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Evans Community School

Evans Community School
Central Florida Nonprofit Nexus UCF Campus Map At Evans Community School

Evans Community School

The Center for Community Partnerships is leading the University of Central Florida's efforts to establish community schools in Central Florida, beginning with Evans Community School in Orlando. The center has been facilitating the development and strategic planning of the school, which was launched in October 2013, and contributing technical expertise in building community partnerships. The center also is coordinating the placement of UCF interns at the community school and the contributions of other UCF colleges, including the College of Education.

What are Community Schools?

The differences between the traditional public school model and a community school model lie in integrated and sustained partnerships. In a community school, partnerships are created within the community to address complex challenges and expand opportunities for a child's success in school. With an integrated focus on academics, systemic support mechanisms and a variety of growth opportunities, children in community schools are able to access additional resources known to make a difference in a child's educational success. These resources include:  after-school care; early childhood education; adult education; child care; healthier lifestyle alternatives; recreational activities; medical, dental, mental health and social services; parent involvement; and community and economic development. When all of these elements come together, the results are improvements in academic achievement, overall school climate, student/teacher attendance, mental and physical health, social and emotional development, and parental involvement with their children and community.

  • Community schools are extended-service schools. In addition to providing students high-quality academic programs, they offer health and mental health services and enrichment activities. They operate year-round and are open during the day, in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Community schools also involve parents and other community members in the school's life. They offer opportunities for involvement in school planning, participation in adult-education and social-service programs, and participation in the celebration of school and community-wide achievements.
  • By serving as a hub for neighborhood activities, community schools promote cohesiveness among community members, which then can foster neighborhood stability, safety and prosperity.

Why do we need Community Schools?

In many neighborhoods and communities, families are faced with unprecedented challenges resulting from economic, social, educational, racial and environmental issues which negatively affect their family members, loved ones, friends, neighbors and their entire communities. Neighbors often don't know their neighbors, parents don't know their children's friends, and extended family members often live hundreds to thousands of miles away. Without traditional family supports, families suffer from the negative effects of isolation from formal and informal support networks, resulting in the failure of many families to sustain a healthy family and community environment.

To live healthy, happy and successful lives, children, and their families, need strong, mutually supportive relationships with individuals and organizations in their neighborhoods who can help them develop their inherent capacity to make positive changes in their lives. To truly succeed, children must live free of personal and environmental violence, they must have enough to eat, they must be able to access primary healthcare, and they each must be able to connect with at least one caring adult who can mentor, support and encourage them to achieve their life dreams and goals. 

Children and families do better when they are part of a caring, concerned and cohesive community. People and service providers, working together, can enhance inherent family strengths and values and create and build stronger neighborhoods and communities with the result that they are able to utilize the supports they need to live their lives in ways that benefits every family member.

If we can change the system and bring people together to have the right kind of conversations, then we can really make a long-term change in people's lives -- and that is the goal.
— Nancy Ellis,  CCP Director
The idea is to form a long-term partnership in the community that, over time, can have a significant impact on improving the lives of children and families.
— Dean Michael Frumkin,  Dean of the College of Health and Public Affairs
SYNERGY…that’s the word that comes to mind. Without the collaborations facilitated by the Center for Community Partnerships we would not have been able to produce results for kids.
— Raymond Larsen,  Children’s Community Services Director, Heart of Florida United Way
We could not have implemented the Evans Community School without the vast resources and expertise of the committed and dedicated staff.
— Charlene Sears-Tolbert,  Children’s Home Society of Florida, Evans Community School Director
“The Center for Community Partnerships has been a real treasure for Central Florida. They have helped so many organizations, established needed services, and given the community a welcome link to the University.”
— Linda Sutherland,  Healthy Start
I am in awe of the amount of time, patience, and expertise that the CCP has expended during our joint project with OCPS in developing the Evans Community School. Dr. Ellis and Dean Frumkin are tireless advocates who...
— David Bundy,  President/CEO, Children’s Home Society of Florida
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