New York State Education Department Funding To Provide Technical Assistance, Professional Development In Hudson Valley, Long Island, Capital District

Rockland 21st Century Collaborative for Children and Youth (Rockland 21C) Executive Director Rebecca Christner today announced that it has been awarded a $397,000 grant from the New York State Education Department to establish one of three regional community schools technical assistance centers (TAC’s) in the state.

In collaboration with Fordham University (New York City Region TAC) and Binghamton University (Central and Western Regions TAC), Rockland 21C will provide for the Eastern Region of New York a coordinated system of high quality technical assistance, professional development activities and information dissemination tools designed to help establish and effectively operate Community Schools that will positively impact the outcomes of students and school families.

“Rockland 21C brings a solid foundation of working evidence-based knowledge, combined with real on-the-ground experience, in providing support for implementation of Community Schools with a variety of diverse populations,” said Christner. “This funding will position Rockland 21C to improve educational outcomes and strengthen families in neighborhoods all across the Hudson Valley, Long Island and the Capital Region. We are honored to receive this funding, as it not only expands our mission to a much larger geographic area, but also affirms the impactful work of 21C in Rockland County over the past two decades. We are thrilled by NYSED’s acknowledgement.”

Activities developed by Rockland 21C will focus on ensuring implementation of effective Community School strategy practices in schools and across the Eastern region, as well as ensuring that systems are built to sustain those practices.

21C’s Eastern Region Technical Assistance Center for Community Schools will provide professional development (four in-person regional meetings and 12 virtual meetings), peer learning exchanges, site visits (fifteen) and build and provide resources on the new community schools New York State website to support quality implementation of the community schools strategy. Our team includes local and national experts on community schools, and specifically the four pillars.

A community school is a strategy to create the conditions for learning, growth, and success. Effective community schools are characterized by strong partnerships and are built on four pillars: active family and community engagement, expanded and enriched learning time, integrated student supports, and collaborative leadership and practices. By utilizing schools as the hub of communities, community schools integrate an array of strategically placed school-linked services designed to expand learning opportunities, engage families as leaders, improve access to mental health and health services, and strengthen community connections.

The $397,000 state grant supports Rockland 21C for five years, ending in 2023.

Working with Rockland BOCES and all eight public school districts in Rockland County, Rockland 21C’s mission is to ensure the optimal development of every child by building a comprehensive support system that links family, school, and community. 21C currently supports more than 30 Family Resource Center Coordinators in more than 40 school buildings from Stony Point to Suffern.

Based on Yale’s School of the 21st Century Program, Rockland 21C provides professional development and technical assistance for FRC work in the following areas: early childhood development, family and community engagement, student development and family support.

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NYSED officials, elected leaders, school administrators and educators will gather for an Eastern Region Technical Assistance Center kickoff event on Thursday, January 24 at 4 p.m. Rockland BOCES, 65 Parrott Road, West Nyack, New York, 10994. Media are encouraged to attend.

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