It’s important for families to know not only about counseling options for children but any connections that the school has with mental health providers for adults as well – particularly in families’ home languages.


Looking at the Whole Child: Conversations with an Award-Winning Social Worker
Principal Sue Stanley: When loud noises in schools cause post-traumatic stress

More Resources

"Mental health comes first": A Principal Shares Her Priorities for This Year (Part 3)

"Mental health comes first": A Principal Shares Her Priorities for This Year (Part 3)

Girls present science project

Learn how one elementary school principal is planning for the coming year and the kinds of supports she intends to prioritize for students, families, and staff.

At Salina Elementary School in Dearborn, MI, more than 90% of the students are English language learners (ELLs). Many are newcomers who have recently arrived from the country of war-torn country of Yemen.

During the summer of 2021, the award-winning Title I school held a STEAM-focused summer "camp" for students. That experience helped give the staff a more complete picture of how students have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic (socially, emotionally, and academically) and where to focus their efforts for the upcoming year. In this Q&A, Salina Principal Susan Stanley shares their "a-ha" moments from the summer program and how that experience has influenced their planning for this year.

To learn more about Salina, see the following articles from Colorín Colorado, as well as our film and interview from the school below.

Interview with Principal Sue Stanley

What were some highlights from your summer program this year?

This summer, with support from district leadership, we had the opportunity to bring all of our students in for a fun, comprehensive, and engaging "summer camp." We had previously been hybrid with half the students for only about 4 hours, two days a week from February until June. Prior to that, students had been completely remote. This was the first time in over 18 months students were able to be with each other.

What made this camp so engaging was that it did not look like their typical school day. We believed that would help ease them in, while creating a really fun environment. We ate breakfast and lunch outside and sang camp songs to build community prior to students entering the building. Students then met with their "Camp Leader" (core teacher) each morning for a story prior to beginning their day. We focused on Social Emotional Learning. We partnered with Camp Invention, a hands-on science program where students invented, discovered, and created projects. Students rotated about every forty five minutes which kept everything lively. They did gardening, cardio drumming, writing, reading, and coding. All of the lessons were focused on discovery learning.

We ended our program with a STEAM expo. Students presented their learning to parents, students, and community members. We did this not only because it is good practice but we noticed our students really needed to build oral language skills. It was incredible to hear students talk about their inventions, share writings, and walk families through the school garden where parents were able to take tomatoes and other spices home!

What do you know about your families' current social-emotional "state of mind"?

We have been preparing and reading about how the stress of this pandemic affected our families, especially children. This summer program allowed us to see firsthand how our students were affected by the interruption in schooling, the isolation from friends, and the overall change in their routines. We saw behaviors in all of our students we hadn't seen before. While we expected it, seeing it displayed through their play was a reality check.

The children were excited to be back in school and did well within the classroom. It was during unstructured play where we saw problematic behavior such as fighting and difficulty getting along. It was as if students were lost and vying for various groups and didn't know where to fit in. We noticed many signs of anxiety. About every other day, we would meet as a leadership team (social worker, lead teachers, physical education teacher, and myself) to tweak recess. We had volunteers and any available staff out on the playground playing games and interacting with kids. We kept our ears and eyes close to the ground to look for any and all opportunities to be there for them.

Our beautiful community also suffered a devastating flood and a two-week power outage in June of this year. It affected not only our families but staff as well. The anxiety was palpable, as we again suffered from these prolonged uncertainties. All of this helped in cementing the belief that no matter what, we need to take care of our own, and our children's, mental health. Mental health comes first and is the number one priority. Despite the pressures of state and national mandates, we must slow down.

How are you encouraging staff to think about the importance of "slowing down"?

