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In January 2013, Rome Teachers Association President Rob Wood and Secretary Joe Eurto attended a conference in New York City sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the national union. The conference focused on labor-management relations. However, as fate would have it, Rob and Joe began a conversation with Shital Shah from the AFT Educational Issues Department who shared some impactful information about the community schools model. Rob and Joe spent the train ride back to Rome, N.Y., reviewing the material and dreaming about the possibilities that community schools could provide in Rome.
In 2016, the Rome Teachers Association (RTA) was one of three unions throughout the country to receive an AFT Innovation Grant; the AFT recognized RTA as a leader in bringing together the school district, the city of Rome, and the community. As a result of the grant and with additional funding provided by the Rome City School District, in January 2017, the Rome Alliance for Education (RAE) was created as the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to launch Rome Community Schools. Bellamy Elementary was the first pilot school to run an array of programs and activities that engaged, educated and assisted students, teachers and families. An initial needs assessment identified priority areas such as food insecurity, housing instability, employment, after-school and school-break activities, and access to mental health and healthcare services.
“I was making the decision to pay my electric or buy extra food because we weren’t making it to the end of the month – and I work a good job. I just go into the school now and get some extra to get us by. I even have saved money with school supplies and clothes they have here. I love this new community school.”
– April M.
– Grandmother of a student at Gansevoort Elementary
Our News & Announcements
Join Connected Community Schools (CCS) as our Summer Program goes VIRTUAL this year! We are offering a 6 week Virtual Program for FREE to anyone in grades K-12! Our 6 week program will include theme weeks with an abundance of fun-filled virtual activities from the CCS...
Connected Community Schools Leaders in Network Knowledge, or LiNK, is here to help serve as a ConnectLine between you and whatever services or assistance you need. If you or your family is struggling and would like to talk to one of our Connected Community resource...
Connected Community Schools was recently highlighted on the AFT Voices blog: Community schools feed families, keep connections alive during pandemic The first two weeks of March went on as any others. Our plans for ribbon cuttings at three new schools were underway,...
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Items are assembled Monday for a food pantry at Staley Elementary School through the Connected Community Schools (CCS) program. The pantry was relocated from Bellamy Elementary School for enhanced accessibility by people, said CCS Executive Director Melissa Roys. CCS...