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Pride in Progress: Playa del Rey Takes Steps to Connect with Community

Pride in Progress: Playa del Rey Takes Steps to Connect with Community
Written by Tristan Chavez
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Playa del Rey Elementary School is taking on an ambitious initiative that aims to enhance the educational experience of its students. Through a program called School Connect, the school is putting together a comprehensive plan for partnering with their community members and organizations to help instill pride in their students by upgrading parts of the campus.

School Connect facilitates collaborative efforts between schools and their communities to directly impact student outcomes. Resources and support are available from community partners, but local schools are often disconnected from them. School Connect serves as a bridge to connect schools to these available resources through CAFEs, which bring schools and community partners to the same physical or virtual spaces in an effort to form partnerships. These partnerships can then be used to form meaningful relationships that result in resources designed to support students.

Playa del Rey is putting its best foot forward to help make connections with its local community. First, the school talked to its most important stakeholders - its students. By asking students what upgrades they wanted to see to the campus, Playa del Rey was able to put together a comprehensive book that outlines what changes could be made and conceptualizes what those changes could look like. 

Screenshot of School Connect Book

Next, Playa del Rey put together a video with the intention of sending it to community members and organizations. The video features a student from every grade level talking about what the school means to them and how upgrades could positively impact their learning environment. 

“My son went to Playa del Rey and that’s when I fell in love with the school, the students, and the community,” said Katie Patty, a teacher and the School Connect Chair at Playa del Rey Elementary. “These students deserve the best. Partnering with the community can help make sure our students receive the support and resources they need.”

Playa del Rey hopes to send its School Connect book and video to parents in the community within the next few months. The school has also partnered with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, which will work to send Playa del Rey’s book and video to local businesses.

To learn more about how schools can form partnerships with their local communities and to participate in an upcoming School Connect CAFE, visit SchoolConnectAZ.org.