Community education can provide opportunities for local citizens and the community, school, agencies and institutions to become active partners in addressing education and community concerns.
DPI Encourages Community Education
The DPI believes that Community Education can improve the quality of life by providing lifelong learning opportunities for all members of the community.
Schools can create community through opportunities for active recreation, citizen involvement, informal non-credit courses, and collaborations with other community organizations. Community education can
- Serve residents of the community from birth through senior adulthood with a myriad of programs and activities.
- Use both school and community facilities, bringing programs close to your neighborhood.
- Improve academic achievement by providing quality after-school and tutoring and mentoring programs.
- Offer volunteer opportunities for all citizens.
- Create a scholarship program, to give access to low-income residents.
- Provide accommodations that allow differently-abled children and adults to participate.
Community Education in Wisconsin Communities
About 70 Wisconsin school districts sponsor formal community education programs which includes a person hired to provide leadership, and commitment to the Wisconsin Five Components of Community Education.
Many more districts subscribe to the philosophy, but may not have a staff member hired to coordinate programs. In these cases community education is more of an informal process. A sample of their programs include
- Additional adult education options
- After-school and pre-school programs
- Intergenerational programs
- Town forums
- Social services
- Increasing program opportunities in your local schools through partnerships by leveraging limited resources
The Wisconsin Community Education Association (WCEA) is a statewide nonprofit organization supporting local communities involved in community education.
Senior Tax Exchange Program (STEP) brings interested and qualified senior citizens into the school to support education. STEP is also a way for senior citizen to receive property tax relief.
120.13(19) Community Programs and Services. Establish and maintain community education, training, recreational, cultural or athletic programs and services, outside of the regular curricular and extracurricular programs for pupils, under such terms and conditions as the school board prescribes. For details see State Policies and Statutory References.
21st Century Community Learning Centers
DPI provides grants for districts to operate high quality after-school programs helping students to improve their reading and math skills and much more. DPI, as part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Title IV, Part B, provides 45 school districts 133 site grants to extend the school day in high poverty schools. To learn more go to the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team Web page.
Use of Fund 80 Many districts have chosen to use Fund 80 Levy dollars to support community education and related programs. A web page is available with the Community Service Fund Information (Fund 80).