Many school communities in underserved areas lack a physical site for health, education, literacy, employment and human services to be provided. Great schools are community hubs that connect students, families, teachers, nonprofits and businesses into a strong fabric of learning, service, opportunity and prosperity.
Mayor Dayne Walling has helped expand the community schools movement in Flint, Michigan by collaborating with the Corporation for National and Community Service to utilize AmeriCorps volunteers in the process of making schools into community hubs. In the demonstration project in Flint, over 40 Operation AmeriCorps national service members in the new Flint Community Schools Corps will be placed in 4 sites with the assignment of developing volunteers and mentors for the schools. This approach simultaneously addresses both the necessity of boosting student academic performance and the obligation to engage the wider network of parents and leaders in human development. Making schools into community hubs leverages the existing investment in the school building and expands before and after school as well as evening programming opportunities. By collaborating with the AmeriCorp program, Mayor Walling also hopes to encourage volunteerism and national service in local education.