The positive effects of partnerships between schools and communities
When community groups and institutions combine to enhance educational possibilities, everyone benefits. Partnerships that serve to improve, assist, and even transform individual partners can lead to enhanced program quality, more efficient use of resources, and better alignment of goals and curricula (Harvard Family Research Project, 2010).
Initially, learning partnerships can enhance students' academic performance (see, for example, Little, Wimer, & Weiss, 2008). The Massachusetts Afterschool Research Study, for example, found that after-school programs with stronger partnerships with school instructors and principals were more effective at improving kids' homework completion, homework effort, positive behavior, and initiative. One possible explanation for this is that when businesses and schools collaborate well, both parties gain from improved student and staff engagement (Miller, 2005).
Indirectly, partnerships not only improve the education of kids but also their families. That is, they are capable to facilitate access to a variety of learning opportunities and developmental supports, providing students and teachers with opportunities to experiment with new approaches to learning; facilitate information sharing about specific students to best support individual learning, and providing family members with alternative means of supporting their children's education.