September 2017
Mt. San Antonio from Rancho Cucamonga: photo by Amanda Walker
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Rancho Cucamonga Attends 2017 Mayors' Institute

Local community schools efforts recognized by National League of Cities.

RC National League of Cities

The City of Rancho Cucamonga was selected as one of six cities to participate in the 2017 Mayors' Institute on Advancing Education and Health through a Community Schools Strategy (Mayors' Institute). The institute is the result of collaboration between the National League of Cities (NLC), the NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute), Coalition for Community Schools, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Mayors and City teams convened in Philadelphia during the first week of May to develop and implement practical solutions to improve children's education and health outcomes through a community schools strategy. Working with the Cucamonga School District, the City of Rancho Cucamonga presented a case study to highlight best practices and lessons learned while working to enhance equitable academic and health outcomes for our students residing in the Southwest Cucamonga area.

"We were grateful to be a part of this wonderful opportunity. This convening allowed us to share our innovative strategies to improve the health and wellness of our students and residents as well as provide an opportunity to learn from other cities across the country," said Mayor L. Dennis Michael. "The City of Rancho Cucamonga and our Healthy RC initiative are using community schools strategies as a comprehensive approach to build an equitable culture of health and ensure all children in our city are healthy, ready to learn, and reach their full potential."

Other cities participating in the Mayors' Institute in Philadelphia are Houston, Texas; Toledo, Ohio; Caldwell, Idaho; Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within the National League of Cities, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.

The City of Rancho Cucamonga and its Healthy RC initiative, a successful City-community partnership since 2008, has taken a comprehensive approach to community health improvement. The community schools model has helped to transform schools into places where community building happens. Participating campuses are now actively improving equitable access and availability of resources to all residents, and improving quality of life for all who live, learn, work, and play in the City.

Health barriers frequently prevent children and youth, particularly those from low-income households, from actively engaging in learning. Children who are regularly absent from school due to chronic health problems miss essential learning time and quickly fall behind their peers. Children without access to healthy food or adequate and stable housing can also face daunting challenges in their attempts to succeed at school.

Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many stakeholders to offer a range of support and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. From financial literacy to health and dental services, to hands-on opportunities for exploring career options, the community schools approach draws heavily on community assets to better support students.