LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock School District is extending its reach beyond just in the classrooms as they have partnered with the city of Little Rock to help improve communities surrounding its schools.
The LRSD has identified four schools as community schools. Little Rock Chief Educational Officer Jay Barth says there’s more to this than just turning around test scores.
We need to do what we can to improve the quality of life and around community schools so that the neighbor itself can be a healthier place for kids to grow up in.
These schools, which all happen to be south of I-630, will serve as hubs for the district and the city to help provide services to those who live in that area, such as digital literacy and English speaking classes.
That’s at the core of any healthy school but we also know that that students need additional support to really thrive.
Carla Coleman has volunteered through her church for 11 years at Watson Elementary, and she thinks this will start a rally for people and organizations across the city.
“If you are in a community you’re gonna wanna help each other and I see this is a really great thing,” said Carla Coleman.
Her church provides students at Watson with two uniforms at the beginning fo the year, they also provide christmas gifts to every student and their siblings, that’s on top of providing shoes and socks and any other need that arises.
“But it makes it all worthwhile do you leave there you know knowing that you did the right thing to the right people,” said Coleman
Barth says thats what this system is meant to do, provide those community partnerships to help those who need it, especially those needs beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic.
“The challenges facing the neighborhoods around the schools didn’t happen overnight and therefore we need to think about improving the quality of life for everyone around that students can really come of age in healthier places to live,” said Barth
Also, LRSD will conduct a survey of needs in those neighborhoods and they want to hear from students, families, people in those neighborhoods and then will address the most pressing needs going forward.