With that in mind, as a leader, I must model that behavior for staff as well. They look to me to set the tone. If I display anxiety over what we must do to "catch our kids up," teachers will feel it as well. Yes, our students aren't as strong in certain areas. They have had 18 months where school happened in their homes. While our parents and teachers did an outstanding job, it can't possibly mirror everything that happens within classrooms and our playgrounds. Gross motor development is delayed and if they aren't in place, the fine motor will take longer to develop as well. We just have to step back, observe, and then step in with activities to support them.

We know that teachers feel continual pressure to fit all the academics in. They feel this way not only because they are committed but their performance is measured through results on state and district assessment as well. As their leader, I will be the voice of assurance that the data we collect is simply our starting point. Not everything can be measured. However, what we will do each and every day will be immeasurable. Students cannot learn until they feel safe and connected and that takes time. I will continually be the reassurer and voice for that. I will commit to creating that same type of environment for them through thoughtful and intentional planning. As their leader, I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with them and reminding them of this every step of the way.

What kinds of ideas are you considering to support families' social-emotional health?

We always begin the school year with an annual parent meeting. At that time, we are going to spend about 10 minutes on change, stress, and dealing with uncertainties. I don't want to spend too much time at the first meeting as there is always so much information given. I'll plan to allow extra time to be "with" the parents, just staying around after the meeting to say hello. This also allows time for me to get the feeling of how everyone is doing.

Two weeks later, we will have another parent meeting. The agenda will be determined by our observations and discussions from the initial parent meeting as well as observation and feedback from staff. Perhaps we will do a presentation, for example, on the importance on structure and positive discipline with ample time for parents to get into groups to talk and share. Allowing space for people to talk is the first step in connecting. My focus will be on providing time and space and planning from there.

What will social-emotional learning look like in the classroom?

Before the COVID shutdown, we implemented Calm Classrooms in our building. Teachers and students start their day with short scenarios, calm breathing and classroom affirmations. All teachers started it, but not all of them kept it going. When we revisit it this fall, it will be an expectation for all. At the first building meeting before school, our social worker will lead a PD on trauma-informed instruction. This will lead to WHY the calm classroom is so important. We will continue to keep SEL learning as our focus for PD meetings throughout the year.

What are your priorities for instruction this coming year?

We will be focusing on the essential standards for each grade level during our PLC and SEL lessons daily. We will collectively discuss how to move students forward and accelerate their learning rather than "catching up." If you have the mindset that students need to "catch up," you will in fact slow down their learning. The idea is to accelerate the learning through intentional support. That is where the art and science of teaching comes into play. Think of the support as the "seat belt" for that train ride moving them to their next destination.

At the end of last school year, each grade level PLC team completed a chart showing which Essential Standard they were concerned their students didn’t accomplish. The first PLC meeting, the incoming grade level team will match those up with the current grade Essential Standard. This will then be the guide for creating lessons which have been front loaded with specific skills needed for success. There is no going back. Only moving forward.

We will prioritize our instruction as we do each year by teaching the grade level Essential Standards. Teachers will need to be laser focused on building specific skills for success. Now more than ever PLC teams will need to create smaller and more timely assessments to ensure they are reaching the intended target. I have no doubt that will happen.

What are some ways to highlight student accomplishments and what they have gained this year?

We have a Celebration Wall in front of the office where students showcase a piece of work. New this year will be a bell they will ring whenever they accomplish any type of accomplished goal. In front of the bell there is this saying: "I rang the bell so all can tell, I did something really well."

We all need affirmations and celebrations. Building from what students know rather than what they don't is the only way to create a learning environment where students feel safe to take chances and grow. When you focus on the negative, such as a loss, you miss seeing the the beauty of what else has grown in its place. Perhaps that is even bigger and better than what we thought they missed. In addition, our school theme this year is Celebrating Differences. As a school family we have lots of activities planned for students to highlight what makes them different and stand out. Those differences are gifts to us all.

