The city’s school system received a $499,928 grant from the United States Department of Education to fund full service community schools, announced Congressman Bill Pascrell on Monday morning.
“This funding will help expand the existing [Full Service Community Schools] FSCS program in Paterson and ensure that as many children as possible has access to a healthy learning environment,” Pascrell said.
Full service community schools provide wrap around services for students including academic assistance, in-school clinic with medical, dental, and mental health services. The community schools also provide anti-bullying programs, workforce development, emergency food, housing services, and other services.
“I commend the Paterson Board of Education for taking this critical step in improving health, education and community engagement programming in our schools,” Pascrell said. “As a former educator, I understand the importance of providing comprehensive programming tailored to the unique needs of the community.”
The school system plans to implement the full service community school model at School 6 that serves K-8 students and School 15 that serves PK-5.
“We began our Full Service Community Schools initiative in 2010 because we recognize that students have a much greater chance for academic success when the school becomes a “hub” to help meet the diverse needs of the surrounding community,” State District Superintendent Donnie Evans said. “We are extremely grateful for this additional funding which will help to support our existing programs at two of our most-challenged schools.”
The grant was awarded through the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE).
In 2010, the school system received $2.3 million in federal funds to convert School 5, w Roberto Clemente, and the Napier School of Technology into full service community schools. In 2012, an additional $500,000 grant allowed for the conversion of School 6 and 15 into full service community schools.
“Our district’s vision is to become the leader in educating urban youth,” Evans said.