Continued expansion of MPS’ community outreach efforts

May 7, 2015
Michael Bonds, Ph.D.

Michael Bonds, Ph.D.

With more than 77,000 students and more than 9,000 employees, Milwaukee Public Schools has a significant impact on the Milwaukee community. While most people recognize the important role we play in getting the next generation of citizens and workers prepared for success, our influence actually runs much deeper. Milwaukee Public Schools has created several ways to support students and families beyond the classroom and the school day. We’re proud of these efforts to expand our community outreach and to create additional opportunities for our students to gain important experiences in our neighborhoods and in our city. This summer, MPS will provide $60,000 to support the City of Milwaukee’s Earn and Learn program. Earn and Learn provides employment opportunities in the city for high school students and young adults, exposing them to the working world and improving workforce preparedness. Young people have the opportunity to work in local nonprofits and community organizations; in City of Milwaukee departments to learn about local government; or to work for local companies in the private sector. Some positions are still available, but students should apply quickly. Please visit the Earn and Learn website at http:// city.milwaukee.gov/EarnLearn for more details and learn how to apply. Unfortunately, summer can also be a dangerous time in some Milwaukee neighborhoods. Last summer, we lost three students to violence. This year, Milwaukee Public Schools has a Summer Violence Prevention Initiative. Approved by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, this program will offer mini grants to area organizations promoting positive programs for youth during the summer months. Additional details, including how organizations can apply to receive the grants, will be made available within the next few weeks. MPS also proudly works with partners throughout the school year who support our students. Last year, I instituted the Community Partnerships program, which the Board has agreed to fund for the past two years. The partnership program is designed to provide resources for those organizations that provide support to MPS students. We’ve been able to support more than 40 organizations supporting our youth, including:

• Holton Youth and Family Center • Milwaukee Debate Club

• America Scores

• City Kids Wrestling Club

• COA • Neu-Life

• Pathways to College

• Summit Educational Program

• United Community Center

•Urban Ecology Center Funding for the Community Partnerships program is included in the proposed 2015-16 MPS budget and I hope my colleagues on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors will join me in supporting this important effort that enhances opportunities for students and strengthens our community organizations. The proposed 2015-16 budget is in the process of being reviewed by the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. The full budget can be found at this link on the MPS website – mpsmke. com/budget – along with the Budget Companion and Budget in Brief, two summaries of the overall budget. The Board will hold public hearings on the budget on May 5, May 12 and May 14. The Board is scheduled to approve the budget on May 28. All meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the MPS Central Services building, 5225 W. Vliet Street.