We have learned so much about ourselves and our students these past 18 months. We have learned students can do much more than we ever thought possible and so can we. For example, we learned technology skills that prior to the pandemic would have taken us years to learn and embrace. We have learned our students are much more independent than we believed. We can let go of their hands a little sooner. We saw small children take control of their own learning, managing zoom times and independent work. We saw the power of older siblings mentoring the younger ones. These are lessons and gifts we will take into this new year.

Related Video

You Are Welcome Here: Supporting the Social and Emotional Health of Newcomer Immigrants

You can learn more about Salina in our award-winning film You Are Welcome Here, produced in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers. The film also includes a section on Salina's hands-on learning activities and STEAM expo.

You can also see the film with Arabic subtitles, a preview version, and additional videos from Salina in our related resource collection.

Interview with Principal Sue Stanley

A warm welcome for immigrant families in the front office

Norieah Ahmed, the Child Accounting Secretary at Salina Elementary School in Dearborn, MI, talks about her role in welcoming newcomer immigrant families to the school from the moment they walk in the door.


You are welcome to print copies or republish materials for non-commercial use as long as credit is given to Colorín Colorado and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact

Social and Emotional Support for Refugee Families: A School Psychology Perspective

Social and Emotional Support for Refugee Families: A School Psychology Perspective

A girl in a hijab reading.

Learn more from Dr. Robyn Hess (University of Northern Colorado) about the importance of strengths-based approaches in working with refugees, the impacts of displacement and trauma on children, and the unique factors that affect outreach to refugees in rural communities.

Dr. Robyn Hess is a Professor of School Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado.  One of her recent projects has focused on serving refugee families and students in rural school districts in Kentucky, Nebraska, Colorado, and Minnesota; through that project, she and students have interviewed teachers and families in districts that had a track record of success in supporting refugee students. 

In this article written for Colorín Colorado, she talks below about some of the most important lessons learned from her work with refugees, particularly Somali families, including some considerations in addressing questions about mental health, working with cultural liaisons in the community to connect with families, and culturally responsive support for families.

Q&A with Dr. Robyn Hess

Would you tell us about your current work with refugees?

For about the last seven years, I have worked with my students on projects related to refugee children and their families. In some cases, I was directly involved (e.g., conducting focus groups with families, interviewing school personnel who work directly with refugee children and families), and in other cases I supervised my students as they conducted specialized groups to help refugee children understand their new school culture. Two of my graduate students conducted research studies with families of refugee youth to better understand the families’ perspectives on school and on the wellbeing of their children.

In your experience, what do educators in school settings need to learn about refugees in order to work with them effectively?

What I have learned from the various school personnel that we have interviewed is that they want to know a little bit about the culture, the families, and the backgrounds of the children. When refugee students enter the classroom, teachers haven’t always known what to expect and they want to help, but aren’t always sure how to do so. If they believe they have some knowledge, it seems to empower them a bit to move forward. They have also appreciated having a network of people that they can call for support and advice. I think having additional training once they have had a chance to work with students is also helpful so they can continue to grow their knowledge and refine their interventions.

Video: Visiting a refugee camp

Dr. Cindy Lundgren shares the story of an administrator who got a grant to visit a refugee camp where many of her students lived and how that visit helped her better support her students.

Can you talk about the impacts of the following on refugee children and families:


I don’t know that anyone can fully understand the impact of displacement on families and children. In many ways, families want to put the past behind them, but find that they cannot. They don’t always understand what is happening and tend to believe that they have a physical problem. Families tend to feel very disempowered in their new settings because they do not know the language and they don’t know how to be a part of their new communities. Furthermore, their children start to adapt more quickly so they begin to feel some distance from their own children as well. Adults remember and want to hold on to their cultures, values, and beliefs, but for children, these aspects of their culture might not be as firmly instilled. They don’t understand why certain things are done or are important. Sometimes, as families have tried to put the past behind themselves, they have also stopped sharing out their own cultures with their children. Instead, they simply feel the loss that their children won’t have the same beliefs and values as they did.


