AllentownSchool District

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and Allentown School District Awarded $2.5 Million Education Grant

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and Allentown School District Awarded $2.5 Million Education Grant
Posted on 10/05/2018

More than 2,000 students, 600 families and 150 community members will benefit from a $2.5 million federal grant awarded to United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) in partnership with Allentown School District, Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley, St. Luke’s University Health Network and Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley.

“With these new resources, United Way and our partners will strengthen and expand services for students and families in Community Schools by addressing barriers to learning and academic success including behavioral health, chronic absenteeism and trauma,” said Jill Pereira, Vice President, Education, UWGLV. “This funding will help to ensure thousands of our Allentown children are prepared for kindergarten and achieving academically while remaining safe, healthy and supported by engaged parents and caregivers.”

Effective October 1, 2018, the grant from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement will provide approximately $500,000 per year for five years. Funding will support new staff and services at Francis D. Raub Middle School as well as Washington and Union Terrace Elementary Schools.

“This grant supports the expansion of coordinated services that will positively impact students from kindergarten readiness through college or the workforce,” remarked Thomas Parker, Superintendent, Allentown School District. “Our goal is to meet the social emotional needs of our students and their families by collaborating with community partners such as the United Way.”

With this funding, UWGLV and partners will welcome Washington and Union Terrace Elementary Schools as full-service Community Schools with services including:

  • The addition of a full-time Community School Coordinator at each school through Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley
  • A full-time Behavioral Health Clinician at Union Terrace Elementary School
  • Expanded enrichment programs provided by partners like Wildlands Conservancy, Community Bike Works and Da Vinci Science Center. 

Expanded services for Raub Middle School, which is supported by corporate partner St. Luke’s University Health Network, will include a full-time, after-school program coordinator and the addition of an intensive case manager focused on reducing chronic absenteeism, defined as missing 18 school days or more each year.

The grant will also provide funding to build parent involvement and leadership with students and families in all three schools with workshops led by Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley. 

"The Full-Service Community School Grant offers us a tremendous opportunity to make sustained change in our Allentown schools and communities. Through the Community School model, Integrated Student Supports, behavioral health supports and engaging outside-of-school programming, we can bring proven resources to those who need them the most and address truancy, trauma, and grade level reading,” added Tim Mulligan, President and CEO, Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley.

Using schools as hubs, Community Schools organize programs and services in one central place for students and families. These programs and services remove barriers to learning, create positive youth development, and empower parents to strengthen their role as partners in education. The model convenes companies, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and other community supports to ensure higher success rates for students. As a result, Community School students have increased reading and math scores and excel in other academic areas.

“This is the first time United Way has received a federal grant to support our work towards educational transformation,” added David Lewis, President, UWGLV. “This honor speaks volumes about our ability to form innovative partnerships that create positive outcomes for the students and families we serve.”


Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley

The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community.  We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley.


About Allentown Area School District

The Allentown School District serves nearly 17,000 students in a network of 25 early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools throughout the city of Allentown, PA. The Allentown School District is the third largest urban school district out of 500 districts in the Commonwealth. The District’s Mission states that each and every student will graduate college and career ready by having their individual needs met through active engagement in a rigorous, safe and nurturing learning environment. Our core values reflect a commitment to excellence, partnership and equity.  The Allentown School District employs approximately 2,400 teachers, staff and administrators. Founded in 1866, ASD serves students from 51 countries speaking 26 languages with nearly 90 percent household qualifying as low income.