HARTFORD, Conn. — This spring, Dr. Michael D. Fox elementary school opened a pantry for its students and families. It has fridges packed with prepared food, cupboards filled with canned goods, cabinets of neatly folded donated clothes, and on top of them, packs of diapers, wipes and other toiletries.

“Lots of families were asking for help,” said LaToya Adgers, the site coordinator for the pre-K to fifth grade public school, which serves almost 500 students. “We sat down and asked families, ‘If this was on campus, would you come here? And what do you need?’”

It’s not that unusual for a school to have a food or clothes pantry for needy families. What is unusual is that Ms. Adgers works for a Hartford community services organization, the Village for Families and Children. And it was the Village that reached out to businesses and organizations to ask them to donate the goods.

M.D. Fox, as it’s called, with its lively students dressed in their light blue and khaki uniforms, is part of a growing phenomenon in the educational landscape: the community school. The Village coordinates the 10 to 20 organizations that work with M.D. Fox.

Community schools, which, among other things, integrate nonprofits, businesses and colleges on the school site to offer services to students and their families, have existed for more than a century. There are now an estimated 5,000 such schools nationwide, according to the national Coalition for Community Schools.

FULL STORY https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/06/education/learning/community-schools.html?searchResultPosition=10