In many ways, the response from above fits here as well. For the most part, individuals do not want to talk about their trauma. The notion of mental health within Somali culture is generally either minor complaints (e.g., feeling sad, feeling anxious) and these are dealt with through prayer, support, or talking with a religious leader. The other type of mental health is considered as being “crazy” and out of control. This type of mental health problem has a stigma. In some ways, trauma falls somewhere in between these understandings. It doesn’t go away with prayer, but it isn’t so profound as schizophrenia. It seems like it leaves people confused. Some families we spoke with experienced anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, but didn’t know what to do other than go to the emergency room or to isolate themselves from others. Adolescent children often found themselves trying to care for their parents or at least facilitate their trips to the ER.

Extended time in refugee camps

The length of stay for families we met was typically quite long. There were some families who were fortunate to be able to live in the city and their children were well educated. For children who were raised in the camps, they often had gaps in their education. The schools were overcrowded, teachers did not always show up, and because parents were often off carrying out other responsibilities (e.g., getting water or food), they could not monitor their children’s school attendance. For these reasons, gaps in education were one of the biggest impacts of extended time in refugee camps.


When we talked about resettlement, families were happy to be resettled, they liked feeling safe, and they wanted to figure out how to be successful. On the other hand, there were some barriers, language and transportation seemed to be the two that families were most vocal about. As I wanted to work with their children, they wondered who would help support the adults in the family? They were also somewhat fearful that I would try to change their children to be more American.

What are some behaviors that might appear in the classroom as a result of these experiences?

For children in the classroom, probably the most pronounced issue would be a lack of educational exposure. This was a two-fold issue for the families we met as the children had varying levels of English language proficiency and may have significant gaps in their education. Determining whether the issues were related to language, lack of exposure, or both was a continual struggle for teachers.  Behaviorally, some students struggled. Here again, how much is because they are behind, how much is due to a social emotional concern, etc. These are very complicated cases and required good data gathering, especially from parents. Sometimes the answer was quite simple. A student was out of his seat constantly and a teacher was very frustrated. Once she talked to his parent, she found that he was trying to please the teacher by being helpful and that this was something that was done within his own culture. With that different framework, the problem didn’t seem so bad anymore.

What is the role of the school psychologist in addressing these needs?

School psychologists have more flexibility in their roles to reach out to community resources and find individuals who can translate for families. They can help teachers understand the culture of families and help bring in other community speakers that can provide context to what teachers are seeing. School psychologists can network with community agencies to help connect families to services as well as to bring in additional supports to the school setting.

What kinds of services and support have you found to be most helpful for refugee communities?

It is especially helpful if there is an individual who can navigate both cultures – that of the refugee and of the majority population. This person can be invaluable in helping to reduce or eliminate misunderstandings very quickly. For example, there was an issue at the high school that Somali girls were washing their feet in the sink. They couldn’t fully explain their reasoning but a community navigator explained the practice of washing before prayer and the girls were able to use an adult bathroom at certain times of the day.

Other community resources that are important are a refugee center of some kind. These types of agencies often offer support, English classes, citizenship classes, provide transportation, and can just be a general gathering place. Rural communities don’t necessarily have access to these kinds of agencies so the school may take on more of the load – offering English classes, getting together with parents on Saturdays to help them understand school, etc.

Who do you think is best suited to provide that support?

I think everyone within a school setting plays a role. Sometimes people might believe that only the ELL teacher needs to worry about working with refugee students, but it is important that everyone sees it as a shared responsibility. ELL teachers want to see their students successfully integrate into the rest of the school and into general educational settings so that these students have the same opportunities to learn as other students. It is also important that school leadership is supportive and sets a tone for welcoming families and students, creating opportunities for families to observe in the classroom, hiring bilingual family members to work in the school setting in various roles (e.g., paraprofessionals, office assistants, crossing guards) or whichever roles are appropriate based on their language skills and previous education. It is helpful for refugee and immigrant families to have someone who can interpret for them and also someone from their community who is working in the school system.

