This week I’m adding something new to the blog, a more in-depth, quick facts way to start applying principles I discuss on the blog directly back into the community. This week’s theme was education, so I’m revisiting steps we need to bridge the gap between our schools and the community. Here are five of those steps:
Host Community Events Free of Charge
School lunchrooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums and classrooms are perfect event spaces. If need be, bring in food and supplies to offset rental and staffing costs.
Use The Yard Space(If You Have It) For Community Gardens
Most schools gladly use their yards for sporting events. While this is a great release for kids sometimes, how much better would it be to teach kids how to grow their own food and even run their own small business by using a community garden.
Establish Apprenticeship and Internship Programs with Students as Young as Middle School Age.
Go ahead and build brand loyalty, as well as introducing kids to a sure career path. They will be more motivated to do well in school and pick a college or trade school that gets them exactly where they need to go. Then they can come back and build up communities themselves by repeating the cycle. Also consider becoming a Big Sibling
Create a Carpool/Bikepool/Walking Group
In my neighborhood, the kids could walk to school with one or two adults in tow. If the schools a little further away in your neighborhood, but the streets are safe, get a bike group together. And if walking is dangerous or the school is across town, get a carpool together. Also, the school bus works too, but not every district pays for busing all students to school. Also, what if your child is in a charter or private school, where busing is optional.
Sponsor and Donate to the School.
Lastly, unless the district has established a district-wide endowment, donate to the closest, most needy school you can find. This can be your time or your money. However, keep in mind that the school you think may not give the ROI you expect may be the most grateful. If you want to get your feet wet, check out a few projects on Donors Choose.