A university-assisted, place-based model for enhancing students’ peer, family, and community ecologies

Michael A. Lawson, Tania Alameda-Lawson, K. Andrew R. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community schools have recently (re)emerged in the United States as a vital, comprehensive strategy for addressing poverty-related barriers to children’s school learning. However, not all low-income school communities are endowed with the resources needed to launch a comprehensive array of school-based/linked services and programs. In this article, the authors describe a place-based model for school improvement for low-income school communities where formal and fiscal resources are in short-supply. Framed by two best-practice interventions from the youth development and family support literatures, the authors identify five “high leverage” improvement mechanisms that social workers, educators, and parents can collaboratively target to affect change. These improvement mechanisms, together with the interventions they implicate, can help community school efforts provide a more powerful, engagement-focused reach into students’ peer, family, and community ecologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Collective parent engagement
  • Community collaboration
  • Community schools
  • Interprofessional collaboration
  • Teaching personal and social responsibility
  • University-assisted community schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Computer Science
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Computer Science Applications


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