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Lynch School of Education

City Connects Awarded $400,000 Grant

Chestnut Hill, Mass.—July 10, 2012—The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) awarded City Connects a $400,000, two-year award to develop strategies that build district capacity to sustain effective student support programs in schools. City Connects will be partnering with Boston and Springfield public schools for this work, which is supported by the DESE Priority Partners for Turnaround Investment Fund.

“We are pleased to receive this award, which will allow us to develop a strategy to sustain evidence-based student support efforts in schools,” said Mary E. Walsh, PhD, executive director of City Connects and the Kearns Professor in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. “It is crucial that schools and districts are able to maintain systemic student support after the federal funding has run its course. We look forward to collaborating with Boston and Springfield districts to devise strategies to enable them to keep the work going.”

The Investment Fund leverages state Race to the Top dollars by investing directly in partnerships between Priority Partners for Turnaround and Level 3, 4, and 5 districts and schools. (Level 4 and 5 schools are those that have been identified as persistently underperforming and are therefore designated “turnaround”). City Connects was qualified as a Priority Partner for Turnaround by DESE in August 2011 to support turnaround schools and districts in the area of social, emotional, and health needs.

City Connects is a student support program that uses an evidence-based approach to collaborate with teachers and school staff in identifying the strengths and needs of every child across four domains: academics, social/emotional, health, and family. Each student is then connected to a tailored set of prevention, intervention, and enrichment services in the community or school. Developed at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education in 2001, City Connects addresses the out-of -school factors that can impede academic achievement. City Connects is currently serving more than 8,000 children in 16 Boston Public and 6 Springfield Public K-5/K-8 schools.

About City Connects Developed at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education in 2001, City Connects is an evidence-based approach to student support active in 16 Boston Public and 6 Springfield K-5/K-8 schools that ensures that all children engage and learn in school by connecting each child with a tailored set of prevention, intervention, and enrichment services. By leveraging the resources of community agencies, City Connects works efficiently within the existing framework of schools and society to alleviate barriers to learning. Read the City Connects blog at or follow City Connects on Twitter @CityConnects, or visit

For more information please contact Leah Lindsay, 617.552.2350