The Power of Partnerships - Collaborating for Impact
Developing partnerships and enhancing relationships between schools and community organizations is one of the most important responsibilities of LEARN’s Provincial Resource Team (PRT) and Community Learning Centres (CLC). Building effective school-community partnerships that support students and communities requires time and must be a collaborative process. As partners make connections, work together and get to know each other, they develop trust and mutual respect for each other.
Schools that participate in the CLC Initiative have discovered that by working in partnership, schools and communities have a greater impact than they do individually. This means that they “pay explicit attention to students’ social and emotional development as well as their academic learning, recognizing that they are intertwined and mutually reinforcing” (Coalition for Community Schools, 2018). School-community partnerships provide students with enriched learning opportunities and facilitate the development of community service learning projects, where teachers create student learning opportunities that address authentic needs within the community.
The PRT facilitates the development of partnerships at the school level and the adoption of effective strategies to support student engagement and community vitality. School-community partnerships contribute to enhancing school climate which in turn, often leads to decreased absenteeism, suspensions, substance abuse, and bullying while increasing students’ motivation to learn. Greater community involvement in the schools also leads to an increase in financial and material contributions and more volunteers supporting the school team.
Partnerships enhance the work of the PRT and CLCs by leveraging resources that lead to greater impact in the classroom and in the community. Organizations interested in working with the CLC network can contact the Provincial Resource Team to explore the possibilities.