Community School Connections
Quarter 2 - 2017-2018
Building a stronger Erie, one school at a time.
The community schools model is a strategy ( not a program ) for organizing school and community resources around student success. A community school is both a place and set of partnerships that help address health, wellness and the social needs of its students, families and the surrounding neighborhood. Schools become centers of the community, open to everyone, all day, every day, evenings and weekends.  Community Schools represent a strategy, not a program.
United Way's five community schools cumulatively make a HUGE impact on students and families! Here's a quick look at some impressive stats November 1, 2017 - January 18, 2018
When students start the day cold because they do not have a winter coat, scarf or gloves, they are less likely to succeed.

That is why the management teams at Wegmans Peach and Wegmans West chose to collect more than 500 winter hats, gloves, scarves and socks for the families at United Way's five community schools! Thanks, as always, for LIVING UNITED Wegmans!
East Middle School
Community School Director: Jamilia Gates
Female students boost self-esteem and more at
Beautiful Girls Workshop
45 female students from East, a United Way community school, recently attended the 7th annual Beautiful Girls Workshop held at the Jefferson Educational Society. The workshop was hosted by Shawnta Pulliam of Nurturing Hearts, a self-esteem and self-development non-profit organization for girls. Students attended the two-day workshop where they participated in financial literacy with Widget Financial representatives, exercise classes, goal setting and self-esteem building sessions.

Nurturing Hearts has partnered with East Middle School to begin additional activities with 25 female students at during the school day beginning in the third quarter spanning to the end of the school year.
Corporate Partner
Lead Partner
Edison Elementary School
Community School Director: Tami Krzeszewski-Conway
Holiday Generosity and Books Galore
Edison Elementary , a United Way community school, had a busy and productive second quarter. Two highlights to share include the partnership with Hooked on Books for Kids and Barnes & Noble.

Hooked on Books for Kids (HOBFK) provided every Edison student from kindergarten to fifth grade three books in quarter two, totaling 1,440 books.  Barnes and Noble held a holiday book drive donating 500 books. We are grateful for our community partners, who are helping put quality books into our students' hands and into their homes. 

Edison's holiday season wrapped up with the most incredible and generous experience provided by GE Transportation, community school corporate partner, and the Boys and Girls Club of Erie. GE supported teachers in building their classroom libraries through Barnes and Noble vouchers, while Santa and Mrs. Claus came to visit all the classrooms and gave every student and staff member an Edison sweatshirt that promotes school spirit and can be worn as a uniform top.
Corporate Partner
Lead Partner
McKinley Elementary
Community School Director: Sonia Rios
Edinboro University Warriors for Warmth
The winter season has moved into Erie, but at McKinley Elementary , a United Way community school, we are prepared to brave the elements. Three young ladies drove all the way from Edinboro University to Erie during a heavy snow fall bringing heaping baskets full of gloves, hats, scarves, and warm clothing items. Full of smiles, they announced that McKinley was chosen to be the recipient of Edinboro University's Middle Level and Secondary Education Club's (MLSEC) first annual Run/Walk/Roll Warriors for Warmth 5K event. Robin Marshall, MLSEC Vice President said, "We knew the students at your school would find these winter clothing items useful and beneficial." Most of McKinley's students walk to school even when the temperatures are icy cold and through piles of accumulated snow on sidewalks. The Edinboro student leaders wanted to initiate and create a strong bond to show support to their new community school partnership with McKinley Elementary School.
Dr. Heather Kenny, Associate Professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Reading and Carolyn Taylor, Dyslexia Services, introduced the Barton Reading and Spelling Tutoring Program to Dr. Kenny's teacher candidates at Edinboro University. When it was time for the teacher candidates to put their skills into real life practice, Dr. Kenny worked with Mrs. Coleman, McKinley's Assistant Principal, to match a college student with a second grade student. The teacher candidates worked explicitly with implementing the Barton Tutoring program two days a week for an intensive hour long session.

The interactions with McKinley students provided the EU teacher candidates with meaningful opportunities to put their new pedagogical skills into practice. Dr. Kenny stated, "I believe that the overall experience was extremely worthwhile and I know that our teacher candidates benefited immensely from their interactions with your students." Teacher candidates described their one-on-one tutoring experience as extremely beneficial, meaningful, fulfilling, and rewarding. Upon course completion the teacher candidates are qualified to provide private tutoring to students using the Barton System, which enables them to obtain experience in the field of education that they love. 
Corporate Partner
Lead Partner
Lead Service Provider
Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School
Community School Director: Meghan Easter
Festive Food for Pfeiffer-Burleigh Families
Pfeiffer-Burliegh Elementary , a United Way community school, partnered this holiday season with Erie Insurance to offer families a holiday meal bag to supplement their meals over winter holiday break. One of our identified needs within the Community School Action Plan is to link Pfeiffer-Burleigh families
to food resources, both at the school and within the community, so the idea of a Holiday Meal distribution was a great way to support our school!

A total of 425 bags went to our PB students, parents, and family members. Erie Insurance, our treasured corporate partner also spent time volunteering over a
span of two days to purchase the food items, unpack boxes and pack and deliver the holiday meal bags! More than 40 volunteers from the school community, Erie Insurance and Family Services of NWPA helped make this possible!

When seeking feedback from our families about their experience, we received so
many stories from families who were helped by the holiday meal bags provided.
One family responded saying “It was very helpful during the school vacation.
Thank you.”

Feedback provided by our volunteers and our families will help us continue to
support our families in meaningful ways, with removing barriers!
Corporate Partner
Lead Partner
Strong Vincent Middle School
Community School Director: Katrina Byrd
GO College Prepping Students to Succeed
Strong Vincent , a United Way community school, began a free college awareness program which brings school communities together to increase college access and success through academic enrichment, college exposure and service-learning. The program, Go College , focuses on Three Pillars of Success:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Career/College Development
  • Personal/Social Development

Go College runs once a week on Wednesdays during school hours, offering students enrolled in the program grades 6-8, workshops exposing them to academic enrichment, career/college development and personal/social development. Go College is currently serving 139 students and their families, with more students on the waitlist. Go College also offers FREE after-school tutorial services on Mondays from 3-4pm for any student looking for extra help, with Gannon University and Erie High dual enrollment Go College students as tutors. Currently FREE Tutor Time Monday is serving 17-20 students each week.
Corporate Partner
Lead Partner
Learn more about United Way's community schools at