What role can school leaders play in making families feel welcome?

What I have seen in one of my schools was that the principal went to great efforts to make sure she had as much family involvement as possible. She hosted English language classes, she made an effort to connect with families at monthly Saturday open houses where she and the ELL teachers would help families learn about school in the U.S. and about what their children were learning. As parents felt included, they tended to reach out more and want to come to school, to observe in the classroom, and be a part of their children’s education. I think it is important to remember that parents made an extremely difficult choice to come to the United States and for the most part, it was because they wanted their children to have better lives. I think anything we can do to support that drive and that goal will allow families to show their strengths.

How does the stigma of mental health have an impact on working with immigrant / refugee families?

For Somali families, I described the conceptualization of mental health since there is a stigma for more serious disorders. My student hosted a women’s group where the focus was on creating a strong family and the ways that women could build better relationships with their children and address some of the challenges around working with the school and other community agencies. By focusing on the “how to” she was able to also introduce concepts around mental health. I think this helped these women to discuss some of their own struggles and revealed the degree to which they did not understand the physical ways that trauma and stress might manifest.

How do different family roles have an impact on these conversations?

I think the main thing I saw was a reversal of power in families as children were relied on as interpreters. In some cases, women believed they had even less control of their families because they couldn’t carry out some of their traditional roles. For example, in a refugee camp, a woman might be in charge of getting the food/water allotment, take care of the children, and carry out various tasks that would help the family subsist. In the United States, their experience is different. Most Somali women do not drive so they can’t go get food and they don’t need to “get” water. They do take care of children, but as their children start attending school, they experience the separation as their children start to acculturate, and for the most part, they are isolated from other women who might be experiencing the same thing. I do not know as much about men’s experiences. Many of them are able to find work and may be able to transition a bit more easily.

What are some of the unique factors in working with immigrants or refugees in rural settings?

There are fewer resources in rural settings so school leaders needed to get creative in finding assistance. In one community we visited, the English teacher was from the local community college, the United Way type agency recruited volunteers to act as mentors/supports for newly arrived refugees, and the meat packing plant was asked to contribute funds to help support these efforts. Since there was no refugee agency, other groups that might not typically be a part of these efforts in a more urban setting were called on to help support efforts. I think in some ways this helped more people be involved.

Some of the people we’ve interviewed also spoke about how easy it was to get assistance because they knew everyone. For example, one teacher knew the Somali interpreter from her previous job so could use this personal connection to ask for his assistance when she needed an interpreter. Her example was that one of the Somali students in her classroom (ELL) wanted to go out for track but his parents didn’t understand what was needed (e.g., physical clearance, money for uniform, track shoes), so she called the interpreter who was able to contact the family and help them understand what to do and why. I think this example helps illustrate just how difficult simple things are for families and students who are refugees.

In addition, the reasons refugees move to smaller, more rural communities are important to keep in mind; often, there is an industry offering low-skill jobs and there may already an established community of fellow immigrants. In the case of Somali immigrants, many of them are working in meat packing plants. (You can learn more about the experience of some Somali refugees in the meat packing industry in this Washington Post report.) That means that the companies themselves have an important role to play in integration, but sometimes the companies will have received a tax break to build in the small town and the town itself doesn’t have much of a support infrastructure for newcomers in place.  Another factor is that more companies are hiring refugees, who have legal work status here in the U.S., instead of undocumented immigrants; this can lead to tensions among different groups in the community or among their children in school.

What are some of the successful approaches you’ve seen in your work with educators of ELLs in rural settings?

