Friday, May 4, 2012

Schools Partner with Towns and Community Groups

People are often unaware of how much their school district operations are interwoven with the quality of life for the entire community.  In addition to the classroom experiences, extracurricular activities, and athletics everyone associates with public schools, school districts build liaisons and partnerships with their towns and community groups in a wide variety of ways. By collaborating with one another, their town governments, cultural institutions and other groups, Monroe County school districts offer a wide range of specialized programs to meet the needs of their students.  Here are some examples; others can be found in our Best For Less Publication

Local Rotary clubs collaborate with school districts to bring high school students from around the globe to attend high school in Monroe County. This famous international exchange program helps local students learn about the world from their peers in other countries and gives them an opportunity to be an ambassador for their nation.

The annual Senior Transition Day in the Wheatland-Chili High School provides students an opportunity to learn from community members who help them explore everything from apartment renting, insurance selection, ballroom dancing, cooking, college life, car repair, and more.

The Family Support Center in the Spencerport District’s Administration Building is a collaboration of the District and the Town of Ogden. The Center offers free counseling services for children and families, as well as community-wide educational programs and support groups for parents. The Center also includes a resource library and information on local social service and mental health resources.  Several other districts also maintain family support centers. 

Continuing education programs for adults are offered by many school districts in Monroe County.  One example is the Greece Central School District Office of Community Education.  Greece’s program serves thousands of adult learners every year. More than 450 people participate in adult literacy programs learning subjects from adult basic education to citizenship. The district also offers a variety of workforce development programs for adults.  People looking to change careers or improve their skills can enroll in career certificate classes in the areas of office technology, customer service and sales, custodial maintenance and repair, and pharmacy technician.

The Rush-Henrietta Cooperative Wetlands Education Program is a cooperative venture of the Rush-Henrietta School District and its community. Educational signs as well as instructional programs inform visitors about the features and value of this wetlands environment.
The Gates Chili Central School District also hosts a similar nature trail on the property of its Neil Armstrong School, and West Irondequoit’s Helmer Nature Center has been providing a wide range of learning programs including classes in awareness, animal habitats, snowshoeing, Native American culture, pioneer living, outdoor cooking, and more since 1973. 
Many Monroe County school districts collaborate with civic groups like the YMCA to provide before and/or after school child care in school facilities.  One example is West Irondequoit’s K-6 Extension Program offered through the district’s Community Education Department.  The morning program begins at 7 AM; the afternoon program runs until 6 PM.  Children are provided with appropriate snacks, exercise, time for homework and reading, and enrichment activities.
Coping Power is an after school program in some Rochester schools.  This program for pre-adolescents is coordinated by a group of pediatricians and helps students learn strategies for reducing aggressive behavior, improving social competence, and increasing problem-solving abilities. 

The Brighton Food Cupboard is a program of the Brighton Central School District with the Jewish Community Federation, Foodlink, and other community organizations and volunteers.  Working through local social service case managers, the cupboard provides a means to prevent and reduce hunger and food insecurity for individuals and families living in Brighton and surrounding communities. 

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