Dorothy Height Elementary and United Way partner for community-based student success strategy

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga (WRBL)- One Columbus elementary school is partnering with the United Way to offer a new method to nurture children academically and socially.

Dorothy Height Elementary School on Benning Drive is the first Muscogee County school to launch the Community Schools United strategy. It’s a plan designed to make students successful now and in the future.

“Here at Dorothy Height, we teach who Dorothy Height is. This is what she fought for,” said Dr. Lamont Sheffield, principal of Dorothy Height. “Civil Rights, literacy, poverty, and how to overcome those things.”

“Community Schools United gets to the heart of everything we want to accomplish in community. It builds long-term partnerships between system-level partners, and individuals and organizations at the grassroots,” said United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley President and CEO, Ben Moser. “It engages philanthropists strategically to create lasting change and, most importantly, it changes the trajectory for students and families living in poverty. The strategy is about equity of opportunity for all in our community and, if successful, it will fundamentally reorganize service delivery in our community and region. It’s a big strategy, and the great challenges of our time demand bold action through equity-based solutions,” he added.

“By putting this system in place at the schools, we really work together to focus on moving those barriers,” said Pamela Romero, local director of Community Schools United.

Some of those barriers include hardships such as hunger, mental health challenges, abuse, neglect, and fear. 

The strategy aims to remove those problems that could have an impact on a student’s success. 

“And I think that’s what this partnership will bring: life skills, social skills, social/emotional skills, how to cope with different feelings and emotions. Just how to make a way of [successful] living and that’s what United Way is all about,” said Dr. Sheffield.

Community Schools United is new to Columbus, but the strategy is in place at more than 8,000 schools across America.

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