Many districts are helping their refugee students stay in school until they are 21. This allows them more time to gain skills that might have been missed along the way. Another ELL teacher had divided units into smaller subsets. She discussed how frustrating it was for students to be on the same level of reading for weeks in a row so she divided the curriculum so that students could more easily see that they were making progress, even if they were still on the same overall level. When possible, schools have hired paraprofessionals who are from the specific culture (e.g., Latino, Somali) with the idea that these individuals can be helpful in the classroom as well as assist in bridging some of the language differences. Furthermore, they can act as a kind of liaison who helps teachers understand various cultural practices (e.g., reminding when Ramadan begins so that teachers understand why students might be a little more tired/off task). They might also go back to their own communities and help families understand certain practices or needs from the schools.

Why is a strengths-based approach important in this work?

I think if the focus is purely on the trauma, the lack of academic skills, the language and cultural differences- schools and communities will come to see refugees and immigrants as a “problem” rather than as an asset. When refugee/immigrant families move into small, rural communities, they are helping to revive towns that might be losing their population. As long as there is employment and families feel welcomed, refugee families will likely stay and bring in a new base of children to attend schools, customers who will shop at local stores, and future employees that will allow the industry in these communities to flourish.

What role does cultural awareness play in doing this work effectively?

I don’t know that anyone can be all knowing about the nuances of culture, so first and foremost, I would say an open mindset. I also think a healthy dose of compassion goes a long way. Some of my students have told me that some teachers don’t understand the depth of trauma that students and families might have experienced. They see refugees as “lucky” and as safe now that they are in the United States. I think this is where professional development can be really helpful to teachers who don’t have very much training, if any, in the long lasting effects of trauma and the challenges of adapting to a new environment. After that, yes, cultural awareness is important as well just to understand some of the basics such as whether or not to shake hands/touch a male (if a teacher is female), why some girls wear hijabs and others don’t, etc. As teachers understand, they will be able to help the other children in their classes understand.

I also think teachers need to be aware of their assignments. One of my students recounted the story of a teacher asking her class of students (about 1/3 were Muslim) to recount their favorite Christmas memory. The teacher had probably had this assignment forever and had not thought about how it was important to look at curriculum with a more culturally sensitive eye to consider how that same assignment might be adapted (e.g., favorite family celebration) and still meet the intent of the assignment.

How do you build bridges among newcomers and the existing community?

Courageous leadership and opportunities for interaction are two of the biggest components.

What have been some of the most surprising things you’ve learned in your research?

I think one of my biggest surprises, at least among Somali refugees, is the degree of difference in terms of their experiences among families. I’ve spoken with individuals who have Master’s degrees and speak three languages and with mothers who do not know how to sign their names.

In addition, I had always considered myself somewhat culturally aware but was totally taken by surprise in one situation in which I was having an interpreter help me translate some permission forms. One was so that students could be in the school groups, and one was for families to participate in our focus group. When the interpreter explained confidentiality, the families viewed it as me “keeping secrets.” This was very troubling to them as they believed this was how wars were started. I’m not sure if it was how the concept was interpreted or just the notion of confidentiality, but the principal had to explain to the families that it was okay. She was known to them and because they trusted her, some were willing to provide their consent. I think the degree to which families are unsure of outsiders was a bit of surprise. It is really important to build relationships and demonstrate your trustworthiness.

About the Author

Dr. Robyn Hess is a Professor of School Psychology. After receiving her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, she taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the University of Colorado at Denver before returning to UNC. Her research interests are in the areas of school dropout/completion especially among Latino students, culturally responsive assessment and intervention, working with refugee youth and their families, systemic interventions, and stress/coping in children.

Related Video


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Working with Community Organizations to Support ELL Students

Working with Community Organizations to Support ELL Students

Young girl playing a violin

When building a support network for ELLs, community organizations can play a valuable role and offer resources that schools may not have at their disposal. Learn how to get started with these tips!

When building a support network for English language learners (ELLs), community organizations can play a valuable role and offer resources that schools may not have at their disposal in order to work with ELLs and their families. While the community schools model is one way that these partnerships can grow and thrive, a school need not be an official community school to have effective partnerships.

