Community Involvement

Community groups, organizations, and local businesses create partnerships with schools and early learning centers, share resources, and volunteer to support student learning, development, and health-related activities. The school, its students, and their families benefit when leaders and staff at the district or school solicits and coordinates information, resources, and services available from community-based organizations, businesses, cultural and civic organizations, social service agencies, faith-based organizations, health clinics, colleges and universities, and other community groups. Schools, students, and their families can contribute to the community through service-learning opportunities and by sharing school facilities with community members (e.g., school-based community health centers and fitness facilities).

Likewise, student participation in community activities can support classroom learning in significant ways. In two separate studies, community activities were shown to positively impact academic achievement, reduce school suspension rates, and improve school-related behaviors.  The increased interest in co-curricular, extracurricular, and after-school programs that are supported by community initiatives, recognizes the positive impact on student involvement.

Online Resources

The Florida Department of Education’s Family and Community Involvement program offers awards and recognitions programs for schools that maximize community involvement.

The Florida Association of Partners in Education (FAPE) is Florida’s premier professional organization for school and community involvement for volunteer coordinators, business partnership coordinators, business partners, educational institutions, and mentoring organizations.  FAPE’s resources provide in-depth information on the benefits of community involvement.

Sparkplugs is the annual publication, sponsored by the Florida Department of Education and Florida PTA, of exemplary practices for family and community involvement. The programs described in Sparkplugsreflect  many of the innovative practices used across the state to involve families and the community in meaningful school programs.