NEW HAVEN ANNOUNCES “BOOST” COMPONENT OF SCHOOL CHANGE INITIATIVE
(3/4/2010) NEW HAVEN- Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and Superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo announced “BOOST” today, an important component of the City’s aggressive School Change Initiative. DeStefano and Mayo were joined by Jack Healy, President of the Greater New Haven United Way in today’s announcement. United Way will be the City and School District’s partner in the BOOST program.
BOOST is an effort to coordinate comprehensive physical, emotional and social services to children and families so that children can arrive at school ready to learn. These services will support student learning and enhance students’ ability to focus and learn in the classroom. Services may be provided by the school system, other public agencies, community-based, faith-based, non-profit organizations and/or other community partners.
“School Change is about improving opportunities for children, their families and the New Haven community,” said DeStefano. “In order to achieve this, we need to coordinate efforts to make sure our children are prepared to be successful. Our commitment to New Haven children goes beyond high academic expectations, our interest is in seeing our City grow and become the very best place for families to live, work and raise their children in. BOOST is the next step in helping us achieve these goals.”
“United Way believes in the power of education to change lives. When the Mayor asked us to take on this project, we agreed immediately,” said Healy. “We're honored to partner with the city and schools to ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn and succeed.”
BOOST partners will promote communication and coordination among schools, non-profit organizations and families and will collaborate on the identification and removal of barriers to services. The program will evaluate wraparound services and their access for families in order to improve and refine services to meet critical needs.
“In order for children to be effective and successful in the classroom, we need to be sure that they have access to physical and emotional health services, strong support systems and warm, caring environments,” said Mayo. “We can’t achieve our School Change goals without looking at the whole child and preparing them for excellence inside and outside of school.”
In its initial stages, BOOST will focus on planning and capacity building in order to implement a pilot effort in targeted New Haven Public Schools this fall.
“Over the next few months we'll identify wrap around services needs and programming opportunities in targeted schools and will seek parent and public input in the process,” said Healy.
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