My social media feed was filled with smiling faces of neighborhood children returning to school this week. As I enjoy those images and wish the best for students, teachers, and administrators this year, I am struck by what a difference a year can make!
As we enter upon the start of a new school year, I can't help but reflect upon the year from which we are emerging. It feels especially important to do so this year as the challenges of 2020 afforded so much opportunity to learn with our community about the needs of students and their families and how learning might be done more equitably. We are amazed and grateful that we were able to serve over 150 students through our Community Summer Learning Program, Neighborhood Learning Pods, and Reading Labs from August 2020 through May 2021. We were invited to be a part of some regional and national studies, and we were also able to do a lot of good listening this year. We know that Neighborhood North is better poised to serve our region because of our opportunity to be present during this past year.
Collaboration is a core value of Neighborhood North, but this year, it took on a whole new meaning! Old partnerships were strengthened as we worked together to create innovative programming for students. New collaborations were formed to fill gaps which created a strong interconnected fabric that supported families during the challenges of this pandemic year. Additionally, these relationships began aligning priorities and goals to assess how to best share resources, staff, and knowledge among organizations for a more sustainable ecosystem. There is plenty of work to be done, but we are moving in an encouraging direction.
One of the collaborations whose vision has created increased synergy during this season is the Innovation Corridor- a collaborative initiative of the Beaver Falls municipality and several anchor projects, including Neighborhood North, the Beaver Falls CDC/Tribune Building, the Portobello Building, and the Penn State B-Hive and library system. Read more here.
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