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Letters to Congress about new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 - Lincoln Community Learning Centers

January 17, 2012

Dear Senator/Representative:

Community learning centers in Lincoln, Nebraska,
are one of 16 exemplary efforts profiled in Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0, a new research-based report on the role of families and communities in raising student achievement from the National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million educators nationwide.

Family School Partnerships 2.0 is part of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which aims to transform struggling schools — especially the bottom five percent eligible for U.S. Department of Education School Improvement Grants — in collaboration with parents, students, and community groups. Such efforts are most effective “when schools link activities for families to what students are learning and doing in class,” according to the report.

Lincoln’s network of community learning centers, founded in 2001, now includes 25 schools. They offer academic, enrichment, and support programs for students and families before and after school, on weekends, and during summers. Teachers report that more than two-thirds of participating students meet or exceed state writing, reading, and mathematics standards.

NEA members play an active role in all of the initiatives profiled in Family School Partnerships 2.0. Other common elements include mechanisms to evaluate student outcomes, reasonable cost, and potential for replication. Successful strategies identified by the researchers include:

  • Setting high expectations for students
  • Using data to determine priorities and strategies
  • Tailoring programs to local needs
The full profile of Lincoln’s community learning centers is attached and available online at, along with the rest of the report. We urge you to check it out!


Kim Anderson
Director, Center for Advocacy

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations