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Norfolk Public Schools, the Norfolk Education Foundation, WHRO and Norfolk State University teamed up on Monday, April 8, 2013 to forge better connections with the local faith community for the benefit of children.
School Board Chairman Dr. Kirk T. Houston, Sr., was the keynote speaker. Dr. Houston is Senior Pastor of Gethsemane Community Fellowship. About 80 members of the local faith community, including pastors and outreach coordinators, attended. When the luncheon concluded, faith leaders were invited to fill out forms indicating what types of partnerships they were interested in providing, with options including mentorship programs, tutoring and school supply donations.
NPS and NEF last year launched the A+ Community Partners Program to recruit more partnerships for schools. The effort aligns with NPS' seven priorities and the school division's emerging strategic plan, which include the need to form strong alliances with businesses and community organizations. WHRO and NSU have been powerful partners for NPS in terms of improving academic achievement. WHRO has partnered with NPS on the American Graduate: Let's Make it Happen initiative, and establishing alliances to help students succeed.
"We know the research around effective schools, especially effective urban systems, and it is about partnerships," Superintendent Dr. Samuel T. King has said. "The system cannot live apart from the community."
To watch a video about the luncheon, click here.