1. Tell us about your community school. How has the community school strategy impacted your students, families, and community?

Elev8 Baltimore partners with Schools, Families, and the Community to make sure that students in grades 3rd - 8th are ready to succeed in High School and in Life! We do that in three key ways:

  1. Provide coordinated services and opportunities that every child needs and deserves.
  2. Engage families and students so that can be effective advocates for themselves and their communities.
  3. Partner with other community based organizations to promote change in the policies and practices of schools, local and national government agencies, and others to strengthen their focus on students and community success.

Elev8 Baltimore was founded in 2009 as part of a national Elev8 movement united by the vision of creating strong schools in under-served communities through four sites which operate independently – Oakland, Chicago, New Mexico, and Baltimore. Elev8 Baltimore is an initiative of Humanim, a nonprofit focused on transforming Baltimore neighborhoods, in five Elementary/Middle Schools. In addition to our after school services, we provide students with school-based health services and family support services to their caregivers. In 2015-16, Elev8 Baltimore supported over 1,800 students through the coordination of programs and services!

2. Why do you do what you do?

I truly believe in the adage "It takes a village to raise a child" and that Community Schools brings this to life.

3. Can you tell me a story about a student, family or community that you directly impacted as a coordinator?

I was the Coordinator at Westside Elementary School, located in Central West Baltimore, during the "2015 Uprising", and we offered a safe space and dinner to over 100 Students and Families, from our School and the surrounding community, who couldn’t make it home because of the violence happening in the streets. 

4. The Community Schools National Forum is coming to your city in 2018. What can people look forward to seeing next year in Baltimore?

During the National Forum people will have the opportunity to see:

  • Community Schools with authentic relationships and support of local government officials and agencies.
  • Community School Coordinators working as "Change Agents" in their school communities.
  • Community Based Organizations and Schools partnering to build capacity in parents through advocacy, engagement, and involvement.
  • And a city changing for the better!

5. Quote that you live by:

"Not everything that is face can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin

6. One piece of advice for other coordinators:

Remember SELF CARE!

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