Community Partnership School Newsletter | August 2020

Because of you, Community Partnership Schools Offer Hope and Opportunities for Kids

From March 2020 – July 2020, our Community Partnership Schools:

  • Distributed 287,000+ meals
  • Completed 24,500+ outreach calls to support families struggling through the crisis
  • Provided 7,800+ additional services including rent and utility assistance, Wi-Fi hot spots and tablets for virtual learning

*Data is a reflection of eighteen Community Partnership Schools statewide, does not include: Miami Southridge Senior High School and Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts.

Community Partnership Schools In the News!

Sabal Palm Elementary, Tallahassee, FL

To combat summer learning losses, Children’s Home Society of Florida launched an online reading series with a virtual library, a few local celebrities and even a Miami Dolphin! See how CHS is keeping kids engaged with Storytime with CHS – a resource one Sabal Palm Elementary mom says she is grateful for.

Watch it here!

Student Spotlight

Joey, Manatee Elementary, A Community Partnership School 

Seven-year old Joey had one goal this summer: read a book and complete an activity packet so he wouldn’t fall behind … he wanted to be “top of his class!” when school started again. He didn’t just meet his goal – he crushed it!

With a focus on expanded learning, Manatee Elementary, A Community Partnership School, launched the Summer Reading Challenge to encourage education all year long. Joey completed three full books and activity packets and found a new love for reading – he can’t wait to read his next book and is excited for 2nd grade.

As the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) School Accountability Report reports that only 25% of Manatee Elementary 3rd graders score satisfactory or above in reading assessments (compared to 51% statewide), the Community Partnership School is working to change this statistic … because we know it’s more than a number – it’s a glimpse into children’s futures.

Special thanks to the Weichel Family Fund, Eugene F. and Elizabeth Hull Fund, Maragaret & Bob Christopher Fund and Thomas Robert Wall Family Foundation Fund II of Manatee Community Foundation for the generous funding that made the Summer Reading Challenge possible.

Hope You Made Possible

OCPS ACE Academic Center for Excellence, A Community Partnership School

Shortly after the pandemic shut down schools and began affecting businesses, Layla and Kyla – two of our students at OCPS ACE – were catapulted into crisis. Their mom – who had been working so hard to provide for her family – lost her job, and the family of three soon became homeless.

Because of you, Layla, Kyla and Mom found immediate support with the Community Partnership School. They found safety and hope with temporary housing, nutritious meals, clothing and hygiene products … Mom even received advanced job training to help them get back on their feet.

“Situations like this are the very reason Community Partnership Schools exist. Mom’s expressions of gratitude and future successes are the fuel that motivates us,” said Shannon Currie, CHS Community Partnership School Director at OCPS ACE. “We are privileged to be a part of their journey.”

Keystone Heights Jr/Sr High School , A Community Partnership School

Caring for eight grandchildren, Nancy didn’t know where to turn after losing her job. But because of you, she found support and hope with the Community Partnership School at Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School. Weekly, she received food and hygiene products for her family, helping them through the most uncertain, frightening time of their lives.

With 65% of students at Keystone Heights Jr./Sr. High School reliant on free or reduced lunch, the Community Partnership School works to address one of the greatest barriers to learning among its students: hunger.

Since March, the Community Partnership School team has partnered with Lake Area Ministries to host on-site food distribution events. With your support and the helping hands of 135 volunteers, the Keystone Heights CPS team fed 2,856 households in Clay County over the past few months!

Howard Bishop Middle School, A Community Partnership School 

Daniel and his sisters were working hard to focus on improving their grades … and then their world turned upside down. Their mom, a single parent who had just been promoted in January, was laid off in March. Daniel could feel the stress in his home and watched as his cupboards quickly emptied.

Thanks to your support, Daniel and his family found an abundance of resources at Howard Bishop Middle School. From food bags to mental health counseling and academic support, the help they received gave them courage and strength to keep pushing to meet their goals. The Community Partnership School also ensured all three kids would remain connected through distance learning by supplying a laptop and Wi-Fi – and they finished the school year on track!

“Because Howard Bishop is a Community Partnership School, we could provide those resources when the family shared their needs. It was a team effort,” said LaToya Jennings-Lopez, CHS Community Partnership School Director at Howard Bishop. “The administration at Howard Bishop came out of their offices, rolled up their sleeves and pitched in.”

CHS would like to recognize our partnership with the following core partners: Leon County Schools, FAMU, FSU Primary Health at Sabal Palm Elementary; MCR Health, School District of Manatee County and University of South Florida at Manatee Elementary; Orange County School District, Orange Blossom Family Health, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Rosen Preschool, Valencia College and University of Central Florida at OCPS ACE; Clay County School District, Santa Fe College and Aza Health at Keystone Heights Jr./Sr. High School; Florida Health Alachua County, School Board of Alachua County, Santa Fe College and University of Florida at Howard Bishop Middle School.



Since our founding, CHS has continued to grow and evolve to provide the right services and solutions to address the needs of children and families throughout the changing times … to help more children realize their full potential. As leaders and drivers of change for children, we are leading the nation in developing and implementing solutions that will transform the lives and futures of children and families. Thank you for making this possible.

A key solution in transforming futures is the Community Partnership Schools model, the innovative approach developed by CHS, Orange County Public Schools and the University of Central Florida. As a leader and core partner in 20 schools statewide, CHS provides access to critical services that can keep more kids safe at home, ready to learn – and out of foster care.

Through our common bond values of: Caring, Integrity, Respect, Commitment, Leadership and Excellence, we never settle for less than our collective best.

Together, We Do Good.


For additional information about Children’s Home Society of Florida and the Community Partnership School program, contact Jamie Bertolis.

CHS is a core partner of the following Community Partnership Schools: Arthur & Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts, C.A. Weis Elementary School, Dodgertown Elementary School, Eccleston Elementary School, Edward H. White Academy of Leadership, Endeavour Elementary School, Evans High School, Homestead Middle School, Howard W. Bishop Middle School, Wilkinson Jr. High School, Jones High School, Keystone Heights High School, Manatee Elementary School, Mort Elementary School, Orange Park High School, Sabal Palm Elementary School, Miami Southridge Sr. High School, South Woods Elementary School, and The Webster School.