Community Building Institute receives grants to support community learning centers

Grants, totaling $420,000, help plan centers for Cincinnati Public Schools | May 1, 2006

The Community Building Institute (CBI), a partnership between Xavier University and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, received three grants totaling $420,000 to bring neighborhoods and schools together to plan community learning centers in up to 22 Cincinnati Public Schools.

CBI received a three-year $300,000 grant from KnowledgeWorks Foundation, a two-year $75,000 grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and from the Frances Ehrlich Wolf Fund in memory of Alfred Max Stern of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and a three-year anonymous $45,000 grant through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Community learning centers are places designed for multi-purpose use, for people of all ages, and are open to the community beyond the usual school hours. These schools collaborate with and use community resources that support student and community success.

“By helping create these community learning centers we will work to improve the learning environment for children, create a greater sense of community for families, and enliven the neighborhoods where people live,” said Chad P. Wick, president and CEO of KnowledgeWorks Foundation. “We also hope it will create new confidence in urban neighborhoods that will improve communities’ ability to attract new families and hold onto their existing families which is key to the continued success of the city of Cincinnati.”

The work is being fueled by the major transformation Cincinnati Public Schools is undergoing as a result of the implementation of the Facilities Master Plan in partnership with the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Improvements to school buildings throughout the district are a great motivation to attract the community into a process that changes the way people view of public education.

Last year, CBI led an initial round of engagement developing community learning centers through facilities improvement. CBI completed this work in a set of defined schools through a grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, and the Procter & Gamble Fund.

CBI also provides coaching and training for Parents for Public Schools of Cincinnati. For more information please contact Liz Blume at 513 745-3332.