2022 City Connects Progress Report

City Connects is pleased to present its 2022 Progress Report. Studies described in the report provide new evidence of positive outcomes resulting from the intervention.

As we continue to expand our reach to serve a growing number of students and build our evidence base, we are encouraged by these findings and are more committed than ever to our work supporting children and families.

Again this year, our report is released in a time of ongoing challenge for schools, families, and communities across the country and around the world. Many of the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic continue.

Our Coordinators and Program Managers have worked steadily with our partner schools and communities to deliver needed supports and services to children and families during this challenging time.

Our Research and Evaluation team has continued to study the City Connects intervention, with a lens on the unique challenges and opportunities of the last two years.

City Connects makes a difference for children throughout their lives, from preschool through post-secondary education, improving their educational success and life chances.

We are grateful to everyone who makes this work possible, and we look forward to continuing this work together. We are thankful for the support and partnership of the public, private, and charter schools in which we work in Boston, Springfield, Salem, and Southbridge, Massachusetts; Dayton and Springfield, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Indianapolis, South Bend, Muncie, and Gary, Indiana; Poughkeepsie, New York;and Dublin, Ireland.

In each of these cities, we are grateful to the superintendents, administrators, principals, teachers, student support professionals, school staff, data liaisons, and others who have helped to introduce and implement City Connects in their communities and supported this work their schools.

City Connects students outperform comparison peers on measures of academic achievement, other measures of success, and enhanced life chances and opportunities.

We appreciate our university partners in implementation: Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland, and the Center for Vibrant Schools at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

We are extremely grateful to our ever-expanding network of community partners, who have collaborated with us to deliver their services to children and families in schools and in the community, despite the challenges and limitations of the ongoing pandemic. Their creativity and dedication to serving children and families inspire us.

We value and appreciate the steadfast support of Boston College and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

We sincerely thank each of our generous foundations and donors for their support. Their continuing support of City Connects over more than twenty years has allowed us to serve students in our hometown of Boston and farther beyond than we could have imagined.

We are deeply grateful to an anonymous donor, whose significant endowment gift to our newly renamed Center for Thriving Children ensures that our work will continue long into the future.

The support for our mission from a broad base of funders – especially during this challenging time – has allowed us to continue our work while renewing our commitment to the children and families who have been disproportionately impacted by the ongoing pandemic and deep societal injustices. 

We are grateful to everyone who makes this work possible, and we look forward to continuing this work together.

Students and teacher at a computer
Student on playground

 Supplemental Materials

This document illustrates the ways that City Connects implementations had impact during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In these pages, researchers closely examined the various ways in which the City Connects practice systematically identified and addressed both academic and non-academic needs of students and their families in City Connects schools during the school closures of spring 2020.

Researchers gathered information from City Connects Coordinators on student and family needs that had arisen during the first months of the pandemic in the spring as well as challenges that students, families, teachers, and other school staff encountered in fall 2020.

Finally, in the spring of 2021, in anonymous satisfaction surveys for principals, teachers, and community partners who had worked with City Connects schools during the 2020-21 school year, questions related to the Covid-19 pandemic were included. 

City Connects is pleased to release this publication, which describes a unique collaboration of CityConnects, the Mathile Family Foundation, and Sinclair Community College.

Sinclair Community College recognized that the core components of the City Connects strategy for supporting the whole child could apply beyond elementary and secondary schools.

Recognizing this unique opportunity, Sinclair Community College (30,000 students) invited City Connects to develop a model of advising for their students that would embrace the whole person.

Our local, longtime funder and partner, the Mathile Family Foundation, had foreseen an opportunity to unite City Connects with Sinclair Community College to design and implement the program - together - to serve even more students in the local community.