Since 2011, St. Paul's Community Development Corporation (SPCDC) has partnered with Paterson Public Schools to administer the Full Service Community Schools Initiative. The Core Belief behind Paterson Public Schools’ Full Service Community Schools is to ensure that 100% of Paterson Public Schools’ students graduate High School prepared for college and career ready.
A Full Service Community School is a school in which service agencies and schools team up to meet a whole range of children's social, emotional, and academic needs, using the school building as a hub. Through outside partnerships, students and families can benefit from services such as a mental health counselor, a bilingual family caseworker, after-school enrichment, a health center, dental care, nutrition, and counseling, to name a few.
New Roberto Clemente Middle School & Paterson Public School 15
Since September 2011 and 2013, respectively, SPCDC has served as the Lead Agency Community Partner for New Roberto Clemente Middle School and Paterson Public School 15. As Lead Agency, SPCDC has overseen the implementation of extended-day and extended-year programming.
In addition to outside providers, there are also onsite resources for children and parents alike. Our most popular onsite resource is a Health Center that provides primary care to enrolled students and their families, as well as access to dental services and an optometrist, as needed. Counseling is also available for students and their families. These resources are meant to provide ease of access for families and fits nicely with the Paterson Public Schools’ initiative to curb chronic absenteeism. The Health Center makes resources available without students missing school or parents missing work.
SPCDC recognizes that the Lead Agency in a community school is instrumental in bringing resources and support to the school through collaborative planning and coordination. SPCDC also recognizes that a Lead Agency needs to work closely with the teachers and staff members, School Leadership Team, as well as parents.
In-kind donations also help the program remain viable for students. On a regular basis, the program receives donations such as books, school supplies, clothing, food and educational programs (e.g. STEM and Nutrition workshops) that are then provided to students and their families.
During the 2019-2020 school year, 1,150 students were served through after-school, summer, and family support activities at New Roberto Clemente Middle School and Paterson Public School 15.
Supplemental Food Pantry in Schools Initiative
Since December 2013, SPCDC has partnered with Paterson Public Schools, the Community FoodBank of NJ, and the Boys & Girls Club of Paterson & Passaic, to administer a supplemental food pantry at Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. Academy and Full Service Community School 15. In partnership with these agencies, SPCDC provides pre-packaged grocery bags assembled at the school. Based on a neighborhood redevelopment study, these schools were identified as being located in neighborhoods with high levels of food insecurity. By establishing a supplemental pantry inside these school buildings, SPCDC is able to provide outreach through non-traditional entry points with direct access to families in greatest need.
As of today, SPCDC has expanded our school-based pantry initiative to include Full Service Community School 5, New Roberto Clemente Full Service Community Middle School, and John F. Kennedy Full Service Community High School, supporting an average of 300 families per school year.