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American Teacher
May/June 2012


Feature Story
Community Schools
A pathway to student success

Community schools give teachers the support they need to help students excel.

VIRGINIA APPLEGATE can tell you how well community schools work.

When one of her math students lost a sister four years ago, he was so distraught she worried he would drop out of school. Instead, counselors at her community school, Western Hills University High School in Cincinnati, kicked in to support him. That student now attends Miami University in Ohio.

Another student, “One little girl,” math teacher Rita Seifert calls her, “really wanted to go to college”—but she had a baby. The school helped her find child care, and she is on her way. “It really gave her hope,” Seifert says.

Wraparound services like these can make the difference between dropping out and earning scholarships, between lives of narrowed possibility and lives full of promise. Having access to healthcare, counseling, free meals, day care, academic support, mentoring and a host of other services right on campus can make all the difference, and telling these stories, at the heart of community schools, brings Applegate to tears.

She’s not the only one.


Highlights from this Issue


About American Teacher

American Teacher covers a wide range of activities of interest to preK-12 educators. It includes classroom resources and profiles of members, as well as reports on education reform efforts, teachers' rights, union organizing, effective teaching techniques and other education and labor issues. American Teacher is published six times a year and is mailed to all preK-12 educators who are members of the AFT as a benefit of membership. Single copies are free on request. Questions, comments and inquiries about American Teacher should be sent to its managing editor Roger Glass.  
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