Northeast Middle School Becomes Lehigh Valley’s Newest Community School

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Community School model will organize programs and services in one central place for Bethlehem Area School District students and families

November 20, 2019 – Approximately 800 students and families will benefit from expanded services and supports as Northeast Middle School becomes the region’s newest Community School. Lead partners Bethlehem Area School District, Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley marked the occasion at a ribbon-tying ceremony at the school on Tuesday, November 19.

“In our community, we have great inequalities and inequities. We know that the challenges of poverty and racial discrimination in particular can get in the way of all students being able to take full advantage of all the opportunities that we present in Bethlehem Area School District. The Community School model brings us partnerships with nonprofits and businesses in the community to help to knock down those barriers. Whether it’s hosting job fairs, helping people with housing or helping families to access food, whatever the challenges might be, the Community School model helps us overcome them,” said Dr. Joseph Roy, Superintendent, Bethlehem Area School District.

Using schools as hubs, Community Schools organize programs and services in one central place for students and families. These programs and services remove barriers to learning, create positive youth development, and empower parents to strengthen their role as partners in education. The model convenes companies, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and other community supports to ensure higher success rates for students. As a result, Community School students have increased reading and math scores and excel in other academic areas.

 “Communities In Schools is honored to be the first lead partner at Northeast Middle School. Northeast is a fantastic community of school leaders, students and families that have welcomed the community school model with open arms.  We are excited to partner with amazing organizations like the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and the Bethlehem Area School District so that all children can achieve greatness,” said Tim Mulligan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley.

As a result of this partnership, a Community School Coordinator from Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley will work with Northeast Middle School students and families to bridge gaps and remove barriers to student success, connect students and their families with community resources and create connections with nonprofit agencies to support positive student outcomes.

“Families can expect more partnerships and more supports. Community Schools are all about connecting our kids and families. They level the playing field, thanks to community partners that invest their time and resources into developing opportunities for all kids to succeed,” remarked Jill Pereira, Vice President of Education and Impact, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

The Lehigh Valley Community School Network serves 17,000 students in Allentown, Bethlehem Area, Easton Area and Bangor Area school districts.

Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community. We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley.