Community Schools, Foundation Voices

Community Schools Advocate Joins Up Close Podcast to Talk About the Future of Public Education

Community Schools Advocate Joins Up Close Podcast to Talk About the Future of Public Education


The Up Close Podcast, launched in spring 2022 and hosted by The NEA Foundation President and CEO Sara A. Sneed, explores the issues of justice, equity, excellence, and opportunity in public education. Sara talks with educators, policy experts, and other passionate voices about the most urgent issues in public education, as well as our shared responsibility to deliver a quality public education to all students.

As so many across public education strive to support every student’s success, community schools have emerged as way forward. Community schools engage the entire community in supporting students and closing critical opportunity gaps.

In the most recent Up Close Podcast, Dr. Jane Quinn, widely considered a matriarch of community schools, joins Sara to discuss the tremendous impact that the community schools strategy has had nationwide. Episode 4, “Community Schools: Doable and Worth Doing,” explores how thoughtful investments matched with powerful family, school, and community partnerships can transform a struggling school into one where students thrive.

“I think equity and justice are at the heart of the community school strategy because this strategy is all about increasing opportunities for success by expanding access to needed resources,” Quinn said.

Their conversation comes on the heels of dramatically increased federal investment in the community schools strategy. Earlier this year, The Biden-Harris administration announced it would prioritize community schools that provide integrated support, expanded learning opportunities, collaborative leadership, and family and community engagement when awarding $68 million in grants through its Full-Service Community Schools Program.

To hear how students, families and educators benefit from a community schools approach, tune in for a rich discussion! Join the conversation and learn more about the present and future of public education by subscribing to the Up Close Podcast with Sara Sneed and listening anywhere you get your podcasts. Check out other episodes from season one featuring leading voices in public education here.

Also visit the NEA Foundation’s Community Schools webpage to learn more about its investments in building the capacity of school communities throughout Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.