading the charge to schools into community schools that serve both the students and their families. These neighborhood “hubs” offer essential education programs, but also social services, health resources, and basic needs programs.

Take Burton High School in San Francisco for example: more than a high school, it also has a teen center, classes for adults, ways for parents to get involved, academic support for kids, a community liaison and a case manager to help kids and families get the services and supports they need to be successful. By bringing it all together in one place, Burton High School benefits the kids, their families and the neighborhood as a whole. It's one of 17 community schools supported by United Way of the Bay Area. The goal is to remove barriers to success—for youth, adults and the entire community.

Marylin Avenue Community School: Helping Families and Children

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