At United Way, we know it takes a village to raise healthy, successful children. That’s why we are a proud member of The Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership, a collective strategy to transform schools into places where students, families, staff, and the surrounding community work together to ensure success for every student.
Glenn Carson is the community school coordinator at Hopkins Lloyd, an elementary school on Milwaukee’s Northwest side. Last year, Glenn brought together teachers, parents, and students to begin a series of “Homework Diners."
“The Homework Diner is a place where parents and students can come to meet with teachers and get help with homework,” said Glenn. “We also partner with HeartLove Place, a local organization that sends their culinary arts students to serve a healthy meal.”
“Homework Diners are a wonderful way to get students to do their homework, spend time with the whole family, have conversations with teachers, and eat a delicious meal,” said Hopkins Lloyd Principal Natosha Harris. “It’s relaxing and gets students and families excited and involved in the school.”
Homework Diners at Hopkins-Lloyd happen every-other Wednesday during the school year and are often packed with participating families.
“Sometimes you just don’t have time to come home from work, cook dinner, and help your child with their homework,” says Hopkins Lloyd Parent Leader Shontell Bounds. “As a parent, the Homework Diner is a great way to spend that focused time with your child.”
“Being an active parent is important to me because my dad was always there, so I try to be there for my son,” said Andre Richards, father of Hopkins Lloyd 6th grader Avery. “Helping him with homework is a challenge, so Homework Diners help me get over that hump.”
The Community School model has been implemented in communities across the country and has shown that authentic engagement, shared leadership, and coordinated community partnerships focused on equity can improve educational outcomes, school climate, and investment in local neighborhoods.
In Milwaukee, students at Milwaukee Community Schools are outpacing the district’s average growth in both STAR Math and STAR Reading scores.
Milwaukee currently has 10 Community Schools, with plans to add more each year.
“It’s so important to have programs like the Homework Diner to bring the parents in to spend time with the staff, spend time with their kids, and see what the kids are learning in school,” said Bobby McKnight, a father and grandfather who is himself a Hopkins Lloyd graduate. “The more parents that get involved the better the school will be.”
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