Bridging the gap

Organizations that work on behalf of specific immigrant communities, for example, can play an important part in helping schools bridge language and cultural gaps by providing:

  • Interpreters: Many school districts struggle to find interpreters for school events or conferences and to translate important documents for parents, especially for languages that have a lower incidence in the district. Community organizations may be able to provide intepreters, print translations, or recommendations of other translation services.
  • Cultural liaisons: It is important for schools to be sensitive to the diverse cultural backgrounds and customs of all of its students; the customs of ELL students may be very diverse when it comes to religious observances, dietary restrictions, and social expectations. Community organizations with a cultural/national affiliation can provide invaluable insight to teachers, administrators, and staff by offering trainings and workshops that focus on providing information about a specific culture or country. This may be particularly valuable when a new immigrant community begins to grow in an area that has not previously been settled by members of this community.
  • Experts on historical and political background: When welcoming students from a new immigrant community to the school, it may be helpful to learn more about the historical and political background of that community, particularly if that background has shaped immigration or resettlement patterns. For example, when refugees are resettled in a new community, understanding the conflict that displaced those refugees may go a long way in determining how to provide necessary support. This is also an important step in understanding potential traumas or hardship students may be experiencing.

Services and support

The leaders and staff of community organizations may also have many ideas about how schools, businesses, and other groups can work together to support ELL students and their families by offering:

  • After-school tutoring
  • Student internships
  • Medical services
  • Social services
  • Clothing/food drives
  • ESL classes for adults
  • Continuing education programs
  • Immigration information
  • Citizenship classes
  • Information on disaster relief

Note: Many undocumented immigrant families may forego services to which they are entitled due to fear of immigration enforcement, including food stamps, disaster relief, and medical care. In addition, they may not be eligible for other kids of benefits due to their immigration status. Being aware of these challenges can help schools meet students' most immediate needs discretely.

Getting started

If you are unsure of how to start a collaboration with your local community organizations, that's ok! Start by calling some of the organizations in your area and scheduling informal conversations to brainstorm ideas on ways that you can support each other. You may be surprised at how quickly the ideas start coming to you!

For more information, see the hotlinks section of this article, which includes a list of organizations working on behalf of different immigrant communities around the country, as well as organizations focused on the community schools model.

Hot links

Coalition for Community Schools

The Coalition for Community Schools, housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership, is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K-16, youth development, community planning and development, family support, health and human services, government and philanthropy as well as national, state and local community school networks.

American Educator, Fall 2015: Community Schools Edition

This edition of the American Federation of Teachers' Fall 2015 publication focuses on community schools, how they work, and how partnerships help schools, students, and families.

Latin American Youth Center

The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) is a multicultural community-based organization in the Washington, DC area that supports youth and their families in their determination to live, work, and study with dignity, hope, and joy. The LAYC Family of Organizations is a network of youth centers, schools and social enterprises with a shared commitment to helping youth become successful and happy young adults, with the skills they need to succeed educationally, professionally, and personally.

LSNA: A Model of Successful School-Community Partnership

The Logan Square Neighborhood Association is a nationally recognized model of successful collaboration between a community organization and public schools, creating a community-centered school that serves immigrant families.

Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With roots dating to 1864, Girls Inc. has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas. Today, innovative programs help girls confront subtle societal messages about their value and potential, and prepare them to lead successful, independent, and fulfilling lives.

Massachusetts DOE Resources for Family and Community Involvement

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offers resources for family literacy and community involvement, providing information about program design and links to other useful Web sites.

Partnership for After School Education

The Partnership for After School Education (PASE), a New York City-focused organization, promotes and supports quality afterschool programs for youth, particularly those from underserved communities, enabling them to identify and reach their full potential.

Californians Together

Californians Together is a statewide coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates and civil rights groups committed to securing equal access to quality education for all children, specifically underserved English Language Learners.



You are welcome to print copies or republish materials for non-commercial use as long as credit is given to Colorín Colorado and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact