This month, Abe Fernandez and Lukas Weinstein, from the Children’s Aid Society in New York, spent a week visiting Community Schools throughout United Way of Salt Lake’s Promise Neighborhoods, offering technical assistance around building community school capacity and effectiveness in our most high-need communities.
Their visit began by touring schools in our West Valley and Kearns Promise partnerships; Oquirrh Hills, Kearns Jr. High, and Granger Elementary. Lukas and Abe met with coordinators and principals to discuss the coordinator’s role in the school and how that role is integral to the progression of a fully-functioning community school. Next, they visited schools throughout the most robust pipeline of community schools in the South Salt Lake Promise Neighborhood: Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Granite Park Jr. High, and Cottonwood High School. The most exciting part of this visit for Abe and Lukas was the opportunity to see a full community school pipeline, from pre-K through high school, working towards the same objectives for the same population.
Nate Salazar, the Community School Coordinator for Cottonwood High School, said, “It was great having Abe and Lukas here to talk through some of the unique challenges and opportunities at Cottonwood. As the first high school in our Promise Neighborhoods, their thoughts and expertise were most helpful!”
Finally, Abe and Lukas rounded out their visit by visiting Guadalupe School, the four Park City elementary schools, and joining and presenting at the all-staff meeting at United Way of Salt Lake.
“Abe’s and Lukas’s expertise always brings a new lens to this work,” said Stephanie Rokich, Director of Kearns and West Valley, “having their direction has been invaluable.”
“It has been an incredible experience visiting all of the community schools in these Promise Neighborhoods,” said Abe, “The work going on in these schools and neighborhoods is truly innovative and I am excited to see it continue!”
For the past six years, Abe has provided technical assistance to the Collective Impact team at United Way of Salt Lake. Abe is transitioning to an exciting new opportunity, and has passed the technical assistance baton to Lukas Weinstein. The Collective Impact team is very excited to have Lukas on-board and of course, express deep appreciation for the work and commitment Abe has given to building Community Schools throughout the Promise Neighborhoods here in Utah. Thank you, Abe! And welcome aboard, Lukas! We look forward to continuing this great work together!