About Community Schools

About Community Schools

Children’s Home + Aid saves children’s lives, moves families forward and goes where the need is greatest.

A Brief History

Founded in 1883, Children’s Home + Aid continues a mission of giving help, hope and opportunity to children with a variety of educational, emotional, physical and behavioral needs. Each year, we help more than 40,000 children and families in Illinois through services like adoption, foster care, early childhood education, counseling, child abuse prevention and community school partnerships.

Currently, Children’s Home + Aid has nine school partners. These partners include Cameron, Chase, Copernicus, Earle, Fulton, Howe, Lowell, Mays and Ray.

What is a Community School?

A community school is a place and a set of partnerships. The place is the school. The partnerships are those relationships that exist between the school and local service providers who seek to direct needed resources to the students and families of that school.

The goal of the community school is to transform the building into the hub of the community, a place that all students, parents and community members value for its contribution to the broader neighborhood. The school becomes a vibrant place with rigorous curricula, extended-day services and additional family and social services that  help remove barriers to academic and social success for students. When a community thrives, so do its students.

The ultimate goal is to help young people thrive.

Children’s Home + Aid Community School Model at Ray Elementary

When Children’s Home + Aid initiated a partnership with Ray Elementary, they found a partner with strong and visionary leadership, and one who values the contributions that external partners could make to the success of the school community.

Programming may be developed in three key areas: student programs, family engagement and health. Initially, the entry point into Ray Elementary has focussed on the area of student programs.

Student programs primarily include extended-day/after-school programs. Ray delivers a comprehensive range of programs including academic support, arts/culture, sports and fitness, and leadership development.

In order to support effective school partnerships, Children’s Home + Aid employs a full-time Community School Manager at Ray Elementary. As Community School Manager at Ray, Ms. Scott is the primary liaison between the school and Children’s Home + Aid. In addition, Ms. Scott is part of the school’s administrative team and oversees the planning and implementation of all agency programs delivered at Ray Elementary.