School leaders, lawmakers call for bigger investments in community schools

ALBANY – School leaders and lawmakers got together on Friday morning to tout the importance of community schools.

They toured Sheridan Preparatory Academy in Albany.

Community schools use a much more holistic approach compared to what we are used to. Schools like Sheridan Prep offer a variety of programs from a food pantry to a class on parent advocacy in their child’s education.

The focus is not only on lifting up the child, but also the community.

When students at Sheridan Prep arrive at school each day — they don’t have to worry about a thing. There’s a food pantry in school, where families in need can get things like frozen meat. Down the hall is a laundry room where they can access clean clothing.

Educators say the well thought out programs equals success in the classroom. After two years of dealing with a pandemic, they say it’s needed more than ever. That’s why the New York State United Teachers and legislators like Mary Beth Walsh and Angelo Santabarabra are pushing for $100 million from the state to help expand the concept across New York.

Learn more about how advocates say the state money would help these schools by watching the video of Sam Hesler’s story.