The Office of School Community Partnerships has been created to develop, promote and assist in the coordination of collaborative efforts between the schools and the business, faith and civic communities in an effort to create and foster relationships beneficial to Richmond Public Schools and to the community at large.
Many urban cities are becoming increasingly polarized by race, income, and language.
Research shows that "volunteering especially in organizations to which one does not belong, is a powerful way of reconnecting people with reality outside of their own worlds. Volunteer programs bring the middle class public into the classroom of low-income children and open their eyes to the challenges faced by teachers and children in poor schools. ("Making the Most of Volunteers," Grossman & Furano, 2002)
Partnerships also help students to connect with a larger world outside of their community. Students benefit from the care and enthusiasm resulting from healthy interactions of volunteers from other cultures, races, and income groups. Students are able to benefit first hand from the support and resources of adults other than their teachers and principals. This type of positive interaction nurtures positive self – esteem and combats negative, anti-social behavior.
The Office of School Community Partnerships can assist in:
- Finding and sustaining business partners in schools
- Helping develop recruiting procedures
- Assessing readiness to begin the program
- Developing an Action Team Partnership (A.T.P.)
- Developing an action plan
- Integrating the partnership into the school
- Marketing the program
- Evaluating effectiveness
- Defining roles of school and business partners
- Developing goals and objectives (MOU'S)
- Creating recognition and acknowledgement experiences and more