SOURCE: Neighborworks America

August 23, 2012 12:10 ET

NeighborWorks America Prepares Students and Families to Go Back to School

Top Community Development Organization Promotes Academic Success, Helps Low- and Moderate-Income Families Thrive During School Year and Beyond

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Aug 23, 2012) - As students and their families prepare to go back to school, NeighborWorks America reminds them that NeighborWorks organizations are available year round to serve them and are ready for a new year. NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks organizations offer the on-the-ground services that provide students and families with the resources they need to excel in academics.

Several NeighborWorks organizations offer child care and early child education services that support hardworking families before and after school -- often in connection with the homes they develop, own and manage. Over 1,400 children participated in Early Bird programs and over 12,000 children participated in after-school programs with NeighborWorks organizations during the last fiscal year. 

Additionally, many NeighborWorks organizations sponsor summer enrichment programs and school supply drives. The following are examples of the work NeighborWorks organizations are doing to prepare for the back to school season:

  • On August 1, Beyond Housing (St. Louis, Missouri) sponsored Back-to-Schoolapalooza where rapper and motivational speaker P Dub handed out supplies and talked to the students about the importance of focus and determination in the educational process. This year's event provided backpacks filled with school supplies to 406 students and included arts & crafts, games, face painting, music, food, and booths highlighting community resources. For more than ten years, Beyond Housing has sought to make sure that the children of families they serve in the Pagedale neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri have the tools they need to be successful in school from the first day. Back-to-Schoolapalooza annually provides over 300 students with bookbags stuffed with educational supplies.

  • Montgomery Housing Partnership (Silver Spring, MD) sponsored a Summer Enrichment Program which served 232 students. The camp was held during the month of July for four weeks at Montgomery Housing Partnership's community centers in Silver Spring, MD; Takoma Park, MD; and Wheaton, MD. During July and August, Montgomery Housing Partnership held its annual BACKPack TO SCHOOL Drive which distributed backpacks to all students.

  • On August 17, The Housing Partnership (Louisville, KY) held its Supply Our Students (S.O.S.) event which provided 243 children who live in The Housing Partnership multi-family housing with school supplies. Also, the drive collected supplies for another 50 children whose families will be able to pick those supplies up from their property managers. The property has a large refugee population so the drive served children from several countries.

"We know how important having a home is to children and families," said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. "Equally important, we want children and families to have the right resources to not just survive but thrive as they return to their studies this year. For example, the summer enrichment programs our NeighborWorks organizations offer are an excellent way for students to reinforce and practice what they learned during the previous school year while well-equipping them for the challenging school year ahead."

About NeighborWorks America

NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

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