The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities recently honored its member Lincoln, based in Oakland, California, with the 2018 Alliance Commitments Award for Partnering with Purpose to advance Educational Success. This award recognizes organizations that exemplify the best of the sector through mastery of the Alliance’s Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations and achievement of lasting change with children, families, adults, and communities.
To improve school attendance, Lincoln created the School Engagement Program, which uses integrated funding strategies and public-private partnerships to identify and support students who are chronically truant or have been identified early as at risk of chronic absenteeism. This program recognizes that school truancy is not an isolated problem or merely a behavioral issue. Rather, it results from challenges associated with poverty, systemic inequities, and the lack of culturally and linguistically responsive intervention services and resources.
In designing the School Engagement Program and bolstering related programs, early partners were identified, and specific partnership provisions were determined thoughtfully after conducting a comprehensive environment scan and mapping corresponding assets. Formal partnership agreements were grounded in a foundation of transparency and shared mission, values, and strategies to ensure families have what they need to assist in their children’s growth, well-being, and school readiness.
Because Lincoln understands that public policies, in addition to programs and services, are integral to educational success, Lincoln has established strong relationships with policymakers and public agency leaders at both the state and local levels. It has sponsored state legislation and has partnered with the local board of supervisors to respond to community needs.