United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County announced today that the Greater Milwaukee Foundation provided two two-year grants to the organization. One of the two-year grants will provide $100,000 to support an innovative partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools. The other grant will provide $40,000 for the Thriving Waukesha County Alliance.
“We are pleased to support these two, meaningful programs that align with Greater Milwaukee Foundation priorities in education, and health and human services respectively,” said Kathryn Dunn, Vice President of Community Investment for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County continues to be a strong partner in strengthening our region.”
The partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools is a new strategy called the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership (MCSP). MCSP works to increase a school’s capacity to grow strong partnerships with its surrounding community and better engage and align resources centered on the self-identified, real time needs of communities.
“We are absolutely thrilled that this investment by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will help United Way align diverse partnerships, collaborate with families, and develop a shared vision that is integrated into all aspects of the school,” said Ryan Hurley, Director of the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “This generous grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will help us sustain our commitment at each of the four community schools to ensure that we reach our initial two-year goals of improving student attendance and academic engagement, increasing the level of trust between schools, families and the larger community and aligning school and community partnerships to support student success.”
There are currently four schools implementing the Community School model: Auer Avenue School, Bradley Tech, Hopkins-Lloyd Community School and James Madison Academic Campus.
“The Community School model is already making great strides in creating change in our public schools,” said Darienne Driver, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. “Other cities that have implemented this model have proven that it works to improve climate and culture, academic achievement and investment in local neighborhoods. We are grateful the Greater Milwaukee Foundation sees our vision and chooses to invest in this program to improve the lives of all children in our community.”
The other two-year grant supports the Thriving Waukesha County Alliance (TWCA), which was created to ensure the long-term sustainability and optimal capacity of the health and human services sector in Waukesha County.
“We believe that if, as a community, we’re going to effectively face these increasing needs for social services, we’re going to have to start working together much more effectively than we have in the past.” said Ed Olson, volunteer co-chair of TWCA.
The Thriving Waukesha County Alliance plans to use the grant to continue their work in developing strategic partnerships, improving the financial stability of local non-profits, improving strategic collaboration between funders and non-profits and increasing the awareness of available services.