United Way of Greater Knoxville, Inc
Social Innovation Fund 2012
TITLE: United Way for Greater Knoxville (UWGK) Community Schools Collaborative
BASIC INFORMATION: A symbiotic network of nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs will provide evidence-based services to effect an integrated support environment for the students and families of Knox County Schools. UWGK, lead intermediary of the Knox County Schools Community Schools Collaborative ("CSC"), grants to nonprofit organizations as an integral function of its mission. In 2011, UWGK granted $10.5 million to 44 nonprofits and 111 individual programs. $1.9 million was earmarked for competitive grant making in the area of education for non-profit agencies looking to align their programs with Knox County Schools "Five Year Strategic Plan." Additionally, Knox County Schools has recently proposed $5million dollars toward the development and expansion of a district wide Community Schools project over the next five years.
UWGK's Community Schools Collaborative is geographically-based with a focus on building capacity in the Knoxville region of Tennessee and will be addressing the Youth Development and Healthy Futures issue areas. Through the commitment of our partner agencies and Knox County Schools we will be better able to implement programs that directly contributed to one of four target goals: 1) improve kindergarten readiness rates in low-income communities; 2) improve graduation rates in low-income communities; 3) improve financial stability of low-income families; and 4) provide basic needs and health services to support families during times of economic crisis.
UWGK is undergirded by a team of contracted partners and collaborating entities including: Great Schools Partnership (Program management, continuous improvement, capacity building); University of Tennessee Medical Library (data collection, reporting, and technology); Knoxville Chamber of Commerce (Evaluation); and the Knox County Health Department (technical assistance). Representatives from the Summit Medical Group, Pershing Yoakley and Associates and the East Tennessee Foundation will assist UWGK in the SIF defined subgrantee selection process.
UWGK is requesting $1,000,000 per year for three years, for a total of $3,000,000 in Federal funding between 10/01/2012 and 9/30/15. UWGK will secure a one-to-one match of $1,000,000 for year one, including commitments/cash on hand from the Great Schools Partnership, and funds from UWGK's Annual Campaign with a presented letter of commitment signatures.
The Community School Collaborative will address the funding priority issue of Youth Development and Health Futures by specifically focusing on the implementation of a community schools pilot program. This program will place the school as the center of community learning, health education and prevention and economic empowerment, by taking outside resources and providers from within the community and the UWGK partner network, and place them directly inside the school site. Expanding on the local research of Dr. Bob Kronick and his work with the full-service school model at Pond Gap Elementary, our partnership with the Community Learning Centers model that is currently at work in the Cincinnati public schools and national best-practices research, the district will tailor programs for selected schools based on each individual schools set of needs. The core of this model will involve an independent parent body that selects the individual programs the district has vetted (mental health providers, dental care providers, afterschool care etc') and based on their community specific needs, gives them access to provide such services within the school at a site level. In providing outside services within the high need schools that address the physical, economic and social barriers to learning, we will better meet the needs of students and community members so that educators can focus on the vital task of instruction and learning.