Every Neighborhood Partnership constantly works to build support for our local elementary schools. When launched in 2008, our primary goal was to partner a church with every elementary school in Fresno and Clovis. We knew that churches had the capacity to truly make a difference with our kids, school staffs and families. This has proven true.
Yet, we soon realized that there were other stakeholders in our community that could add even more support to both our schools and neighborhoods.
In 2009 we started mobilizing university students from both Fresno State and Fresno Pacific. These were huge wins. Soon thereafter, some businesses wanted to get into the mix, so we started mobilizing employees. We also found that there were several other community-based organizations (CBOs) that could play a role in serving on campuses and in our neighborhoods. Our biggest win was when we began to mobilize the residents of the very schools we were serving. We knew then that it truly does take a village to support our schools and kids.
By 2014, we were building 50 collaborative partnerships with over 60 churches, 3 universities and colleges, 6 businesses, and over 20 CBOs. All with a singular focus of serving our schools and their surrounding neighborhoods.
Our visions for the next couple of years is to build Neighborhood Support Teams. Teams will be made up of the school principal, resident leaders, business owners and other stakeholders. They will focus in on the felt needs of both the school and community.
We’ve done a good job of developing multiple partners to serve together. Now we need to take it to the next level by being intentional to pursue some measurable, collective impacts that truly move the dial in neighborhood transformation.
On November 7th from 9am-1pm, we will be hosting a workshop on Asset Based Community Development. This would give you a deeper understanding of how community can come together to support our schools and neighborhoods.
Photo by: Kelli Tungay